The Gryphon Tea Room
The first things to note upon entering are the high ceilings, classic dark wood decorations, and shelves displaying antique plates and glasses. Housed in an adapted turn-of-the-century pharmacy, this tearoom is an ideal size: large enough for a crowd, yet small enough to offer privacy.
The Gryphon Tea Room is one of the better and more useful tea establishments. Though, as the cited review goes on to state, the “high art of a classic tea service etiquette” is not there, the Gryphon is not attempting to be classic. It is through and through an art establishment, but the art in their service is of a different kind than the classic. It is an art of facilitation: an atmosphere in which a writer may sit, undisturbed, and think. The Gryphon is a place to live and breathe art, rather than to experience art.
As an artist (a writer in particular) I appreciate the way the Gryphon is conducted. No, it is not a place for the uninitiated in English high tea to become educated; but it is a place for those who know what they want — who know their own art — to find a convenient location to mull and ponder.
Thoughts with your tea, anyone?