Grimes' Kitchen, Abinger Hammer

A Memory of Abinger Hammer.

As children in the 60s we used to be taken by our grandparents to Abinger Hammer sometimes on Sunday afternoons. Even if we'd been playing on the green and messing about in the stream we had to look after our Sunday best in order to have tea later at Grimes' Kitchen. We had to have sandwiches first in order to be allowed afterwards to choose cakes from a two-tier stand. As I remember, there were always two cakes each - astounding riches! My grandfather always had the locally-grown watercress in his sandwiches, which was too peppery for me but which my little sister liked. Grimes' Kitchen was intriguing to us because it was on quite a slope and had an very uneven floor. It made the chairs rock and we had to sit very carefully so that they wouldn't move in case we got told off.

In retrospect I think the tearoom must have been a long lean-to down the side of a house. I revisited Abinger Hammer just a few years ago for the first time since the mid-70s. Grimes' Kitchen has gone but there are new houses where it was, with the address Grimes Court. Does anyone else remember the tearoom?

Added 03 March 2014


Comments & Feedback

In the nineteen fifties I was a member of the Kingston Road Cycling Club, and one of our places to have tea was Grimes Kitchen. I think it was called "Grimm's Kitchen" Grimm being the name given to the men who worked in the Surrey iron industry. We would book up weeks in advance for up to twenty members, a lot of whom would have been time-trialling on those mornings in various events.
The meals were lovely, with the watercress, etc. Afterwards we would all ride homewards in company ( there wasn't the traffic in those days) . We came from all over South London ,and met by Kingston market to ride all over Surrey and Sussex. It was the greatest time for cyclists, and we all rode with fixed wheels, and thought nothing of the distances.
We did have teas in different places, depending on the routes taken, and always had tables full of food, usually for about two to three shillings.
Great memories. Cyril Lowe.
It was Grimm’s Kitchen. I think there was a dumb waiter and I remember the meat balls and two veg (1950s). Next door was Reid the Butcher which later became an antique shop. Great times and the watercress was the best - very peppery

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