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The Bears Trading Company Tea Rooms

Home > Whitstable > Cafes | Coffee | Ice Cream | Lunch | Tea
by Susan Hambidge (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Kent in the UK. Visit one of my pages at
Published January 24th 2020
A lovely place for an ice-cream dessert in Tankerton
Tankerton is a small seaside town walking distance from Whitstable in Kent. Tankerton Slopes is a grassy area overlooking the sea, and The Bears can be found one street inland from this much-visited landmark. It's in amongst the small selection of local shops on the Tankerton Road.

The Bears, tearoom, coffee shop, Tankerton, Kent
The Bears Trading Company in Tankerton

A tearoom, ice cream parlour and gift shop in one

It has to be said, I have walked past The Bears many times and I have never been tempted inside. From the front, it is hard to see what the set up is like and that has put me off. Yesterday, however, I decided to be more open-minded and give the place a try.

I was surprised to find how large the interior is, it stretches back a long way and there are plenty of tables of different sizes. When we arrived mid-afternoon there were several tables occupied with a mixture of people and ages. Many enjoying lunch and others having a coffee or tea with a slice of cake.

A waitress immediately welcomed me and my partner and we found a nice table and menu straightaway.

The Bears, tearoom, coffee shop, Tankerton, Kent
The front area and ice cream selection at The Bears in Tankerton

Tea for two

On the menu were sandwiches, sweet and savoury scones, soup, waffles, pancakes and a choice of handmade cakes and muffins. There are ice cream desserts too. I just had a pot of tea as we'd already eaten but the cakes looked incredible!

the Bears, tearoom, coffee shop, Tankerton, Kent
A lovely small pot of tea

The interior of The Bears is styled like a North American/Canadian mountain cabin with antler ceiling lights, chunky wooden chairs and wrought-iron wood burners. It's cosy, welcoming and dark. There is a small garden outside as well.

The off-putting thing for me was all the teddy bears on every horizontal surface, most of them for sale. I cannot imagine buying one of the bears, how do you browse? Do you just squeeze past a diner to grab one for a closer look? Or do you ask them to pass it to you? And if you have children with you, they must constantly be pestering you to buy them the nearest specimen. I didn't see anyone purchasing one while I was there, but maybe others are not discouraged like me.

the Bears, tearoom, coffee shop, Tankerton, Kent
There are lots of teddy bears for sale inside

The staff at The Bears were lovely and the tea was perfect. The food I could see being served looked delicious and beautifully presented. The prices are very reasonable and they are offering something a little bit different from all the other places around, which is refreshing.

I think I would go here again for tea and a cake, but perhaps in warmer weather when I could try the garden. And I definitely want to try one of their ice creams in summer!
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Why? Tea, coffee, cake and ice-cream
When: Tues to Saturday 9.30am to 4pm
Phone: 01227 264950
Where: 134 Tankerton Road Tankerton Whitstable Kent CT5 2AN
Cost: 3 to 6
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