When many people think of Louisiana, they think of the French settlements. Tim Lantrip has long been aware of the Northshore’s English ancestry, and he was raised drinking traditional English tea with his grandmother. Inspired by that personal history, Tim and his wife opened the English Tea Room.
The Union Jack flies from the porch of the bungalow-style cottage in downtown Covington, and a vintage red phone booth takes residence outside as naturally as it would on the streets of London. Inside the English Tea Room, a collection of vintage and new china is perched on open shelves and in cupboards—teacups and saucers, beautiful pots, and silver spoons, though none breathe a stuffy air of formality while standing among cardboard cutouts of Downton Abbey characters and Alice in Wonderland murals. The carefree whimsy of the tradition is not lost on Tim, as he is an aficionado of the tea ritual performed in the United Kingdom in palatial to perfectly pedestrian settings for ages.
“We don’t do fast food here,” says Tim. He believes in the pause in the day provided by the tea tradition, and he’s acquired quite a company of tea-drinkers and scone-nibblers who would agree with his ideology of slow living.
And while so much of Covington quietly reflects upon the slower pace and simpler times in its history, there is an interesting balance in the past, the present, and the future found in Covington. Perhaps it’s the simplicity of the past that encourages a path to the future.