Each month, we run a competition with our wonderful stockists, to find our stockist of the month! This month, their challenge was to jazz up their summer drinks menu with iced drinks, and our winner was The Guardhouse in Brixham - find out a bit more about them below.
How long have you been a teapigs stockist and what made you choose our tea?
The Guardhouse has been a tea room for over 100 years, but in 2010 a light and airy modern extension transformed it into a smart modern café / restaurant. Our focus is on providing the best quality food and drinks and teapigs was the best tea we could find!
If you could only have one teapigs tea for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
Obviously we sell mostly everyday brew but our staff and customers love the less common flavours as well. Lucy’s favourite is fennel and liquorice; Diane loves the earl grey strong, Alex prefers the chai…
How do you use teapigs matcha?
We’ve only recently begun experimenting with matcha but our head barista Sandra is currently offering a matcha latte and a matcha smoothie as summer special drinks. With her perfect latte art they are a real treat for the eyes as well as the body!
What made you want to set up shop?
Our café is in a stunning position, in a clifftop nature reserve within the well-preserved remains of a Napoleonic-era fortress. It’s a lovely place to come and spend time no matter what time of year or what the weather is and every day is different: some days we see dolphins or even whales out to sea; other days the wildflowers are carpeting the headland; and in wild storms the sea spray can hit the café, even though we’re 100m above sea level. We’re very lucky to be able to work in such a beautiful spot and try to make the café live up to its location!
Have there been any hiccups along the way?
Working in a nature reserve brings some challenges… a couple of years ago we planned to start running restaurant evenings in the café (which usually closes at 5pm) but have had to cancel these in the summer months in order to protect a colony of rare Greater Horseshoe Bats which live in the nearby cliffs.
Have you ever had any exciting celeb customers?
Local Devon drama “The Coroner” took over the café in 2016, turning it temporarily into a village hall. A little further back there is a rumour that Napoleon Bonaparte was put ashore in Brixham en route to his imprisonment on St Helena and we’d love to think he was temporarily restrained in the Guardhouse…
Apart from tea (obviously!) what is your best seller?
We sell wonderful coffees, roasted locally and lovingly made by our expert baristas. Our cakes, made locally by Karen Miller, are truly spectacular with hundreds of inventive flavour combinations (how do you fancy lime and coconut, courgette and walnut, or spiced butternut squash cake?). Our kitchen is busy throughout the day with everything from ‘The Guardhouse’ full English breakfast to soup to Dani’s current selection of homemade seasonal specials.
What’s the craziest customer request you’ve ever had?
Hmmm… We generally don’t think of a customer request as crazy, as we want to meet everyone’s wishes! But we have certainly had some crazy GIFTS from customers… last year one brought us a pumpkin at Halloween so large it needed two of our staff to carry it; a local lady unexpectedly made and sent us a strong of “Guardhouse Café” bunting, and another turned up with a bucket full of fresh mackerel caught just 50m away from the café which became a smoked mackerel pate the following day. We’re very lucky to have such lovely customers!