Historic teahouse brought back from the brink by mum and daughter

An iconic Merseyside tearoom has been rescued after a mother and daughter had breakfast there.

Nostalgia tea room on Lord Street in Southport is now thriving under new ownership after Margaret and Rebecca Richardson recently took over the business. The Tea Room is known for its beautiful view from the first floor and the Victorian outfits the staff wear when serving customers, it remains largely the same but with slight improvements.

Rebecca is from Salford and her mother Margaret is from Wightinton, south Manchester, but both dreamed of a change of direction when they moved to the seaside town 18 months ago. The couple first bought The Vale House guesthouse on Talbot Street when they arrived, but when they called the Nostalgia tea room for breakfast one day, they fell in love.

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When mother and daughter first visited, the then owners had recently announced their decision to leave the business, casting a shadow of doubt over the future of the well-established teahouse. Rebecca said: “We walked into Nostalgia Tea Room for breakfast one day and fell in love with the place.

“We heard the owners were leaving and we thought ‘we have to save this place’. Two weeks later we decided to buy it.

When the business owners arrived in Southport in November 2020, times were different with the coronavirus rampant, but life has since improved as restrictions have eased. Rebecca said: “We moved to Southport because we wanted to be close to the sea, and Southport is a great city to live and work in.

“We love Manchester, but Manchester is very built up now, a bit like London, and we wanted to be somewhere with a different quality of life. Now that we’re at Nostalgia Tea Room, we just want people to realize that we’re open again. Some people think this business has closed, but we are very open.

“We got a lot of phone calls from people asking ‘is everything still the same?’ Even people asking if the furniture is still the same? People love it. We have fantastic staff here. The backbone of the team is still there, including Abbie, Vicki and Nettie.

Margaret Richardson (left) and Rebecca Richardson (right) at Nostalgia Tea Room on Lord Street in Southport

Margaret explained what she enjoys about the North Merseyside resort. She said: “We really wanted everything to stay here as it is. We loved the girls’ uniforms and the Victorian traditions. We even still have all the famous teapots along the shelves. “We love being on Lord Street. It’s beautiful.

Vicki Sutton, who will be working at the Nostalgia Tea Room for 24 years in August, is delighted that Rebecca and Margaret have taken over. She said: ‘I came here straight from school and have been here ever since. I’m so happy that the Nostalgia tea room is still open.

“All the customers are really happy that this place was saved. There are customers who came here even before I started working here, this place is very popular! I spoke to customers this morning who told me they had been coming here for 25 years.

Nostalgia Tea Room is located at 215-217 Lord Street in Southport town centre.

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Dora W. Clawson