Put your head round the wooden partitions and you're bound to spot Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard having a brief encounter. Or maybe that tinkling in the chandeliers is caused by a Bulgarian secret agent having a fight with James Bond in the next compartment.
It's that mixture of genteel and conspiratorial that makes the Francis Tearooms such an experience. This throwback to the forties and beyond has so many nice touches: glimpses in the many mirrors, stained glass casting a soft light, embroidered teacloths.
The menu matches, of course. Try a selection of 'reception sandwiches' or choose from three kinds of rarebit. No wartime spirit in the cream teas: these excellent scones come with a hefty pot of homemade strawberry jam and swirls of cream.
Don't bother with the fancy choice of teas - just take the regular kind, poured rich and orange through a strainer of course, this is leaf tea - and savour.
Francis Tearooms, South Street, Scarborough, open 9.30am-4pm Tues to Sat
- Published in HT Mashup: Reviews