My most favourite place ever. Have had sheesha all my life, and they do a good job making it. Blue mist, and mint are by far the best. If you like fruity flavours, watermelon is hands down just brilliant. My favourite tea is the little buddha,but if you prefer the sweeter ones go for fairies blood or mary poppins. Dragon's breath is a lil spicy though, really hits you in the throat.
How have I not reviewed Tchai-Ovna yet? I lived in Glasgow for 7 years and spent most of them studying or working at the University, with it on my doorstep.
So when I was passing through Glasgow for a day trip, and stumbled upon the West End Festival on a sunny afternoon, and was in need of a quiet spot, this was the first place that sprung to mind. Feeling my way by memory, I was right in thinking it was up this random street then right down this random lane which has no signs.
You go up a random street, and turn down that random lane. You'll pass Voltaire and Rousseau, a second hand book shop with some in-shop cats, and a few other stores, then turn right again. No signs at all will lead you to this little oasis of tea, with a hand painted mural of Ganesh on the door, and rickety chairs and trees shading you, and Himalayan peace flags wrapped around the trees, and a small Chinese or Japanese garden to explore.
It's a tea house, let's call it an earthy tea house. It has tea from all over the world, and so it is a wonderful melting pot or perhaps mixed (tea) bag of different ethnic cultures. The food menu has mezze middle eastern platters, door stop sandwiches, soup, chilli and curry. There's Pakistani tea, Indian tea, Chinese tea, Japanese tea, so much tea my eyes went watery just reading the menu.
It took forever for the tea to come. So long that by the time it came I was hungry and cranky (it was a pre-lunch tea spot). But you can't really get too cranky sitting outside under a big tree, with chilled out neighbours sipping their tea, with brightly pained furniture that looks just a little weather worn.
I would have this spot at the bottom of my future garden (as it'll be a big, walled one you see) perhaps even with tea fairies there to serve me tea when I want. You can't get mad that the service is slow as you feel like you're being welcomed as a guest into someone else's house. It's not a café per se. Inside is more like a mooch. It's definitely got that student vibe. Its not neat and tidy, but isn't trying to be. It's delicious tea, in a peaceful environment, and pretty cool staff too.
Tchai Ovna is the kind of place I'll tell my children about in future when I recount how great the west end of Glasgow once was. I'll tell them about the clinking tea cups and the smell of Tchai, the chess I played with their uncles on the decking overlooking the Kelvin, of the animal rights poetry I once heard read over an apple shisha with student friends.
Having also interviewed the charming owner Martin in the past, and kept up with his campaign to Save Otago Lane from a housing development, I will also wax lyrical to my offspring about the history of the tearoom - how Martin created it with friends as a bohemian hub for the arts, without lust for profit, to impress a girl he met while travelling.
For me, the tearoom is irreplaceable as a West End hideaway. The extensive menu of teas exists not only to please the palate, but to bring people of different cultures and ethnicities together. The ethos of the tea room is that, while alcohol divides people and excludes Muslims and other non-boozing cultures, tea unites them. Pakistanis and Brazilians sit next to French people, Jewish people next to Christians and atheists, all enjoying exotic teas from lands they may never visit. Oh, and they play Scrabble together, or chess, or whichever board games at Tchai Ovna' aren't in use.
Mismatched furniture, ornaments collected from across the world, a huge fireplace and friendly staff all make Tchai Ovna a perfect bohemian burrow. It has soul, unlike the franchises with minimalist decor who scribble your name on a cup to pretend they care to know you. It's less like a modern-day coffee house, more like a den you might imagine as a child. A den, filled with tea and good people and music and poetry.
It's one of the few little pockets of Glasgow that makes us seem genuinely cool and not completely insane to international travellers, so it's a travesty we're building flats nearly on top of it.
This is the kind of place you only know about from hearsay or if a friend whisks you off there randomly.
Being a tea snob, I was heavily enthused to come here. It's very hidden and once you walk down the right path to get here, there's a few other things that will catch your eye: a bookshop and a huge apartment complex. It's awkward seeing that while you're sitting down, looking at windows. But, it's really not that bad. It's really quiet, too. What's sad is that the apartment complex people want to take the land of Tchai-Ovna and tear the place down. I don't know the status of what is going on with that, but for now, Tcha-Ovna is here to stay.
I sat outside and spoke quietly, not because the sign told me to do so but because it just seemed right. I got the Mate Rancho tea today which, in my opinion, was rich in flavor but not the kind of flavor I would get again. I also had a lovely Indian curry dish. It tasted very authentic.
I would highly recommend this place for hanging out, studying, and for a good meal.
It could be the hippy, flower-child in me - or, more likely, the Mad Hatter in me - but Tchai Ovna is exactly my cup of tea (wow, unintentional puns!). It's like going to my own special, mellow tea party every time. I love that none of the furniture goes with anything, the art on the walls, the many different teapots, the smell of incense, and the selection of chill-out tunes drifting in the background. I especially love the Zen Den, but it can rarely be procured.
With a selection of teas from all of the tea growing nations of the world, delicious tea recipes, vegetarian menu, and a delightful selection of cakes, a tea lover like me just can't resist. Sometimes, I actually crave their falafel... and their Yogi Yogi Tchai.
Now this place isn't for everyone. Service can be slow, and if you're a coffee drinker, there are only a couple of options for you, but it's so chilled out that I don't care. There have been days that I have lingered from noon until closing, supping tea and munching goodies either with friends or alone with a good book. This is just a fantastic place to relax.
Oh! And they have board games that you can borrow!
If you like quirky places, you should definitely try this place out for yourself.
A city isn't a city if it doesn't have a ramshackle little cafe like this one decorated in eastern religion/student chic, with staff who have at a minimum piercings, tattoos and some sort of funky head wrap. Where I hail from this would be a cafe, probably called something like Mystic Java, and serving obscure Ethiopian and Guatemalan bean juice. But in the land where everyone knows what time "tea time" is (Me: "What time should we meet?" British person: "Oh, around tea time." Me: ...?), the shambolic cafes are going to be tea houses, aren't they?
And so this one is, tucked in a corner off the beaten path of the already off-the-beaten path and student haven that is Otago Lane. There are dozens and dozens of teas on offer, hailing from far-flung lands, brewed with love and care. The ghosts of thousands of incense sticks linger and give the place a lovely exotic smell. And no one has mentioned it and it's not on their website, but they also serve food of both the sweet and savory variety. I can attest that the cakes are just as moist and light as you'd want with a nice cuppa. The prices are a wee bit high considering the laid-back, poor-grad-student vibe, but the quality make it clear it's worth it.
Can't believe Tchaiovna only gets an average 3 and a half stars. 3 stars, my ass! It's not even five stars - it's ten in my eyes!
Step down the lane off Otago Street, take a right, trip over a flower pot, pass by some people smoking flavoured tobacco from a massive bong, greet the tabby cats and transport yourself into a free loving fairyland!
Sit by the roaring fire by winter in a massive, inviting chair, bury yourself on the sofa, sit barefoot on some scattered cushions in the back of the shop or take yourself into the little grove of garden during the summer - Tchaiovna is the house of tea for all seasons. Their staff are surpemely laid back, operating freely rather than facing the enormous pressure that faces cafe workers in a corporate, regimented environment. As free spirited and chilled out as they are they are game for a chat, and your tea/snack always gets there on time.
For food there is homemade soup, sandwiches, salads and a massive plate of hummus and pitta bread (which is a meal in itself). As for the tea, you can flick through the folder full of not only ever tea under the rising sun, but sourced from every country in the world. They even come with a detailed description!
Tchaiovna was threatened by recent development plans for Otago Lane. You can read about it online but many, many people were opposed to the idea. It shows how beloved Tchaiovna is - it's utterly unique to Glasgow, and I've never been anywhere like it in the world. The closest I could get would probably be if I ever go to India and drink tea in a family run cave in the mountains.
It's my mission to get through every tea they have in here. So far I've tried Arctic Fire, Fairies' Blood (which comes complete with real berries), mint, apple strudel, green, chai, tea proven to heel colds when I had a bad dose of the flu (it did work its magic a little) and my favourite so far - a tea leaf which somehow ends up tasting like chocolate! And it doesn't even need any milk!
Amazing. If you're in Glasgow for the long haul or even a short space of time, you have to try Tchaiovna at least once. I'm planning on moving in - I hope the owners are ok with that!
This is a cozy, alternative place near the University of Glasgow and a great place to chill and hang out with friends.
The rooms are filled with wooden benches or wicker chairs with ornate cushions and they have a dazzling array of teas in glass jars that line the shelves.
Tchai-Ovna is frequented by a majority of Uni students from the area - and in the summertime, the patio opens up to a majestic garden. The vines creep and wrap around the wooden railings and the tree limbs linger slightly over some table and chairs.
It's a rather soothing place to just past the day away with a good cup of tea.
The most beautiful spot to hide in.
Great lil place to enjoy exotic Teas with your mates.
It's hippy as it gets -chilled out staff, miss matched furniture, rogue cat and just a plane awesome vibe.
Best teas in my opinion are the Yogi Yogi Tchai, Strudle Tea, and a big old guord of Matte - nom nom.
Also check out the food. Revolving specials are normally spicy soup or some kind of yummy chilli. Dolmades are also great. Quick tip - don't bother with the eastern platter, instead get a load of sides. You get more food for waaaay less money and can avoid any of the nibbles you don't like.
Also, if you can - nab the best spot. The ZenDen: No shoe are tucked away at the back.......unless i'm in there.......in which case I'll fight you for it.
Have Fun Honies!
A favourite hang-out of some of the West End's more "right on" types, but thankfully you don't need to spend your free time saving the whale to fit in here.
Friendly staff, relaxing atmosphere and one-of-a-kind decor all add to the experience, but it's the massive selection of teas that steal the show here. There's that many that it could be a bit overwhelming to the novice, but I'll save you the hassle, just go for the Spice Master's Special. It's quite simply the best thing in the world. Full stop.
I never really found the food menu all that appealing but had the babaganush (not sure if that's how it's really spelt) recently and would give it a surprising thumbs up. Definitely recommended.
As an enjoyer of tea and all things twee, I had assumed that this place would be right up my street, having heard of their great selection of cool and quirky cuppas.
After wandering around the west end trying to find the place, we eventually stumbled upon it and ventured inside. Hidden away from daylight, this dank, dark and dingy cave had more of a grotty basement feel than the warm and welcoming atmosphere I had expected. Upon taking a seat, we looked around for a menu, or indeed some service. Five minutes later, we eventually sought out a menu and browsed the selection.
However, the cliquey vibe to this place made me feel a little uneasy, with the horizontally laid back staff paying us no attention at all and a single group of bobble jumpered jakies that are most likely minted (west end posh students eh? I don't know, maybe they're trying to be ironic).
Unimpressed by the service and junk shop basement feel of the place, we promptly hot footed it to somewhere a little more suitable, with serving staff at least.
I shan't write off Tchai-Ovna just yet, as somewhere with such an impressive tea selection can't be entirely awful. I shall return in the summer months, perhaps to enjoy the more inviting outdoor area and perhaps dig out some grubby gear so as not to offend the punters...
The Tchai Ovna is one of my favourite wee places in Glasgow. It became something of a tradition to visit every time we took the train there for the day. We sat in the Zen room, full of chintzy pillows, and ordered pots of tea. Sat in the little alcove strewn with fabric and tapestries and scrawled in our notebooks whilst sipping Faeries blood tea. It was our little art haven for photographing the chipped teapots and garden outside and sketching with watercolour pencils. It's quite conducive to creativity, especially when you're 18 and fancy yourself a bohemian.
The tea house's food strength lies in middle eastern food, though I've had a good bowl of porridge on at least one occasion. I miss it.
I was first introduced to Tchai-ovna by a friend who couldn't remember the name properly and referred to it as "the tea shack", and I'm amused to report that the name has stuck - much to the confusion of others when I try to explain where it is!
Hidden away from the often crowed tea and coffee venues in the west end, it's a wee gem. My only grumble is that sometimes it can be hard to get a seat at one of the hotch potch tables and chairs and that sometimes it's a tad slow service BUT really that's nothing to grumble about. Help yourself to the folder (yes there are that many teas) and peruse at your leisure over the huge selection. I have to confess that I'm a fan of the apple strudel tea (which I've now worked out the recipe and can recreate at home hoorah) and the Armenian tea, whilst my friends favour the faeries' blood or the yogi yogi chai.
If you're wanting more than just one of their brilliant teas, and lets face it after choosing from a bajillion of them, you're going to be hungry. So there are tasty vegetarian dishes to choose from or even just a scrummy brownie. I recommend the falafel and houmous. OM NOM!
Give this place a go, because I've not done this quirky little venue justice in my review!
To this day, I still cannot decide whether or not tea-haven, Tchai Ovna, should be considered toothachingly quiant or gum-gratingly twee.
On the one hand, you have to admire it's independence. Hidden by the River Kelvin on Otago Lane, it refuses to succumb to developers who want to build on the site, standing defiantly by garish modern apartment blocks as Save Our Lane campaigners slurp teas from across the world and suck on shisha pipes in its tiny outdoor seated area.
The interior is appealing in a ramshackle way, darkly lit with sofas and chairs scattered unevenly across the room, while the small kitchen, where the vegetarian meals and ludicrous variety of teas are prepared, makes the average student kitchen look like a well-oiled machine.
It's a place which has built its word of mouth reputation on being alternative, rebellious, quirky and quaint and attracts exactly the sort of crowd you would expect those cornerstones to appeal to.
And indeed, the flipside for me probably remains part of the appeal for others. With a dreamy air reverberating throughout the cafe, you can't expect anything to be done in a hurry, including the cleaning of tables and the serving of food.
Stoned students, budding authors and failing musicians can wait but I'd rather not. I'm all for pretending I can taste the flavours of my Persian tea as elaborately described in the huge menu, I just don't want to wait 25 minutes for the privilege.
If you fancy finding a slightly different way to pass an afternoon or an early evening - then you won't go wrong with the Tchai Ovna Tea House. You'll find it hidden away at the end of Otago Lane, populated by students, vegans and aging hippy types (as well as those who just like a damn good cup of tea).
If you're after normal tea though, it's probably in the best interest of everyone involved for you to stay away. You will find no PG Tips here. Instead you will find a menu bursting at the seams with white teas and green teas and spiced teas from all over the world. The hardest thing is trying to choose which one to go for. If you want my advice, I always go for the ones with the best name. 'Faerie's Blood', for instance, not only sounds amazing - but tastes it too.
Once inside Tchai Ovna - you wouldn't believe that you were still in Glasgow. It's decorated in a bohemian style all of its own - and you'll find a variety of mismatched tables, chairs and sofas to make yourself comfortable at.
The staff are friendly, the food is good (well, you know, considering it's vegan!) and it won't break the bank.
I love this place!
Fantastic, fantastic chai and a lovely place to meet wonderfully interesting people.
Good place to kick back with your laptop and do work as well. I'm an American, so I don't make it often, but when I was in Glasgow last, I went several times it was so good.
I occasionally dabble in tea. Occasionally.
If I was right into my tea, this place would be like the tea equivelant of Toys R' Us.
When you walk down the lane to this place you cant think of anything other than 'what the fudge?'. It's like you're walking into someones flat.
Stumbled upon a Finnish waitress which was a delight for my Finnish girlfriend who got to spit out some obscure vowels without me worrying she was possesed by Satan.
£5.80 for one pot of tea which is dear, but it was lovely. A fair few cups of tea out of that, but the cups were almost espresso sized.
A cracking place, with a fierce selection of speciality teas.
I just dont know how to pronounce the place.
This place is quite a world of its own. Sunken, discoloured chairs, rickety benches, an abundance of mismatched pieces in the board games tucked in the corner and a little mediation area to lie down in - take your shoes off though!
May I recommend a menu of apple tea, strawberry tobacco and their homemade garlicky hummus.. Mmm mm. (Though these days the hookahs are only available if you're a member of their club, due to the smoking ban, so you might not want to make that sort of downpayment).
Good hippiesh vibe to the place - a nice escape from the harsh realities of life.
This is a very soothing place to spend an afternoon. Service is slow. Expect that, accept it, bring a book and get over yourself.
Turkish apple tea, a slice of cake and plate of cream crackers and the Sunday papers as you sit outside next to students trying to look cool smoking from hookah pipes. You don't look cool but it makes me smile. Don't smoke, kids.
Or sit inside on a mismatched chair next to a mismatched table drinking tea from mismatched china, in a place that looks a bit like the slightly grubby living room of an eccentric aunt who was a bit of a goer in the Sixties.
At night there is music, local guys doing free spots usually, and the atmosphere is very chilled.
Tchai Ovna is a wonderful little refuge from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow University environs. Over 80 different teas available, also shishas, and they do some nice veggie grub.
I used to go to a storytelling club here when I lived in Glasgow, and it's a wonderful setting for that kind of thing. The furniture looks like it's been salvaged from umpteen different sources, and the decor is part but n' ben, part traveller caravan, but it works. Friendly people, lovely tea, books to read and board games too. If the weather's good you can have your tea in the garden. Visit. I recommend the wonderfully spicy Yogi Chai.
A very pretty tea house hidden away down a small lane in the depths of the West End of Glasgow, Tchai Ovna is a bit of an unusual place that offeres a wide variety of teas from around the world. Very much a homely and down to earth place, it feels like your sitting in the front room of a great aunt.
Another unique aspect of Tchai Ovna is that it often hosts music and poetry recitals; the intimate atmosphere makes this place a unique experience, and perfect for those long cold winter evenings!
lovely little place, tucked away and cosy, beautiful selection of teas.
Could do with looking a bit cleaner but it all adds to the atmosphere!
Can't believe this place doesn't have more reviews actually! It's pure dead brilliant (even better than Prestwick Airport if you can believe it, which has this motto emblazoned on its side!)
Now I'm not gonna say 'screw yer corporate coffee houses' because I would be lying if I said I didn't partake of a Costa or Starbuck's medio skinny half whip decaf tall flat white latte cappuccino hazelnut frappe from time to time (where else can I have a drink that contains my entire RDA of 2000 calories?) BUT this place is the very antidote to these places. It could not be more hotchpotch and endearing if it tried. However, yer first task should you wish to partake of the Tchai Ovna experience is to bloody well find it, as it is just a wee bit off the well-tread West End paths of Great Western, Woodlands and Byres roads. Yon map will steer thee right.
On first sight, it is just charming. It has a lovely deck outside with seating, and this is where you can enjoy some flavoured sheesha should that be up your alley, or your standard Mayfair. However, it is when you enter Tchai Ovna proper that the full 'we're in mad aunty Betsy's hoose' atmosphere of the place is truly apparent. I'm actually struggling to recall the layout as it is so hotch-potch, yet like Frasier Crane's apartment, it all kinda fits together as one, eclectic stylish mess of loveliness. This is a place to get nice and comfy, and the pillows, blankets, low seats and the Zen den at the back (shoes aff) all hint at this warm cosiness.
Take a seat (if you can find one - there have been half a dozen times I've turned up here with not a stool to be had, particularly at weekends, you have been warned) and find a menu. The menu, as I recall, has only one or two pages of food (all veggie) and the rest is tea. Lovely lovely lovely tea. There are so many different types that you really just need to sook em and see, but my favourites are: Yogi Yogi Chai, Faerie's Blood, Mary Poppins, Turkish apple and Pearl Jasmine. The names alone make me happy! Having said this, the tea isnae cheap, which to an extent does explain the fact that such a tiny place is turning round a good profit, as the profit margins on tea (hot water and some tea!) must be massive. Still, I'd rather hand my bucks over to a wee independent gem like this than Starbucks, who charge comparable prices but whose costs will be far lower. Also, this is a lovely place to go on a Friday night, you and your friends will have a much cheaper night out, no hangover the next day, and you will probably have chatted about more important matters than 'awwwwww I pure love yous by the way, yous are ma best pals...'
Tchai Ovna also hosts regular events, one of which is a live jazz night on a Wednesday. The last time I was there for it, it was as if I was in a pal's living room, and they just decided to have a spur-of-the-moment gig. The band had their friends coming up, switching instruments, having a wee jam and asking what they thought of it. This really gives an insight into the kind of time you will have here, whether that is alone with a book curled up on a sofa, or with friends playing a game of Scrabble listening to jazz. As Mary Poppins herself would say: practically perfect in every way.
Tchai Ovna has a strict policy that says you can only enter if you are a member of, relative, look like or listen to Belle & Sebastian.
It's not set in stone but, I think I speak the unspoken truth.
You can relax the hell out here on herbal chill pill tea and shishas. I remember sitting in here so long one day, zoned out my nut, that I started to question reality.
That's a good cuppa.
My only problem is that even in this state of near enlightenment, I still get annoyed at staff who repeatedly ignore and/or forget about you altogether OR keep you waiting so long that you might as well have been forgotten about.
But hey, you're in the west end, man. Chill.
Taking a wee trip into the West End is one of my favourite things to do, as i love the ambiance and general feeling of the place. I like to fantasise about living in one of the posh flats or done up tenement buildings and driving a nifty wee motor. 'I'm just popping to Waitrose for the Caviar, dear'. I can almost hear the echo down my Victorian hallway now. Fantasy aside, i enjoy the less commercial side of Glasgow's quaint West End, so i was excited to find a hidden little gem at the foot of Otago Lane. You would be forgiven for thinking this was another world, the entrance to the tea house is a rickety old veranda, with mismatched patio tables and chairs, and benches with grubby looking cushions. There were a few people sitting outside in the cold January frost, sipping tea from cute little thimble cups held in gloved hands. We opted to go inside and explore.
Entering Tchai Ovna was like entering the communal living area of some sort of hippie cult. The interior of the porch literally looks to be falling apart, cracks and holes patched up with flyer's for alternative music and herbal paraphernalia. We stepped inside and i immediately felt like i was the centre of attention. Every person in this little crowded treasure trove turned to look at me and my partner. We obviously weren't that interesting as they soon went back to sipping tea. We set ourselves down on a wicker couch and had a good look around. We were next to a fireplace with a heater in it, adorned with brass Buddhas and statues of elephants, interesting wicker canes and philosophical sayings on plaques. Not one piece of furniture in the place matched, the tables and chairs were squeezed in wherever possible, cushions and couches were jutting out around corners. It was the most eclectic mishmash of 'stuff' i have ever seen.
No-one came to serve us. No-one really bothered with us at all. We noticed a couple of other people reading black ring binders which we assumed were the menus and we found ourselves a couple.
The selection of tea is amazing. No Tetley to be found here. There are over 80 different kinds of tea sold by the pot, from Chamomile and Lavender to Chinese Ti KuanYing, an Oolong tea. If you don't know your teas (which i don't) then it is a bit daunting to trawl your way through the sea of choices. I settled for Faeries Blood, a fruity strawberry and cranberry selection. It was squeezed from the fairy's at the bottom of the garden, apparently. Hippies, eh?
You have to go and order at the kitchen door, which we only realised because other people were doing it too. Our tea came out about ten minutes later in cute little teapots with adorable patterned teacups. It was really lovely, tasted great, and a pot was absolutely loads for one person. The chat around us was flowing, the people were so interesting to watch, with a table of student girls to our right eating pitta breads and homemade Vegan dips, and a couple of women who appeared to have just been introduced across from us touching each others legs rather familiarly. Behind us was a man and a woman with a lovely little Scottie dog. Like i said, an interesting bunch.
We went and paid for our tea, which came to just under 7 pounds for 2 people for two pots of tea. On leaving, we noticed a couple outside smoking a Shisha pipe, looking incredibly relaxed and cosy on a bench. The pipes are available to hire for a deposit from the tea house and tobaccos are available in a range of fruity flavours.
I would definitely recommend Tchai Ovna to anyone. Even just to say you have been once. You may feel a little out of place if you've brushed your hair or you're wearing River Island threads, but the people watching entertainment alone makes it well worth a visit.
We've recently moved to Glasgow and this past weekend had friends up to stay. After pottering around the West End, grabbing a pint, a pie and a play at Oran Mor and mooching round the Botanical Gardens, we fancied [another] drink and a bite to eat. Via several vintage clothes shops on Great Western Road we slowly made our way to Tchai Ovna on the recommendation of a friend.
When we arrived it was busy, very busy. We found a table sitting with a couple of strangers (a common, yet nice, occurence) and spent a good couple of hours sipping some lovely tea and nibbling on Tchai Ovna's excellent vegetarian food.
I think this place will become my regular watering hole for a refreshing cuppa in the future, more character in one humble building than all the chain-cafes/coffee shops mustered together. The service is perfectly paced for the environment (that is slow and methodical) no overbearing waiters or the like, and time for a good chin-wag while you wait. Great!
It shouldn't work but it kind of does. The decor is dated, worn and could do with a spruce up, however then this little den may lose the appeal it has, as a hippy chilled-out and spaced-out sort of place. Everyone seems to be very serene here, I did notice a man with no shoes on. Now I say if you can feel that at home in a cafe/place then you are going to keep coming back. This homely feel to the tea house do make it difficult to settle in and relax as you feel you really could be intruding if you are not up for the full detox shebang. I am the sort who go crazy for herbal teas and body detoxifying anythings, but this was a bit too much for me. Reminded me of a place in Egypt I went to, the only thing that was missing were the old men round a table smoking flavoured tobacco from a pipe.
This is a great wee tea shop tucked away off a side street in the west end of Glasgow. There is a patio area where you can sit outside in nice weather, and you can also smoke shisha pipes out there (you can no longer do so inside due to the smoking ban). Inside is very cosy, with comfy mismatched chairs dotted around tables. The tea menu is extensive (my personal favourites are the spicy, sweet and milky Yogi Yogi Chai, Turkish Apple and Kenya OP), and there is quite a good choice of vegetarian snacks and meals (including homemade soups and stews or curries). It's a lovely place to catch up with friends or just to sit and read while enjoying the tea. There is also occasional live music.
In my short visit to Glasgow I made sure I came here twice!
The selection of teas available is brilliant - such a huge range. The atmosphere made for a magical evening - my friend and I supping tea, nibbling at home-made hummus and pita and salad, and nattering the evening away.
At around half past eight in the evening, a wee band played a little acoustic music with singing and poetry alongside. we nestled into an alcove, took our shoes off and relaxed so much!
The range of herbal, fruit, chamomile teas as well as black, green and white teas is amazing.
Interiorly - it looks like a charity shop jumble sale - but this only adds to the charm.
Service was very friendly, but we had to ask for more tea. My friends had been several times previously and had been informed that the service was a little lax...in some cases they had been ignored as the waiting staff were not interested in taking orders!
They also sell tea-caddies of teabags to take home, if you like a particular blend.
The range of teas on offer here is astounding and extends to fruit and herbal teas as well. They also do fruit juices and very good hot chocolate for variety. The food is vegetarian, Indian inspired and very nice and the cakes, I am told, are also good. Its a lovely atmosphere, especially on a cold winters day and a great place to sit and chat with friends.
I met up with some friends in Tchai Ovna and it was my first experience of the place. There were some things I really liked about the place - the staff are incredibly friendly, and we literally sat gabbing for about 4 hours with no pressure to move on. We also had an assortment of children with us who were all made to feel welcome and really enjoyed the place. Because of this it would have been nice if there'd been a couple of child frendly options on the menu.
A couple of bugbears, the outside tables are pretty grubby and as we were eating outside this put me off straight away. We did move inside as there were loads of wasps (we went in august) and I'm glad to say the tables inside were clean. The food was really lovely, but as I mentioned above a bit hard if you have children - my two aren't overly fussy but the bread had lots of seeds which they weren't keen on.
If you enjoy new and interesting places to eat, this is definitely one! It offers a delicious and well priced Vegetarian menu. The tea's come from all over the world and each tea in the menu has it's own history. If you are the kind of person that generally prefers a more formal environment when it comes to dining, this place probably wont be for you. The atmosphere is very relaxed, down to earth and incredibly casual. Many of the customers appear to be very open minded and creative types. It's a lovely place to sit outside on a summers night with friends. Tchai Ovna also offers a selection of flavoured Shisha's and s a great place to hear live poetry readings, local bands etc.
You won't go to Tchai-Ovna for the food. In fact, their regular menu is average at best, with the exception of their flapjack. Their monthly soup is generally good quality though, and their curries can be excellent.
What is nice about the place is the style, the atmosphere, and the good choice of teas. Messy, but in a good way; slow service, but who cares? You need to go to Tchai-Ovna if you have time, with your friends or your partner. Don't even think about if you have half an hour break. The place is a hippy den, and is really laid-back. You order at the kitchen, and don't expect your tea/food before 20-30 minutes.
The smell of shisha and sweet spices is always there, and is for me synonymous with the place. Love it. There is a great selection of games to play, chess, cards, and nobody will ever tell you to hurry. Many pieces are mismatched, like the furnitures.
Tea advice: if like me, you enjoy these 'heavy' and spicy Indian teas, take Yogi tea, Desi Tchai, or Bombay Lemongrass Tchai (delicious). The honey-nutmeg tea with milk is also good. Two other very nice teas are orange blosson oolong (no milk and sugar, but the taste is great) and the wonderful Tiff's Golden Flower of Healing: a mixture of lavander and honey, with a ginger version.
Nice place with good variety of teas and live music but I always feel grubby after I leave - the place could do with a good clean and chucking out some of their manly cushions
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