A York tearoom isn’t letting a little thing like a flood separate its customers from its cakes.
The ingenious team at Tea By The Lock in Naburn are planning to bring people in… by boat!
Its position next to the river at Naburn lock means the café is susceptible to the floods.
The team are used to closing up when the waters rise then reopening after a good mop up a few days later.
But the increased frequency of the floods means Tea By The Lock has had to shut more often than before. So they have brought in a boat service in order to reopen to customers more quickly.
The café itself is now warm and dry again after the river levels subsided. But the lane leading to Tea By The Lock is still underwater.
However, as soon as the levels drop far enough, manager Piers Winder is going to initiate the boat service – possibly this weekend.
When the service starts, anyone wanting to sample the café’s tea, coffee, sandwiches, cakes and other delights can get in touch via the Facebook page.
Then Piers will bring the sturdy BIC boat to them at the top of the lane, and transport them to the tearoom by wading through the water, pulling the boat behind him.
This service will start when the water is not any higher than his knees, as a safety precaution. And that could be as soon as tomorrow (Saturday, 16 December).
“We can take two people at a time,” Piers told YorkMix. “We have two lifejackets. And it only takes five minutes to get through.”
The trip is worth it. “It’s so tranquil and peaceful down here in flood,” he said. “All you can hear is the water going by.
“I just love it. It’s definitely different to a normal place of work!”
This will be the third time Tea By The Lock has offered the boat service. “People love it,” Piers said.
“We had one afternoon tea party booked, and they thought we were going to cancel it. Instead, we offered them the boat service, and they thought it was amazing.
“One of the ladies said she’d never forget it. It’s one of the most unique ways she’s ever been able to get cake and coffee.”
The freshly-baked treats are all created by the tearoom owner, Ruth Richards. And supervisor Sophie Taylor-Bolton is the other member of the team.
So if you’re looking for a unique, pre-Christmas experience, check out Tea By The Lock this week!