Restaurant Week – Serendipity Tea & Trinkets

22 September 2017

Locally renowned Serendipity Tea and Trinkets has enjoyed another successful run during Sunderland Restaurant Week this year. The tea shop, which has brought tea and cake to the table instead of dinner, was named after manager June’s favourite word. “Serendipity, you could say, is how me and my husband met” she explains over a cup of Mint Mackem tea.

The tea house is cosy and colourful, with fine china adorning the walls, and seats of every kind to choose from. Located just a short walk from the city centre, the café enjoys a loyal customer base ranging from seasoned locals to international students. This year has seen their numbers increase and they have risen to meet the demand. “Sunderland Restaurant Week has really increased business for us, even though we offer a simpler choice. I’m very much behind the week and hope it runs again next year” remarks June.

The tea house has already made a name for itself providing customers with Christmas themed afternoon teas, novelty named sandwiches such as the Jaws and Jaws 2 roll, and even an arts and crafts experience you can enjoy after your tea and cake. The “Crafternoon Tea” provides the materials you need to make an object of your choosing that you take away as a souvenir.

“Our events come from the ideas our customers give us” remarks June when I ask her how they came up with the idea. “…and being an independent establishment means we get the freedom to do them”.  Serendipity Tea and Trinkets won the What’s On and Where award 2016 in the Café and Bistro of the Year category.

The shop boasts an extensive range of teas and coffees, many blessed with a local name. The already mentioned Mint Mackem is a popular choice, as is Sunny Side of the Street, Earl of Sunderland and June’s personal favourite, Nan’s Cure (popular for hangover sufferers!) These beverages and more were offered at a discount over restaurant week, as was their beloved Victoria Sandwich, Brownie and Blondie range. Serendipity source their bread from The Original Bakehouse, Gateshead, and have plans to source more ingredients locally in the future. 

Since opening, many other tea shops have been established in the Sunderland area. Serendipity Tea and Trinkets offer something different, with a quirky and unforgettable experience and plan to keep doing so in the future. 

Serendipity Tea and Trinkets open Tuesday to Friday 10AM-3PM and Saturday 10AM-4PM. 

Photo and written credit: John Tait