Cinders Tea Room, Shanklin

Date visited: Friday 17th May 2024

Cinders Tea Room has evolved over the years. It started life on the opposite side of Shanklin High Street as “Cinderella’s Lifestyle Tea Room and Dress Shop” – quite an unusual combination. In June 2020 it renamed to the simpler “Cinders Tea Room”. On 15th April 2024, Cinders relocated across the road to larger premises where it now provides the dual businesses of “Cinders Tea Room” and “Pilates with Meg” – again quite an unusual combination. The dress shop activities have also not been entirely dropped with occasional events selling clothes. The tea room is run by Meg and her mother.

Although now in a larger building, Cinders Tea Room remains quite a small establishment, with six quite cosily spaced tables inside and one outside for those wishing to take tea. There’s also a bench seat with table in the window display. Takeaway is also available, which did a small but steady trade during my visit. The tables were hand made from scaffolding.

A selection of light snacks are offered and on the day I visited five cakes were on display. Unfortunately, the beverages menu is divided into two parts: ‘Coffee’ and ‘Not coffee’ with teas and herbal teas given very limited attention within the ‘Not coffee’ part of the menu, along with soft drinks, smoothies and milkshakes. This was somewhat redeemed by containers with seven different teas and tisanes being visible behind the counter.

I chose a tuna mayo toasted sandwich, a slice of chocolate fudge cake, and a pot of English breakfast tea, which altogether came to £10.75. The sandwich came with some salad leaves, and was good but definitely snack-sized. In view of the price when compared with other tearooms recently, this small size was quite reasonable, but I’d have happily have paid a little more for something larger. The chocolate fudge cake was quite delicious with a nicely balanced consistency. I’m not sure I noticed the fudge but there was definitely plenty of chocolate!

Cinders Tea Room is open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm, with occasional evening opening for special events. Cinders is between Shanklin town centre and the more touristy tearooms of Old Shanklin, and well worth seeking out.

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