Popular Leek tearoom Time For Tea makes its final brew
CUSTOMERS queued for one last cuppa before a popular tearoom closed its doors.
Couple Roger and Janet Warrilow served their last refreshments at Time For Tea in Leek on Saturday.
The pair have kept the town fed and watered for almost 20 years – first at the award-winning Greystones in Stockwell Street, before moving to Time For Tea in Church Street.
The friendly service and unique surroundings at both venues, together with Janet's homemade food, have seen loyal customers return week in, week out.
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Janet, aged 65, said: "We thought it was time for us to retire because it is a lot of hard work. We are sad because we will be missing a lot of lovely people. The customers have been wonderful and the staff have been fantastic."
Roger and Janet opened Greystones in June 1993. It was named best tea room in Staffordshire for four years and picked as the best in the country in 2000.
It closed in July 2007, although the couple remained living in the 17th-century house.
By then they had bought a Grade II-listed building just 200 yards away, and restored it over three months. In November 2007, the premises opened as Time For Tea and Church Street Clocks.
Roger, aged 69, said: "It's sad but we knew we had to retire. We are past our sell-by date.
We will miss the customers as they have become friends over 20 years."
Despite retiring the couple will be keeping busy. Roger will continue repairing clocks at the premises, and they plan to restore the first floor of the historic building to create a holiday apartment.
Customers were sad to see the cafe close. Sue and Ray Alcock visited regularly from Cheadle. Sue, aged 56, said: "It's very sad it's closing because it's a lovely place to come.
"They are a really lovely couple who do a lot for Leek."
Ray, aged 58, added: "It's a unique place and it will be a massive loss."
Another regular, Judy Notley, aged 49, from Leek, said: "I come here every Friday and Saturday and I've been coming since they were at Greystones.
"The service is so friendly and the quality of the food and drink is very good. I don't know where we will go now because we have been spoilt here."
Phil and Alison Dodd, from Longsdon, visited the tearoom every week. Alison, aged 56, said: "We have been coming since Greystones first opened. We will be lost on Saturdays now."
Phil, aged 56, added: "When Greystones opened there was nothing like it in Leek. There are a lot more coffee shops now but they're not as good."