Our love of Afternoon Tea

Kavanagh's Tea Room is a dream come true for us, one that has been driven by Clare's talent and passion for baking and our love of Afternoon Tea

Clare and Martyn, owners of Kavanagh's Tea Room, Oakham

Hello, we're Clare and Martyn and this is the story of how we pursued our dream of opening a Tea Room

Clare can remember from as young as 6 years old how excited the experience of Afternoon Tea made her feel. Growing up in Ireland, Clare and her sisters looked forward to spending their weekend’s visiting the local bakery and coffee shop Malones, it was a family treat. Even at such a young age she remembers the dazzle of the beautiful homemade cakes and the charm of it all.
This is what inspired Clare to bake.

‘I literally remember leaning with both hands against the shop window, looking in awe at the beautiful fresh cream cakes on display, they made me so happy’

In a twist of fate Clare was diagnosed Coeliac in 2008 and devastated by the news at the time she stopped baking. However, her passion for baking stayed strong and after desperately missing the pleasure it gave her she relearnt to bake using Gluten Free products and has now mastered the art!

More recently, in 2016 (after two spinal surgeries and numerous hospital visits over a heart scare) we decided life is just too precious, and believed it was time to follow our dream.

Together we love to travel around seeking out some of the finest Tea Room’s this country has to offer and enjoying the occasion of Afternoon Tea. This love sparked a desire and passion in us to create our very own indulgent Afternoon Tea experience and to open our very own Vintage Tea Room.

‘Once we received the keys we began refurbishing this beautiful Grade 2 listed building, lovingly restoring it to its current state of grace. It was so easy to envisage, as it had always been in my head and heart since I was just a little girl’

The perfect location
We fell in love with Rutland immediately, so much so that after our first visit together we returned every day for a week! It was here we found our beloved Tea Room in Oakham and so our new life began.

A brief history of Oakham in Rutland and our neighbouring landmarks - The Buttercross and Oakham Castle

Oakham, the county town of Rutland, is a classic English market town, mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. It has a castle, market place, buttercross and stocks, a famous old school, all in close association.

Medieval Buttercross
Once dairy products were sold here and since it was a cross, preaching would occur. At one time there were at least four other crosses in Oakham. Its five-hole stocks are a mystery!

Oakham Castle
This is the great hall of a fortified manor house built for Wakelin de Ferrers between 1180-90. It is recognised as one of the finest examples of domestic Norman architecture in England and is the earliest surviving example of an aisled stone hall in the country. It contains over 200 horseshoes given as forfeits to the Lord of the Manor by peers of the Realm and Royalty passing through Oakham.