Villagers and visitors just can’t get enough of Living Pretty, a new tea room and interiors shop in Curry Rivel’s High Street.
Farmhouse breakfasts, home-made lunches and afternoon cream teas are served on tables with names like Lavender Fields, Rambling Rose and Cottage Garden in this busy tea shop in the centre of Curry Rivel. And with its jolly curtains, pretty china and vintage-style cake stands, the charming setting is a real feast for customers’ eyes as well as for their taste buds.
Opened just a few weeks ago by Kate Macey, the tea room and interiors shop has already been a huge success.
“I am absolutely overwhelmed with the response,” says Kate. “Everyone seems to be thrilled and we have had lots of positive comments.”
For Kate, who has always loved entertaining and has an obvious flair for interior design, opening the business has been a dream come true. She grew up in Curry Rivel, living beside the village green with her family, before studying international hospitality management at university.
Embarking on a career in London, she worked in a fivestar boutique hotel and was executive assistant to the CEOs at interior design company Candy and Candy and also Chelsea Football Club. Her return to Somerset brings her back to her roots and to her family who run Sandpits Heating Centre – a business started by Kate’s father, Bob, over 40 years ago and which he runs with his wife, Donna, and son James.
“I think my drive and ambition comes from my dad,” says Kate, whose family have strong connections with the village. “Dad was born in the King William pub where his parents were the landlord and landlady. Today my aunt and uncle run Arundels Farm B&B in the village and my other aunt and uncle own the village shop.” Kate’s teashop is next to the family’s heating centre in a former bakery which has been converted by Bob. “With the courtyard now open we welcome dog walkers, builders and also organise the kids’ pizza-making parties out there, giving it a real family feel,” says Kate.
Living Pretty sells fresh loaves of bread, bringing back a much needed service to the village and it is ready for sale from 7.30am. “Marjie McConnell is our super cook. She’s here from seven in the morning whipping up Farmhouse Breakfasts, beautiful scones, cakes and dishes of the day on the oil-fired Rayburn.
“Our coffee is roasted at Martin Cawardines in Upper Langford and our meat is from the two butchers in Langport, Scrivens and Evans. I have also sourced local preserves and marmalade from Mary Cobbe’s preserves in Lower Durston and our honey is from Sedgemoor Honey at Creech St Michael.
Everyone loves the sausages, which we source from the Sausage Shed in Stembridge. Kate says customers love having their homemade scones and jam served on the vintage china used at Living Pretty.
When she lived in London Kate explored the local second-hand shops, finding chairs and tables and kitting out her house in furniture that she reconditioned and turned into beautiful shabby chic pieces, many of which are now used in the teashop.
Now that she has moved back she is busy doing up her new home with partner, Neil. “When you come back to this part of the world after being away you realise how beautiful it all is and what it has to offer – the stunning countryside, the friendliness of the people and the fantastic food producers. For more information and to book your Christmas Party please contact Living Pretty on 01458 253357 or visit www.living pretty.co.uk.