REGINA -- After more than 10 years in Regina, the Vintage Tea Room is closing up shop partially because of the pandemic.

The business, which sold tea and British goodies, opened in 2009. Owners Doug and Karen Howden started it as a retirement job.

“We loved all things British. I’m British background. (Doug) has some British background as well,” said Karen. “And there was no place you could go for a proper cup of tea.”

Karen said the tea room quickly became more than just a place for visitors to grab a bite to eat or a refreshment.

“We would do our Christmas tea. We would do our Mother’s Day tea. We did the coronation tea, and just decorate up and have special menus,” she said.

Adorned with British Royals memorabilia and Victoria-style furniture, the tea room gained a loyal following of visitors.

“It was just a really nice place for older people, people in senior’s homes,” said Jody Ward, a former employee. “We’d have so many reservations, that (Karen) would have to tell people, ‘If you’re coming in, you’re going to have to be gone by this time.’”

Karen said their age, coupled with the restrictions put in place because of the pandemic, led them to make the tough decision to close the tea room.

“It just wouldn’t have been enough clientele in our spot, with the restrictions on the number of people, to have been able to have done it properly,” she said.

The business is for sale, but with no one interested in taking over the tea room at this point, almost everything must go.

“Well, our secret recipe for scones, it’s still secret at this moment,” Karen said with a laugh.

She said what she’ll miss most is the visitors that often felt like family.

“People that even travelled around the world, they’d come back and say, ‘This was better than any place we ever visited in Britain.’ Just lovely memories from it all,” she said.

Items at the tea room will be for sale until the end of the month.