Hopetoun Tea Rooms – history corrected.

Original post 28 May 2020

Not my pics.

The #HopetounTeaRooms is up for sale, due to a failed expansion into the basement and covid19 – so of course I had to research it’s full history !

Firstly, most of what you see is 1976 pseudo Victoriana (I quite like the wallpaper, but not fussed if it goes).

And going back – it was NOT established by or for #LadyHopetoun in 1892, it gets confused with a small tea room set up by the Ladies Work Association that year when they moved there (it was a charity started in 1881, dedicated to assisting women ‘of gentle culture’ supplement their income by needlework ie. charity for the recently poor). At much the same time Lord and Lady Hopetoun agreed to be patrons, but I can’t see she ever actually went there.

THEN, in July 1894, a ‘society girl’ Miss Chrissie Robertson opened the Hopetoun Tea Room, ‘daintily appointed’, with ‘tinted walls’, furnishing ‘of the most artistic kind’, intended for her society friends – and I found a photo ! Blurry though.

Said to have been in a different shop, and moved here in 1907, the dado and cup rail are very much that date, but the rest, the floral wallpaper and hanging velvet, are 1976, by interior designer Murray Sheldrick (facts from the HV listing). And the mirror ….. no facts, but up top it seems to say 1891, which isn’t any of the relevant dates, so maybe the mirror is 1976 too.

So the #HopetounTeaRoom mirror actually IS 1891 which some of you knew but I had to be shown the proof – thanks @eapeapeapeap ! It was across the arcade originally, looks like part of Mammatt & Sons silversmith and cutlers; but then that’s not the door to that shop, maybe it was part of the acade architecture, a visual highlight since it’s the wall that angles inwards. Don’t know when it was moved, before 1955, but it does look good !

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