Another trip down Glasgow’s Otago Lane, this time to visit Tchai-Ovna: a bohemian teahouse located in a former, early-19th-century stable.

Before we made it inside, I was waylaid by this adorable tabby with little lynx tufts on her ears. She was very sociable and acquiesced to me petting her and taking her photo for about ten minutes.

I’m told that the lane’s bookshop, Voltaire and Rousseau, has a resident feline, and though I’ve never seen one inside, I suspect (from her general affability and complete nonchalance towards strangers) that this might be her.

Inside Tchai-Ovna. The shop is a monument to rampant hipster-ism, but the tea and (all-vegetarian) menu were both exceptional.

John had the dal and I opted for baklava, both of which were delicious. We had, of course, come for the tea though, which is (expectedly) where Tchai-Ovna shines. After perusing the (literal) hundreds of available options, I eventually plumped for apple strudel tea, which – through some Willy Wonka-like miracle – tasted exactly like apple strudel. Generally I find flavoured teas – especially the fruit variety – to have a bitter or astringent quality, but this one was like someone had blended an apple strudel and alchemised it into a translucent liquid.

If I had one complaint, it would be that the staff radiate an unspoken but palpable sense that you’re somehow putting them out by being there. However, since interactions with them are minimal (we were eventually told after 5 minutes of standing at the entrance and being asked, “What’s going on?” that we could sit anywhere we liked, you order for yourself at the kitchen, and the food was brought wordlessly to our table), it had no real bearing on our experience. And if the other teas on the menu are half as good as the apple strudel, I’ll definitely be going back.

Edit: Or not, as the case may be! All evidence seems to point to it having closed in the last week. I understand that the Lane has been under threat for a while now, so it’s a shame to see that large developers have won out over small businesses yet again.

Antler tree spotted on our return journey to the subway.

Spring, it seems, has finally sprung. (And not before time.)

John’s bag was, coincidentally, my birthday present to him this year! I particularly enjoy the fact that we’re both now wearing brown leather backpacks, each of which is a testament to our personal style. (To wit: John is classic elegance and I’m living my dream of one day becoming Lara Croft, haha.)

The watch, however, is his own personal touch (and particularly fitting in light of our erstwhile hipster surroundings).

  1. Markus McD says:

    Very nice, very nice! To me, John’s hair is very Elven 😊 It’s pretty well the colour I want my elvish character to sport!

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