I run the UK’s biggest royal-themed tea room – punters love it and the Queen did too | The Sun

THE UK's biggest royal-themed tea room is loved by locals and was even given the royal "seal of approval".

Amy Walsh, 35, runs Cup a Char in Stafford and has almost 1000 items of royal memorabilia in her award-winning tearoom.

The businesswoman first opened the vintage tea room in 2016 but was burgled shortly after.

Thieves broke in through a vent, and while they only found £16 on the premises, all of the memorabilia she had at the time was smashed.

The crime attracted attention from the local media and it was from that point Amy said the collection started to "evolve" with donations from the public.

She said: "I made a crown out of all the broken pieces of china and people kept on bringing in their own royal pieces and giving them to us. 

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"We began to become more royal-themed and applied to the palace for their “seal of approval” which came in the form of a letter from the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting in 2019. 

"Now we have close to 1,000 royal items and it feels a bit like a museum but people seem to like it."

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The "seal of approval" meant Cup of Char could include speciality teas with names such as Sovereign, Jubilee, Coronation and Monarch. 

During lockdown, Amy covered the large wall behind the serving area with an incredible array of newspaper and magazine clippings going back to the abdication crisis of 1937. 

"I just love looking at all the pictures on the walls," said customer Jackie Girling, 62.

"It brings back so many memories and I could spend all day in here looking at all the bits and pieces. 

"Apart from that, the staff are very friendly, it is very clean, the food is always beautifully presented and it’s not too expensive."

Her friend and former NHS colleague Jean Bowkett, 71, said: "I love the name – Cup of Char.

"It goes back to the old days. It’s really homely."

Saturday’s coronation is set to be a huge day at Cup of Char.

TVs will be installed and two new portraits of Charles will be erected, one a particular rarity as it shows the then 21-year-old prince with a moustache.

Customers will be offered a King’s Feast, featuring prosecco, a pork pie, sandwiches, cream tea, red, white and blue cheesecakes and much more besides.

They will also launch a New King cocktail with official Buckingham Palace sloe gin.  

The tearoom will also be providing patriotic-themed takeaway food for those celebrating at street parties or preferring to eat their fancies in the countryside 

Amy, a former wedding planner, said: "My Nan was a serious royalist who was very fond of the Queen and Princess Diana.

"I remember as a teenager going with her to see the incredible floral displays at Kensington Palace after Diana’s death. 

She added: "We keep a diary with all their birthdays and anniversaries, and we send them a card with some pictures of the place and they usually respond with a letter.

"We have two letters from Harry and Meghan and perhaps the most special is one from Eugenie which was actually hand-written."

Surprisingly, some of the customers don’t even like the Royal Family but they do love the food and friendliness.  

One 62-year-old, who asked not to be named, said: "The royals aren’t my thing.

"I’d get rid of them but I do like the way this place does their sandwiches.

"They are always so fresh and the staff are just lovely and attentive and make you feel special."

Janet Wood, 78, a former cleaner, is a big fan of Cup of Char, and she is really looking forward to this Saturday, she said: "I remember the Queen’s Coronation.

"We had street parties and I remember going to the pub to get out of the rain. 

"Personally I like Will and Kate.

"I think they will make a lovely King and Queen, I would have liked Charles to step down and make way for them."

Phillip and Lyn Lower love the ambience of the tearoom.

Lyn said: "‘I love all the photos and I am very excited for Saturday.

"My oldest grandson is in the RAF and he will be on parade in London. 

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‘We do like the royals. My younger grandchildren are doing their Duke of Edinburgh awards.

"They do a lot for young people.

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