Wednesday, 13 November 2019

10th anniversary of Caversham Court Gardens tea kiosk

10th anniversary of Caversham Court Gardens tea kiosk

THE café at Caversham Court Gardens has celebrated its 10th anniversary.

The Tea Kiosk opened in 2009, shortly after Reading Borough Council completed an extensive refurbishment of the riverside beauty spot off Woodcote Road, and has since raised up to £50,000 for the five charities that run it.

They are the Ways and Means Trust, which is based in Peppard and whose chief executive Frances Woolaway also chairs the gardens’ management committee, the Women’s Institute, the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent hospice, the mental health charity Compass Recovery and the Friends of the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

About two or three volunteers from each organisation operate the café on a rota basis up to seven days a week between April and November. Each charity typically raises up to £1,000 a year from selling drinks and home-made cakew..

Mrs Woolaway said: “When the council carried out the refurbishment, it rather wisely decided that it didn’t have the resources to run it so it wanted to allow charities to run it instead. We’ve worked well together ever since.

“Our takings obviously vary with the weather but you just have to go with the flow. On the whole, people are quite hardy.

“I’ve been there since the beginning and sometimes I’ve served people in the spring when there’s a bit of light snow falling, which is beautiful. You don’t get that at regular cafés.

“We’ve very much a part of the community and are proud to have served it for a decade.”

The kiosk holds a five-star rating under the national Scores on the Doors food hygiene scheme.

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