Tea Partying in the Eternal City

A Visit to Babington’s Tea Rooms

Babington's Tea Rooms at the bottom of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Babington’s Tea Rooms at the bottom of the Spanish Steps in Rome. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

As if we needed a break from our vino rosso and carb-filled Italian vacation, the Brawny Sherpa and I decide at the bottom of the Spanish Steps that it is time for tea—and carbs of a slightly different sort. Here in the land of espresso and grappa, in we go to the cheery world of Babington’s Tea Rooms contemplating loose leaves and sherry.

In we walk to what to us seems the land of Mary Poppins, cheery with pretty flourishes and slightly British accents. Babington’s Tea Rooms has been in Rome for more than 100 years. On my first visit in 1989, I choose the place because of a Laura Ashley fixation and a desire for some good English and some good air-conditioning. The place does not disappoint.

Babington's in Rome. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Sweets and tea at Babington’s in Rome. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

With the Brawny Sherpa, our tea will have even more romance. Deprived of tea parties as a child, he is willing to make up for the dearth now. He digs into a scone with gusto, hardly lamenting a missed opportunity for more red sauce. Tea and jam and cream and cookies later, we are sated, pleased with a little dose of almost-home. Sufficiently recharged and on a most pleasant sugar high, we set off for the Piazza del Popolo and more people-watching.

Babington’s Tea Rooms, Piazza di Spagna 23, 00187 Roma

—Lori Tripoli

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