A step inside the Old Thatch Garden is a step into a fairytale scene. The pink exterior, interior and “dairy garden” feel like fantasy, but are entirely real. It is believed to be the oldest building in Shanklin, England.
Built in 1690, the buildings that make up the Tea Shop were originally fisherman cottages. Underneath the Shop, a tunnel runs 500m (0.3mi) mile south towards the town of Ventnor and was used by pirates to smuggle their contraband out to sea. In 1940, after many centuries and many businesses later, the cottages were transformed into the Tea Shop that stands today.
Its proprietors, Pat and Charles, take pride in the shop’s quintessential English offerings. Within its pink exterior, there are three tea rooms adorned in local memorabilia. Tea and homemade English fare are offered beneath the thatched roof which is made of reed and lasts up to 35 years. While the roof is water resistant, during a heavy rain an unexpected shower might occur due to the lack of guttering.
Beyond its traditional tea rooms, the shops outside gardens and nearby “dairy garden” are both perfect for customers and children alike. The Thatched Roof Tea Shop is open daily from the end of the March to the end of October.
Guests may even have the opportunity to encounter the Shop’s ghost. While there has been no official sightings, staff and customers recall seeing the apparition of a woman perusing the Shop to make sure each room is in proper order.