BABINGTON’S ENGLISH TEA ROOMS
Address: piazza di Spagna, 23
Opening hours: every day from 10:00 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.
Tel. 06 6780846 | www.babingtons.com
In 1893 two young women, Isabel Cargill – whose father founded the city of Dunedin in New Zealand – and Anna Maria Babington – descended from the Anthony Babington who was hanged for plotting against Queen Elizabeth I – arrived in Rome with their one hundred pounds and their intention of making a respectable living in the Eternal City. What better idea than to provide the flourishing English community with somewhere to take tea – only found in chemists – and read the newspapers?
Babington’s Tea Rooms opened in Via Due Macelli and was an immediate success – so much so that the following year Babington’s moved to the prestigious site at the foot of the Spanish Steps, the original stables of the 18th century palazzo designed by Francesco de Sanctis, architect of the Spanish Steps and the Casina Rossa (today home to the Keats-Shelly Memorial House). The new Tea Rooms were furnished in the latest fashion – including cutting-edge brown linoleum – and became, according to the English language Roman Herald a favoured meeting place ‘where ladies or gentlemen, hard at work sightseeing could go to refresh themselves with a comforting cup of tea’
From its location at the foot of the famous Spanish Steps, Babington’s English Tea Rooms has become part of the cosmopolitan and cultural heritage, essence of the eternal city. Today the brand is known to discerning customers all over the world and in the last century has become synonymous of quality and tradition. Since its foundation, Babington’s has promoted a corner of style and comfort in the heart of Rome.
In the 1950’s Babington’s started to introduce a variety of hot and cold dishes to satisfy the needs of international and Roman customers. The menu offered today at Babington’s is the fruit of extensive care taken in combining the international cuisine with the Mediterranean cuisine, giving clients the opportunity to enjoy and appreciate breakfasts, brunches, luncheons, high teas at any time throughout the day. Babington’s has also become the meeting point for the Italian aristocracy, intellectuals and jet setters in search of a quiet place away from the bustle of the outside world.
Babington’s list of teas and blends is the result of a continuous and attentive tasting process which takes into account the flavour, the aroma and the appearance of the leaves before, during and after infusion. To accompany the tea selection, Babington’s Tea Shop offers a variety of homemade jams and chutneys, delicious honeys from New Zealand, decorated and aromatized sugars, home made fudge and chocolates. Babington’s also offers a range of silver or porcelain teapots, hot water jugs, strainers and other items, some specially designed for Babington’s.