Let’s Talk Breaks, Stress and Afternoon Tea

by Maddie
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It’s Tuesday morning and as I’m typing, I’ve got a not-so-good panicky feeling in my chest. This panicked feeling is something I’ve been feeling on and off for a good few weeks now, as the pressure of third year is really starting to amp up. There is just way too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all. The temptation to never take time off and to keep on ploughing through work *virtually 24/7* just to get through to the stress-free other side is rather incredibly tempting, but one thing I have definitely realised during this university year is that time off is 150% NEEDED. And no lecturer will tell you that, oh no. Us students are apparently supposed to be machines that work around the clock, never in need of a relaxation refuelling. People that do well hustle 24/7 – or so we’re told.

However, for my own sanity, I’ve learned that taking a break, enjoying a hobby that’s not academic (hello blog ya beauty) and separating yourself from university is more important than I can stress. Ha ha stress. Not that kinda stressed- although I am incredibly stressed out too. Ha. Love life. So today’s post is a lil review of the beautiful Laura Ashley Tearoom in Solihull that I was kindly invited to try out at the end of last week- and how taking a break, sippin’ some tea and listening to classical music hum around the tearooms did wonders for my sanity.

And here begins my 5 reasons why chu should visit the Laura Ashley Tearoom for a teatox (that’s a tea-fuelled detox my friends):

1) Issa beautiful location, away from the hustle and bustle 

Located a quick Uber ride from Solihull train station, the Laura Ashley Tearoom sits within the beeeeautiful Regency Hotel. It’s faaancy, cosy and quiet, transporting you away from the stress of Brum into an absolute haven. Now, I don’t know if this was a coincidence or because Crufts happened to be on at the NEC this weekend, but I also saw SO MANY DOGGOS at the hotel – which means the place is doggo friendly, an extra plus to get ya gal lovin’ life again. Inside the tearoom the decor is, of course, beautiful – Laura Ashley wallpaper lines the walls; Laura Ashley comfy ass chairs welcome you to the faaancy table. The tearoom is spacious, has a v French-chic kinda vibe and there’s a cosy fire at the end of the room. Forget meditation and mindfulness- just pop along to the Laura Ashley Tearoom and it’ll R E L A X ur mind.

2) Fruit tea warms ur soul 

Now, I’m not a normal tea kinda gal. I don’t even like coffee (wish I did because then I might actually be able to get through my mountains of uni work at a quicker pace lol). But ever since my friend, Beth, introduced me to fruit teas over the summer, I am OBSESSED. And the fruity lil tea we had at the Laura Ashley Tearoom warmed my SOUL. Even my boyfriend was incredibly impressed, and he ain’t usually a fruit tea kinda guy. We tried the Red Berry & Flower tea, which is a smooth blend of sweet berries and hibiscus- caffeine free! It came in lil clear teapots so you could watch the tea leaves settle and I’m telling ya now – in a similar vein to a good people watch, watching this tea slowly settle was RELAXING. And it really did taste amazing. It had been absolutely tipping it down when we arrived at the tearooms, so having a lovely lil tea to warm our souls was 100% what we needed.

3) The holistic vibe of the tearooms relaxes ur lil stressy brain 

Can I just get a lil hippy on ya now, pls? Classical music was playin’ throughout the tearooms, to be specific there were classical piano covers of some bangin’ ballads, and the music was set at just the right level. The kinda level you want for some calming, mindful music. As you know, I’m a big ol’ music fan, and weirdly enough, like a bit o’ classical from time to time, and I found myself relaxing into the chair as soon as we arrived. I didn’t realise how much tension I’d been holding in my body – the vibe of the Laura Ashley Tearoom sorted me reet out.

4) Let’s talk comfort food 

Okay, honestly, I cannot with this place. The food was HEAVENLY. Just so, so good. We started with the scones. I remember picking up my first scone and going into panic mode as it felt raaaather hard to touch. Immediately, I started worrying that it was gon’ be like biting down onto metal and I’d somehow have to construct a semi-positive review about breaking my tooth on a scone, BUT stupid not-a-foodie me didn’t realise that the key to a perfect scone is a crusty outside layer and a fluffy af centre. As soon as I cut through the scone, layered up with jam n cream and took my first bite, it had me at hello. Tasted SO GOOD. The sandwiches were divine and you could honestly tell the ingredients were fresh and handled with care. You could dip into smoked salmon with marinated dill, free range egg mayonnaise, chicken liver parfait and shallot, local ham and mustard and cucumber and cream cheese. For a gal who’s not the biggest fan of sandwiches usually (I’m a ‘just ham’ meal deal kinda gal lol) I really, honestly, did enjoy them. And talkin’ of desserts, the afternoon tea handled the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, with a range of lil mini desserts to finish off. My fave were the macaroons – melt in your mouth kinda good. I hope this post is makin’ ya hungry xoxo

5) It’s the perfect spot for a much-needed catch-up with ya loved one 

It’s difficult to schedule time together for a proper catch-up with my boyfriend, as we both live two hours away from each other during uni and what with third year slowly draining the life outta me, we find it hard to catch up through FaceTime and other methods during the week. We text on the reg, but you can hardly call that quality time together. Therefore, having the chance for him to come and visit and join me at the tearooms was a perfect catch-up situation. We had a good chat about everything from university rants (me) and new job opportunities (Sam) to looking ahead to the future, such as two weeks living in London together that will happen at the END OF THE MONTH eeee, and a summer holiday we’ve just booked for June. It’s so nice to have that time together and Afternoon Tea took us away from the bustle of life and into a lil relaxing haven where we could finally spend some quality time together.

Just to finish, this post was a gifted experience kindly given to me by the Laura Ashley Tearooms in Solihull, but this is my absolute honest review – I genuinely adored the tearooms and when I’m less stressed and can taste freedom in May, I 100% want to take a trip back. At just £20 per person, it’s a really special date/catch up w pals occasion and I urge you all to go visit if you, like me, need a break from life.

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