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City Tastes & Tipples: Queen of teas and upcycling in heart of city

Rachel Sage opened the shop with friends Lindsay Johnson and Lisa Wright, almost five years ago.
Rachel Sage opened the shop with friends Lindsay Johnson and Lisa Wright, almost five years ago.

Upcycling is big business these days - taking unwanted products and turning them into something better.

So what has that got to do with a tea shop in Wakefield centre?

The afternoon teas are a popular choice.

The afternoon teas are a popular choice.

Like many English tea rooms, Marmalade on the Square has that quaint, shabby chic look, where mismatched furniture is part of the charm. No two chairs or tables are the same, but what makes this place different is that most of it has been upcycled from old furniture shops or antique fairs - and it’s all for sale.

It’s a business within a business - stay for afternoon tea, leave with the chair you’ve just been sat on.

Rachel Sage, who opened the shop with friends Lindsay Johnson and Lisa Wright, almost five years ago, explained: “We are always on the lookout for old furniture, just about everything is for sale.The only thing that does match in here is the crockery!”

Attracting furniture fans, one of the shop’s biggest draws is their selection of Annie Sloan paint - a leading brand in decorative paint in which most of the shop’s furniture is treated with.

And it seems that people come for the paint, and stay for the food. The array of cakes and treats (some vegan and gluten-free as well) placed under glass domes are impressive, as is the list of speciality teas on offer.

But the crowning feature are the afternoon teas, from the basic Cheshire Cat option, to the Mad Hatters to the all-singing and all-dancing Queen of Hearts, complete with Prosecco. With panoramic views, thanks to its corner positioning, it’s the ideal spot for a cuppa, a slice of cake, and a spot of people watching.

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 9am to 4.30pm, Sat 9am to 5pm. Closed Sundays but function room available for bookings.

Popular: The afternoon teas, including the Queen of Hearts - with fresh hand-cut sandwiches, home-made scone with clotted cream,choice of cake, unlimited Yorkshire tea and glass of Prosecco, served on finest bone china, and vintage cutlery.