A few minutes’ walk from the high street in Wells is a tea lover’s paradise. The Alchemist’s Tea Emporium on Tucker Street sells a selection of carefully blended loose leaf tea and other herbal infusions all stored in huge jars with characterful Victorian-style labels.
The tea shop is in an old Victorian chemists and the way that it has been carefully restored has retained a lot of its yesteryear charm. There is a lovely old leather sofa in the front room and the next room has vintage weighing scales and other tea paraphernalia laid out on a large wooden table. The back room acts as the ‘dispensary’ where the tea is packed and purchases are rung up on an ornate till.
When we visited, the shop was being reorganised in preparation for the launch of their new tea rooms, which will have opened now. We had a peek upstairs into the rooms which had a lovely, cosy feel. It was easy to imagine spending an afternoon there enjoying tea and homemade cakes while forgetting about the world outside.
The shop also has a sideline in mixing colours for local artists or anyone who needs a specific shade. The hallway contains a mesmerising display of colour powders. We had fun spotting the names of the colours that we recognised from school art classes while we were waiting for my tea to be measured and packed. The owner kindly gave me a bag of their Alchemist’s Earl Grey to taste. I tried it later that day and it was delicious. I am lucky to have friends who live in Wells and I’m looking forward to returning and working my way through the tea (and cake) list!
Images by Rachel Baker