With large glass windows looking out onto Derech Bethlehem, shelves filled with colorful tea cups and an aroma of fresh-baked scones, the KumKum Teahouse emits coziness. “This is the kind of place people in Jerusalem have been waiting for,” says Elisheva Levy, the manager and pastry chef at KumKum, which opened this past summer. It was nearly full on a recent winter morning, with customers enjoying plates of scones with jam and clotted cream, as well as hot coffee and tea served in whimsical vintage pots. There is also a classic British-style afternoon tea option, served all day long, which includes a pot of tea along with a three-tiered tower of plates filled with pastries, sandwiches and fresh fruits. The sandwiches are tea-time classics: cream cheese and salmon, egg salad and vegetables.
Later in the day, there is also a soup menu, making it a perfect place to visit no matter what time it is. “We bake the scones and bread-pudding here,” Levy says, explaining the sweet aroma in the main dining area, which has a few tables covered with floral tablecloths.
The shelves that line each side of the room are filled with teas, books, and a large collection of tea cups, pots and other dishes, which are all for sale. There is also a patio surrounded by a garden; this outdoor area is also enclosed during the winter to provide an additional warm place to sit. Surrounded by flowers, lemon and palm trees, sitting in the garden adds to the already elegant experience. For many years, this location was a hummus restaurant.
But after it closed last summer, a local lawyer who lives next door turned it into a teahouse, hiring Levy, originally from England, to run the daily operations and bake the scones. They redecorated, painting the walls a light blue, and furnishing the dining room with fancy tables and cushioned chairs. “It was a dream, really, to provide a place like this, a place to come for a morning cup of tea, or to spend the afternoon,” Levy says. KumKum also offers gluten-free scones, and can prepare all of its menu items, including the afternoon tea trays, for take away. “It’s especially nice to get the takeaway option to use for a picnic,” Levy says. But even those opting for take-away should spend a few minutes inside browsing the tea cup collection and enjoying the aroma of the scones. KumKum is located at 23 Derech Bethlehem in the Baka neighborhood of Jerusalem, and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and on Friday mornings. The phone number is 077-537-3226.
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