By: Lauren T. Mouat
The Roman summer is finally here and I’m trying to get used to the skin-tingling sun and humidity (complete with sudden and tenacious thunderstorms) though when I said to a taxi driver recently, “Che caldo!” he responded, “Meh, not really.” Whether you’re like me and not quite used to Roman summers or you just want an excuse to pamper yourself, I recommend popping into Babington’s Tea Rooms where you’ll be treated to a delicious buffet lunch, delectable deserts, and a welcome oasis of air conditioning.
The normal interior of white walls and Tudor-style wood timbers reminiscent of many a British tea room has been transformed into a tropical atrium-like salon for the summer. Decorated with palm leaves and rattan window shades, entering Babington’s back lunch room transports you away from the crowds, the traffic, and the heat into a cool, exotic garden. Oh yes, and you’ll be serenaded by the recorded tweets and chirps of little birds coming from the painted ceiling.
Babington’s describes itself as a little corner of England in Rome and it has filled that role since it’s opening in 1893 when two young women came to Rome with the intention of opening a tea shop for the flourishing British community. Isabel Cargill and Anna Maria Babington were so successful that a year after opening Babington’s moved to its incredible location directly to the left of the Spanish Steps and there it has remained, catering to a wide array of clientele from weary tourists to celebrities like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Monica Bellucci, and Liam Neeson.
Cool off, relax, enjoy the food and the mini-cheese-cake cups. And of course, be a part of 120 years of history and have a glass of the refreshing mint iced tea before you wander back out for a late afternoon stroll through Piazza di Spagna.