Highdown Tea Rooms to take it '˜day by day' as petition gathers support

A petition to save Highdown Tea Rooms has reached more than 4,250 signatures after being set up last Wednesday (June 27).

Tuesday, 3rd July 2018, 11:21 am
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:09 pm
Manager of Highdown Tea Rooms, Donna Lewington. Photo by Derek Martin Photography. SUS-180626-191026008

News of the popular tea rooms’ closure was met with an outpouring of disbelief on social media following its announcement last Monday (June 25).

Originally set to close last Sunday, the café’s operators planned to continue on a day-to-day basis as talks between solicitors continue.

“We’ve been given no details about why they are closing it,” he said.

“We are trying to negotiate a slightly longer termination date and until then we are taking it day by day.”

Mr Grafton and his partner Donna Lewington, who has ran the tea rooms for more than 12 years, said they have had an emotional weekend.

“Some people came who haven’t been here for years to say goodbye,” he said.

“There have been lots of tears.”

The future remains unclear, but Mr Grafton insists the pair are keen to stay in hospitality and even remain in Highdown Gardens if possible.

“I think we are performing an important service for the gardens,” he said.

“We would like to continue to provide that.”

The building’s owner, Dominion Hospitality – which also owns Highdown Hotel – has been contacted for comment.