Vintage tearoom run by mum and daughter to close

two women in vintage clothing in tearoom

The end of a dream: Sandra Howes with her daughter and business partner Victoria Harazi. - Credit: Archant

An award-winning Norfolk tearoom is closing down permanently because of Covid.

Victoria Harazi, and her mother Sandra Howes, both left their jobs in a newsagents and nursing home to open the Past and Present Vintage Tearoom in Long Stratton in 2017. 

exterior of village tearoom

The Past and Present tearoom which is closing for good because of Covid. - Credit: Archant

But Ms Harazi posted the news on their Facebook page that the pandemic had forced them to close for good.

She said: "It’s with a very heavy heart that I have to announce the tearoom has sadly come to an end due to the current pandemic. It is not financially viable anymore for us to continue with all the restrictions and lockdowns etc in place.

"We have had an amazing four years and we would like to thank each and everyone of you who have supported us and followed our journey with us.

"Winning the award and meeting some really lovely friends and having some lovely special occasions at Past and Present. Who knows one day when this nightmare is over we may pop up again."

Consisting of two rooms, the tearoom was decorated with photographs of Long Stratton over the centuries. Furniture was also vintage, recycled and restored by the pair.

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Alison Thomas, a South Norfolk councillor representing Long Stratton, said: "It's so sad that our wonderful award-winning tearoom is closing for good because of Covid.

"Long Stratton will miss the warm welcome, hot coffee and wonderful food provided by Vicky and her team. Let's hope it's just au revoir and not goodbye."

In 2018, the tearoom was declared the winner of the best cafe category in the Eat Norfolk food and drink awards run by this newspaper.

The news of the closure was greeted by dismay from more than 100 customers on Facebook.

One, Heidi-Jo Swain posted: "I'm so sorry to read this my darlings. Your fabulous business has been a real village highlight. You created a very special setting, served the best food and offered a warm and welcoming ambience that was much appreciated."

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