As Kirstie Allsopp sets out on a mission to find Britain’s Best Teashop, she discusses her love of Notting Hill, which local teashop gets her vote and why it really does come down to Location, Location, Location…
It strikes me as pretty special and, as someone who invests a lot of time in Notting Hill, downright rewarding to hear Kirstie Allsopp sing the praises of the area. I mean, she is the queen of Location, Location, Location after all, so I can’t think of a better person to solidify it as one of the best locations in the country.
With all of her family in close proximity in Notting Hill, she calls it Allsopp and Anderson (her husband’s name) land. ‘I love that everything is in walking distance,’ she says. ‘The hill and the greenery in the area is what makes it desirable.
‘We are the worst house in the best street, which is the advice I give everyone to take. Don’t worry about kerb appeal because it could end up getting you into the best location. It’s what you see when you look out.’
With the 23rd series of Location, Location, Location hitting the screens now, Allsopp is a woman who keeps busy. But, as she tells me as I settle down in her Notting Hill home for a cup of tea, she will only take part in projects that she truly believes in.
As we start chatting, Allsopp tells me how interesting it has been putting together her new cookbook, Kirstie’s Real Kitchen. But perhaps most interesting is her collaboration with Clipper Teas, whom she has teamed up with in order to find Britain’s Best Teashop this autumn. It’s no secret that Allsopp loves the British craft scene and everything quintessentially British so this recent partnership seems to make perfect sense.
Clipper Teas, known for its extensive range of delicious teas, is proud to announce the launch of the first ever awards and felt Allsopp was the bastion of Britishness, perfect for the role of ambassador.
‘It was one of those projects that comes along and just makes sense. I’ve been a Clipper fan ever since the brand launched and I am honoured to be part of this competition,’ says Allsopp.
‘I always think that anything that involves utilising my experience of going around the country is a good thing. Phil and I are often waiting for filming or downright cold so there are always two or three sections of Location, Location, Location where we are in teashops. There are more pubs than teashops in the UK so I’m hoping that as ambassador I can convince people to create more.
I went to a lovely teashop recently and they were doing a lot of stuff to support charity and it made it come together. It’s what I would like to do when I’m older, set up my own little teashop
‘People want independent cafés and something that they become invested in,’ says Allsopp. ‘I went to a lovely teashop recently and they were doing a lot of stuff to support charity and it made it come together. It’s what I would like to do when I’m older, set up my own little teashop.’
So what makes a good teashop for Allsopp? ‘It has to have a small but varied collection of cakes, perhaps a good brownie and a couple of things that are wheat and sugar free,’ she says. ‘I, for one, want to see something savoury like a cheese scone. I am a sucker for a coffee and walnut cake too.’
And does she have a favourite teashop in Notting Hill? ‘Teas Me in Ladbroke Grove,’ she says. ‘I’ll go there after dropping the kids at school – I love it.’
When it comes to location, it’s hard to beat Notting Hill with its handsome stucco façades and all those mysterious, tucked away mews. And when it comes to Location, Location, Location, Allsopp believes the reason the TV show is now in its 18th year is because of human curiosity: ‘People love seeing inside other peoples’ houses,’ she says. ‘It’s the desire to see inside their lives.’
Vote for your favourite tea shop in the Clipper Tea Awards at clipper-teas.com. Voting closes on 9 October 2017