End of an era as Highdown Tea Rooms closes its doors for the last time

Well-wishers brave the rain to say goodbye to Highdown Tea Rooms
Well-wishers brave the rain to say goodbye to Highdown Tea Rooms

Highdown Tea Rooms served its last cake on Sunday (July 29) as it closed its doors for the final time.

The tea rooms controversially had its tenancy cancelled at short notice last month and the team threw a final goodbye to friends, regulars and well-wishers – both human and canine.

Some regulars giving a ukelele send-off to the tea rooms SUS-180108-105717001

Some regulars giving a ukelele send-off to the tea rooms SUS-180108-105717001

Co-partner Dave Grafton thanked the public for their support on the day and over the years.

“We had lots of people who have been there since day one, some people who came for the first time just to say goodbye,” he said. “It absolutely chucked it down but we still had a great turnout – hundreds of people came.

“We had some regulars put together a ukelele band and really tried to make a party atmosphere. We even had free doggy-bags for the dogs.”

Dave said he and his partner, Donna Lewington, handed the keys over on Tuesday afternoon (July 31), calling time on a 13-year tenure.

Donna Lewington (centre) with two members of her original team, Kate Maksimova (left) and Ellie Day SUS-180108-105728001

Donna Lewington (centre) with two members of her original team, Kate Maksimova (left) and Ellie Day SUS-180108-105728001

Donna said it was a ‘very emotional’ day and once again thanked everybody for their support over the years.
The pair have still been given no reason for the cancellation and Dave said they have had no correspondence from the landlords outside of the solicitor proceedings.

It is unclear what the plans are for the tea rooms going forward.

He said it was a sad day but the future looks bright.

“We’ve got something in the pipeline that, if all goes well, we can really get our teeth into,” he said.

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