Lifestyle, Travel
Comments 7

The Vintage Coffee Shop Of Your Dreams: Barker Tea House

It feels like years since I last updated my ‘Travel’ section but actually, it has been a good couple of months. (Still quite a long time I know.) I thought I’d change it up a bit, and let you into my new favourite place! If you follow me on Instagram, then you may know of my new obsession so I’m here to talk of it more in detail.

You will also be pleased to know that this post won’t be a one-hit-wonder as next month I will be traveling to Rome for a few days! So expect more travel-related posts in the next month and a bit. I hope to cover Preparation for Traveling type of posts before I actually go traveling (thinking ahead guys…) so stay tuned for that too. 🙂


Featured in this post: 

Barker Tea House located in the High Street Arcade in Cardiff

(There is also another Barker’s in another arcade across town. Popular you see.)

I love coffee. I love tea too but that’s not so much of a thing that I purchase outside of my home. Coffee shops are rapidly expanding across the UK and well…globally I would like to say. It’s crazy. I guess I can’t blame them because a cup of coffee sells very well and even if you don’t like coffee, there’s something for everyone. It also seems very socially acceptable to go buy a cup of coffee and sit on your own. For hours. (With a book or laptop because why not?) Just an observation.

(My signature drink to order is a good chai latte if you must know.)

But the environment to drink coffee hardly feels authentic anymore as duplicates of Starbucks, Costa, Caffe Nero and Coffee #1 keep on multiplying. Been there, done that.

And depending on which chain of coffee shop you’ve chosen to enter, the setting can sometimes feel dreary rather than ambient. Cold rather than relaxing. It doesn’t take away how good a coffee shop date can be with a friend, co-worker or lover because good company wins but it can be better.

Recently, I’ve been going to a new place every week. It’s not so much ‘new’ in my memory as I’ve always known of it but it’s definitely new in my experience.

Welcome to Barker’s.


Barker’s Tea House follows a French vintage cake and coffee shop type of setting.  Grandeur with its high ceiling, warm with its ambient lighting.

If you wish, you can high-tea here but it’s quite pricey. For one person it’s £20 and for two it’s £35. I haven’t jumped the gun yet because I think it’s a bit too much and really something you need an empty stomach for… But I’ve seen the cake tiers and they look so pretty!

Breakfast and brunch is also available at Barker’s though I haven’t tried either.


Can we take a moment to appreciate the large menus? If typography is your thing, you will love the whole aesthetic in Barker’s. Not to forget, they really go all the way with the decor. Plus it all gels together nicely.

In fact, you can just skip to the drinks menu and realise just how much authentic choice there is. I typically have only ever ordered the Chai Latte but I’ve heard that their milkshakes are popular. There’s also a great selection of teas including fruit teas, a great selection of hot chocolate and of course, there’s coffee.


Each round table is decorated the same way: a lit tea-light candle,a bottle-vase with a rose and a floral pot filled with cubed sugars (if you’re feeling sweet). That’s not the highlight though – the sofas are. They are actually the comfiest sofas I’ve ever sat on. You just melt in it and never want to leave once you’re sat down.

Some days, it can be quite quiet as above, but there are other days where the tea house is simply booming but have managed to find a seating space downstairs. Unfortunately, yesterday was a no-go as it was even more busy! It’s a great feeling to know that your favourite place is popular though. 🙂


My lovely mum enjoying herself at Barker’s. I’ve even convinced her to try Chai Latte and now she loves it! And if you’re wondering, yes – that’s a lit vintage desk lamp on our table.

I forgot to add that there is seating outside but it’s actually not used very much at all. Maybe in the summer?


One of the other delicacies of having a Chai Latte here is that they’re in mason jar cups (filled to the brim!)  rather than in your typical plain mug or glass cup. It’s placed on a vintage-decorated plate (as above) with a co-ordinating spoon. Definitely Instagram-worthy.


I told you the ceilings were high, didn’t I? There’s also an upstairs too but I’ve yet to visit as it’s not always open. That’s fine though because my eyes remain transfixed on the William Morris style wallpaper! And that glass box? It’s a tea room.

In whichever seating space you end up in, there’s just a lot to look at inside the tea house. From the wallpaper, to the hanging lights to the wall decor. It’s all there. Some inspiration for your dream home perhaps?


Possibly my favourite part are the stairs. Very dreamy, don’t you think? If I could, I’d have this style in my dream house! Upstairs lead to another seating area, and downstairs lead to the restrooms which regretfully, I don’t have images of but are the most beautiful restrooms I’ve come across. Vintage Vibes all the way.

So you see, there is still some authenticity left in the coffee shop industry – you just have to really go find it!

Have you come across any coffee shops or even patisseries, like this? Please let me know as I’d love to explore more in the future!

What’s your take on coffee shops? What do you normally order?

 Comment below, and I’ll see you on Sunday for another post! 

Take care. ❤ 🙂

Follow me here:

Bloglovin: Hoi Yin Li
Twitter: @ahoyhoi
Instagram: @hoiyinli
Pinterest: judyyinli
Tumblr: hoiyinli


  1. Those leather chairs look super inviting! How sweet is your mum?! 🙂 That mug of chai latte looks very comforting… that’s a massive amount of latte! 😮

    • Those leather chairs are seriously from another planet! So, so comfortable. Not those horrible stiff chairs you get in other places where sitting actually becomes a problem.

      Haha thank you. She can be really cute at the best of times.

      For sure! That chai latte definitely takes some time to finish…but worth it!

  2. Oh this place looks so amazing and the chai tea looks so yummy! I understand the feeling that some cafes aren’t all that great anymore. I do love me some Starbucks but it always is jam packed and the environment is anything but relaxing.

    Reine | Sincerely Reine

    • I actually haven’t had a Starbucks in the longest time! I really should go sometime because I have forgotten how it tastes like! >.<

      Yeah. Because it's such a big chain, there are always people who will stop by. A bit like McDonald's. Glad you understand and thanks for stopping by and reading! 🙂

    • It’s soooo nice 🙂 It can get really busy though in the afternoons around 2pm and I guess word gets around because it’s so unique.

      • I think all coffee shops get busy around that time 😅. There are around 6 coffee shops in the small town where I live…they are always busy though which is good to see- people need their hot drinks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s