Babingtons Tea rooms have been one of the “must see” sight of Rome for visitors since opening in 1893.
Situated at the foot of the Spanish Steps on the Piazza Di Spagna at the heart of the tourist circuit, Babingtons was started by two English ladies, Anna Maria Babington and Isabel Cargill. The area had come to prominence years earlier as the meeting place for English travellers away on their Grand Tour of Europe. Shops and a variety of services grew up to services the needs of these travellers to the extent that for a while it became known as Little Britain.
Curiously at that time tea was taken in pharmacies so the two ladies felt there was a need to introduce the real English tea drinking experience. The Tea Rooms survived both wars intact and are now run by descendants of Elizabeth Cargill and visited not only by tourists but by Italian artists, writers, politicians and actors.
Recently Babington’s has begun a programme of updating the menus, introducing new products into the gift shop and adapting the advertising to appeal to the modern visitor. Minale Tattersfield has provided the brand strategy and design execution.
A new positioning has been developed centred on the eccentricity of the English and the notion that in England everything stops for tea A new range of teas have been introduced with each pack featuring a different but very bizarre Victorian invention. The menus covers and press advertisements also feature the theme of English eccentricity. There is a new range of merchandise available in the gift shop; attractively packaged home produced jams, decorated place mats, shopping bags, aprons, dish cloths and tea caddies all feature modern stylish designs yet with a Victorian twist to them.
The new approach and the new products really add to the experience. So when in Rome do as the Romans (and all the tourists) do and visit Babington’s Tea Rooms.