Babington’s Tea Rooms In Rome
Babington’s Tea Rooms in Rome were opened in 1893 by Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria Babington, two
young English ladies of good family who had come to Italy’s capital intent upon opening a tea room and
literary salon for the Anglo-Saxon community.
The rooms have remained practically the same ever since, and continue to witness events of cultural and
historic importance. Having survived two world wars, numerous recessions and the advent of fast food,
Babington’s – nowadays run by Cargill’s descendants – has welcomed royal families, politicians,
journalists, actors and cultural figures who continue to make their
appointments for breakfast, tea, lunch and brunch.
The rooms remain synonymous with the art of serving English afternoon tea (there are 30 flavours of tea
on offer) in accordance with the very finest Anglo-Saxon tradition, but also offer a menu full of exquisite
sweet and savoury delights.
Babington’s is decorated in typical 19th century style and within its walls some decorations, prints and
furniture remain from that period as well as a huge fireplace which even today is lit on cold winter days.
The flooring was laid in 1930 and is a handsome example of herringbone oak parquet. After an extensive
historical and architectonic refurbishment of the façade of the 17th century building, Babington’s has
reopened with an entrance directly from the Spanish Steps(Tuscany Villa Rental).
The reconstruction of the building by the architect De Sanctis, approved by the local authority responsible
for such matters, has allowed the façade to return to its original form, as shown in contemporary
paintings, and symmetry with the façade of the Keats and Shelley Memorial House facing it across the
steps to be restored.
The shop in front of the Tea Rooms has been redecorated with a large and beautifully lit shelving cabinet
in light coloured wood and three wonderful chandeliers(Villas in Veneto) in the form of crowns, a
reminder of how in regally British fashion one breathes (and eats!) in this privileged corner of the city.
Leone II and Leone III (in the same building) and Teatro are ideal apartments in Rome from which to
enjoy Babington’s and all the myriad other delights of Rome. Gucci, Bulgari and the rest are just around
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