Once upon a time in Little Britain…

Does this sign look familiar, yet somewhat inaccurate? While the seasoned West Villagers of you may be able to place Patchin Place and Minetta Lane, where exactly is Little Britain Boulevard? Well for the time being, this sign takes pride of place in the window of Carry on Tea & Sympathy, our neighbouring produce store.

Have we ever told you the story of Little Britain? No? Well, if you’re sitting comfortably, let us begin… It all began a long time ago (1989, to be precise). Back then Greenwich Village was something of a wilderness, packed with the interesting characters and vibrancy that we’ve grown to love but lacking in a certain something. That something was a bit of sanctuary; a bit of – dare we say it – English refinement. Armed with nothing but a teapot and a vision, Nicky Perry worked tirelessly to bring her tea-making skills from the floor of the London Stock Exchange to the Village.

Very soon, with the help of other Brit and Irish establishments, such as Meyers of Keswick over on Hudson Street, and Fiddlesticks down the way, and numerous expats, the area begun to gain a distinctive British character.

Unrelenting in her quest to carve a piece of home in the West Village, Nicky and her husband Sean, launched a campaign to rename the area ‘Little Britain’. Very soon, the cream of Blighty’s crop was on board, and none other than Richard Branson very kindly endorsed the effort. With his backing, and that of many other supporters, the campaign was able to produce this shiny video:

Although ultimately unsuccessful, city Commissioner Brian Andersson was very kind to gift us this mocked-up street sign to commemorate the campaign.

Modelled by the lovely John Herring

While for the time being the sign remains in our window and the maps don’t yet read ‘Little Britain’, we feel it represents the contribution of the British community in making this a truly special corner of NYC.

God Save the Queen!

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One thought on “Once upon a time in Little Britain…

  1. Pingback: Wall Street Journal – ‘Joss Stone Turns Macy’s Into a Concert Stage’ | Tea & Sympathy

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