The 800th anniversary of Magna Carter saw Levy Restaurants UK develop an exquisite new tea room at Salisbury Cathedral to cater for the increased visitor numbers coming to get a glimpse of the iconic document that is inscribed in the UNESCO ‘Memory of the World’ register.

In what was once home to the Vicar of the Close, all aspects of the Belltower Tearooms have been designed from scratch by the Levy Restaurants UK innovations team, from the design and fitting right through to the food and service.

Since opening its doors, nearly 15,000 guests have experienced the tea rooms, enjoying popular menu items such as freshly baked mini coffee and walnut cakes, cream teas and scones.

Izzy Blinder, Innovations Project Manager for Levy Restaurants UK said: “The Belltower Tearooms is a great example of how successful you can be when you have the customer experience as your end goal and a great project team behind you. The concept was inspired by the cathedral and the tearooms building itself, which used to be a bell tower hundreds of years ago. Using the space available we were creative with the detail to ensure the concept came to life by taking vintage to the next level.”

Afternoon tea in the grandest English tradition at the Belltower Tearooms

With food and drink playing an ever increasingly important role in the way visitors experience museums, Levy Restaurants UK has also developed a unique concept for the National Railway Museum’s visitors with the opening of an exclusive dining carriage, the Countess of York.

Complementing the world famous museum and helping to increase footfall and average spend per head, the Countess of York has firmly established itself as one of the best restaurants in York. The original 1956 Pullman-style carriage has been restored to echo the lavish style of 19th century rail travel and is available for evening hire for corporate and private dining, whilst serving a traditional English Afternoon Tea during museum opening hours.

As catering partner for the National Rail Museum, Levy Restaurants UK has developed menus for the Countess of York, featuring an assortment of sandwiches, fine leaf tea and homemade cakes, with ingredients sourced from local Yorkshire suppliers where possible.

To date the Countess of York has hosted 13 private events and three weddings. The carriage has also featured in the Daily Telegraph for its part in promoting Afternoon Tea Week, where the venue hosted a range of events including on board tea workshops.

Five-star dining experience on the Countess of York (image courtesy of Dan Clarks)

Innovation is at the heart of Levy Restaurants UK and the company continues to capitalise on customer feedback and evolving high street trends. Meet the Levy Restaurants UK team at the Museums Associations Conference and Exhibition in Birmingham, 5-6 November. Take time for a chat, stop by for tea and learn how food and drink is an integral part of today’s visitor experience.

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