Swapping pints for cuppas in pub’s pop-up tea room

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Mike Downer, landlord of the Royal Oak in Laxfield near Woodbridge has just opened a new pop-up tea room, book exchange and IT Training space in his pub supported and part-funded by Pub is The Hub.

Situated in the pub’s dining room, the pop-up tea room – The Scrumptious Tea Shop – will be available during the day for access to the book exchange, regular IT training for computer and social media novices and a subsidised senior citizens luncheon club.

No stranger to community service, in recent months, the Royal Oak’s dining room has also been the temporary home for the monthly family worship services while Laxfield’s All Saints Church has been closed for repair work to the ceiling.

Laxfield has a population of over 800, consisting of a mix of long established local families and a large number of people who have moved into the area but Mike is particularly keen to encourage the elderly or socially isolated residents to mix with different age groups at the pub.

Pub is The Hub were able to contribute £2,000 toward the cost of computer equipment and for converting the dining room into the pop-up team room from their Community Services Fund while their advisor for East Anglia was also able to provide advice and support.

Mike Downer said: “Pub is The Hub have been wonderful in their support for our ideas here and have made our vision a reality. We hope that villagers will make use of and enjoy these new facilities.”

Pub is The Hub advisor Terry Stork said: “We are delighted to be able to work with Mike in this project to support the fantastic work that he is already doing in the community. He is very committed to bringing different aspects of village life together from pints and prayers to bytes and buns. We wish him and the Laxfield community all the best.”

Also in attendance on the day was local vicar, the Reverend David Burrell, the Chairman of The Parish Council, Tony Oaks and the Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore.

The main photograph shows: Terry Stork, Advisor for Pub is The Hub, Carolyn Nichols, volunteer for the pop-up tea room, Bernard Lee, Advisor for Pub is The Hub and Mike Downer, licensee for the Royal Oak.

The Scrumptious Tea Shop_table 3 Time for a brew_Royal Oak pop-up tea room Royal Oak_guests in pop-up tea room