Victorian era elegance is alive and well inside the iconic Nostalgia Tea Rooms in Southport.
The family-run business is based on Lord Street, a Victorian canopied boulevard edged in scenic gardens. With a charming, unique style all of its own, Lord Street has been a favourite shopping destination for over a century.
Overlooking the heart of town sits Nostalgia Tea Rooms, with a long row of windows allowing customers to look out and watch the world go by while enjoying a sumptuous Nostalgia Tea Rooms cream tea, some of their legendary home-made scones or delicious home-made meals.
Guests are served by waiting-on staff dressed in typical Victorian costumes, black dresses with white aprons. The eye-catching black and white building, which hails from the Victorian era, is one of the most photographed in the area.
The Business is nurtured by husband & wife team, Lynn Rooney and Dave Henaghan. The pair have been running Nostalgia Tea Rooms since taking charge in 2005.
Since then, they have built up an incredibly loyal base of customers, locally, from all parts of the UK and from the four corners of the world
Dave said: “We have been enjoying our business for the past 15 years, but Nostalgia Tea Rooms has been going since 1985. It is a long-standing, family friendly, local independent business and part of the community.”
Lynn, Dave and all their staff are very warm and welcoming and invite you all to enjoy the beautiful ambience of the Tea Rooms.
Being on the first floor, with windows at the front and the full length of the building, means that light floods in.
Lynn said “New customers are surprised just how bright and spacious it is, when they walk in. They hear the music from yesteryear playing and they are instantly wowed.
“Our regular customers are all lovely and we have established strong relationships with them. Customers who visited back in the day, with their parents, are now visiting with their own children. It’s a very rewarding experience. As well as our trusty regulars, we have customers who may only visit Southport a few times a year, from much further afield, but tell us that they always come to Nostalgia on those visits. It is their tradition.”
Both Lynn and Dave are very ‘hands on’, with Lynn doing the baking and Dave, the cooking.
Lynn said: “We are a full restaurant as well as a Tea Rooms. It is a struggle to update the menu and specials board, sometimes, as the old-fashioned favourites. from Corned Beef Hash; Liver & Onions; and Cheese, Onion & Potato Bake cannot be pushed aside!
“Dave has been making his famous Lasagne for over 30 years and customers aren’t too happy if he attempts to replace it with another dish! He also cooks his meats for the Roast Dinners and Sandwiches, on site.”
Dave said: “We are renowned for our delicious home made scones. Lynn makes over 200 a week in peak season! People love them and come in especially. You can enjoy them on their own, as part of a Cream Tea, or our famous Afternoon Tea, which has to be pre-booked in advance. She also bakes a fabulous Victoria Sponge, Apple & Sultana Crumble and a mean Lemon Drizzle!”
The home cooked taste is one of the many reasons why Nostalgia Tea Rooms sees diners coming back time and time again. That fresh taste using quality ingredients, from local suppliers, sets them apart from chain coffee shops, which people can find anywhere.
The full menu offers a wide variety of choices, from Full English Breakfast, their famous home made soups, main meals, Nostalgia Salad Bowls, sandwiches, toasties, baked potatoes and snacks.
Lynn said: “We are so much more than a Tea Rooms. We are a licensed restaurant, so you can enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, with your lunch or a prosecco with your Afternoon Tea.
“All great quality, home cooked, value for money choices, but you’re still welcome to visit for just a cuppa and a toasted teacake.”
The couple love Southport and both feel blessed to have lived here for the last 15 years.
Lynn said: “There are always great events going on. We usually go to the National Firework Competition on each of the three nights of the weekend it is on. We have Southport Flower Show, Southport Air Show, and Southport Food & Drink Festival. All things that we embrace and love to visit as well as being regular concert visitors to The Atkinson, which has great shows on.
“Add those events to Lord Street, our own elegant shopping boulevard, which has been a destination for visitors since the 19th Century, with Nostalgia Tea Rooms Victorian theme, we fit really well with that elegance, along with the history of Southport Pier, the Promenade and the beautiful parks throughout.”
During the Coronavirus lockdown, which began in March, Lynn and Dave have been extremely busy in the Tea Rooms, ensuring that the Business will be safe and welcoming for their customers, as they begin ‘the new normal’.
They have reduced the number of tables in the room, so as to create a safe distance for customers.
Dave said: “We are fortunate in that we have a large room and with removing some of the tables, customers will be able to social distance safely.
“We will have hand sanitisers for customers on entering and departing.
“The staff will be wearing visors, so that customers can see our faces and will be able to hear us.
“There will be lots of hand washing and cleaning of tables and toilet facilities, throughout the day.
“We are very excited to be reopening and to be able to extend a warm welcome to all our lovely customers. You have been missed!”
Nostalgia Tea Rooms: 215 Lord Street, Southport. PR8 1PF
Phone: 01704 501294