Restaurant trends come and go, but afternoon tea endures. When David and Sharon Ott purchased Brambles English Tea Room five years ago, they became part of a Naples legacy dating back to 1995. One of the secrets to Brambles’ longevity is the diversified menu. Nearly half the clientele orders afternoon tea, and there are five variations. Brambles also offers a wide range of lunch choices, from traditional English favorites such as shepherd’s pie and Cornish beef pasties, to sandwiches, salads, house-baked pastries, and three types of quiche.
“The atmosphere transports customers back to England,” says David Ott. “They like to reminisce about their time there. A lot of people are attracted to British life, and the royal family is very popular right now.”
The restaurant has a loyal core of regulars, along with an even more devoted staff (the head cook has been there 18 years, and several servers are close behind). The real star of the show, however, is Mr. Brambles, a stuffed bear who wandered in one day, found a home, and never left. He’s been joined by Mrs. Brambles and two offspring. Any of the four can be reserved as dining companions. For those who become attached and want to adopt Mr. Brambles, replicas are sold in the gift shop—along with 60 varieties of tea, mugs, teapots, books, and specialty items from the U.K.