Our Story

Our team is SMALL but it is MIGHTY!

So firstly, the name...

We are NOT an Alice in Wonderland themed establishment (we don't serve afternoon tea) the cafe is named after our daughter Alice. Alice came along in June 2015 and made us think about becoming self-employed again to allow us to spend more time with her alongside doing something we love. The space at West Park was just what we were looking for so we made the leap, acquired a start-up loan from Virgin and put all of our time, effort, dedication and money into making the cafe great again. We wanted the cafe to incorporate who we are as a family, creating a cool and unique space full of things we love. We sourced furniture from up and down the country, found local suppliers, got Bobzilla on board to fill our shop with colour, bought a LOT of tiny teapots, recruited an amazing team and in September 2017 took the brown paper down from the windows and let the world in!

There was a crucial element to our adventure however and without Paul's agreement that he was on board we wouldn't be where we are. Let us just put this out there...PAUL IS A GENIUS! We are so lucky to have such an inspired, creative chef as part of our team. Paul makes almost everything in the TWA kitchen from scratch from sauces right through to making fresh bread and cakes daily. Not just a part of our TWA team Paul is also our brother-in-law so there's no escape for him!

Sit and enjoy Bobzilla's vibrant work
Is that the coffee machine?
Ahoy There! Come and read our black board

Alongside Paul we have a great team of staff working for us and we think they love working for us as much as we love having them. We tell them regularly that we couldn't manage without them, feed them and sometimes give them time off. Lyndsey, Beccy, Meg, Hannah and Rachael are the rest of Team with Alice and we're think they're pretty great.

Staff aside, we have the constant support of our fab family and friends as well as Alice's amazing childminder Sonia who make it possible to keep our little shop going. You may see family members or friends helping out from time to time because that's how we roll and now and again Alice will even pop in to say hello.

We are passionate about what we do. We want all customers who visit to have the best time ever. You WILL pay more at TWA for your visit than you would at other establishments available BUT please remember: we are an independent, we only use the best ingredients, we give free smiles with every visit, we will always fuss your children or dog or appreciate your handbag. We will chat if you want or bugger off if you want us to! We will sometimes play music with swears in and try to learn your name and what you like to drink. We will change things you're not happy with, get you more milk, we will be honest with you when we tell you you're going to wait for your food (and hurry Paul along on your behalf) We will encourage you to eat cake, have another brew, try new things and stay a little longer...we just want everyone to get the most from their visit and 'get' what we're all about.

Come along, say hello, ask questions, EAT and make up your own minds; we're pretty sure you won't be disappointed.

Mark & Mary x

Visit Us

4 Tillage Green, West Park
Darlington, Co Durham

Tea with Alice

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01325 360397


Tue – Sat 8 am – 4.30pm
Food served Tue – Sat 8 am – 4 pm
Sunday / Monday Closed