The much-loved Brook Tea Rooms in Swanage is reopening after a lengthy closure following the death of the previous owner.
Emily Delahay, who also runs Seventhwave cafe at Durlston Country Park, is taking over on a short lease in the first instance.
Reopening, the Brook Tea Rooms on the seafront
“Always loved the place”
“I have always loved the place. It’s got a great seaside location, together with the hustle and bustle of being in the town.
“Even on a rainy day you can sit in there and watch the waves from the window and relax. It’s exactly what you would want from a traditional seaside tea room.”
A place to watch the sea, even on a rainy day
The previous owner, Peter White, died in December 2021 at the age of 92. Born in Langton Matravers, he was well-known as the longest serving baker in Swanage, as well as a businessman, fisherman and former parish councillor.
Emily has taken on the property on an initial six-month tenancy with business partner Mark Tipple, who is also the head chef at Seventhwave. They will divide their time between the two locations.
The view from the terrace at the Seventhwave cafe at Durlston
“Teas and nice treats”
Emily, who says she was a regular customer in the tea rooms, said:
“We are both really excited about it. We are going to keep Brook as it is. It’s going to be breakfast, light lunch and high teas and cream teas, what people are used to – teas and nice treats.”
She has been recruiting for a full-time supervisor, two full time staff and part time weekend staff. They plan to open in mid May.
“It’s really hard to get staff since Covid. At Durlston we have had a real issue. There has been a bit more interest at Brook probably because it’s more central.”
Emily has been at the Seventhwave for nine years, starting out as manager with the previous owner before taking on the lease about five years ago.
They are keeping the tea rooms just the way they are
“Last couple of years have been horrendous”
“The last couple of years have been horrendous. We weren’t entitled to any of the government grants during Covid because the building at Durlston is owned by Dorset Council.
“But since restrictions were lifted Seventhwave has been able to get back to normal quickly because it benefits from having plenty of open-air space.
“It hasn’t been easy but we’re really looking forward to opening Brook to the public.”
Opening in mid May