It all began in 1903 with
two ladies and one dream
Built in the Edwardian period and charmingly named Teahouse in the Woods. First operated by two ladies who were daughters of London clergyman of Dr Williams, Superintendent of the Spa baths, the Misses came each year to manage the Tea House for the season until 1913 when it was reported they had ‘bought it outright’.
Misses Williams served dainty delicacies to the highest quality dressed in long, lavender coloured gowns with little muslin aprons and picture hats The Williams sisters also sold
tasteful fancy gifts including their own embroidery and provided a lending library service. Everything about the place was dainty and the delicacies served were of the highest
quality. The building also housed a tasteful Fancy Goods shop with some of the Misses Williams embroidery on display.The veranda was edged with attractive, slim wooden arches with rustic tables set out on the lawns.
Behind the building there is a path, running alongside a stream, which stretches past the Petwood hotel grounds and is a pleasant stroll along the side of the Bracken Golf Course.
In the 1940's Williams sisters passed the baton on to the next owners Mr & Mrs Harriman. Alterations where undertaken to the sides and enlargements at the rear of the building. This greatly improved the Tea House and enabled teas and refreshments to be served inside. The Harriman's successfully ran the tea house until 1973 when they sold to Mr & Mrs Archers. Mary & Toney extended the Tea House further to incorporate a dance floor and raised platform for performers.
Finally after 80 years the Tea House's wooden veranda became in dire need of repair and with the upkeep becoming very costly. The old wooden veranda was replaced with with a more modern, solid, round arcade veranda. The Harriman's final improvement ( A stone fireplace ) was made in the early 80’s to give the tea house a "country club feel"