Harriet recalls a fondness for the stories her Grandmother, Mary, used to tell. Most notably about the trips to the Lyons Corner Houses in London with cousin Joan. Mary was first taken to a Corner House in 1932 on the junction between Oxford Street and Tottenham Court road when she was 12 as a treat for her birthday. She had only previously been allowed to marvel through the window at the lucky souls being served cakes and fresh tea by smartly dressed Nippies. She often thought she may like to work there one day, just to look so smart like all the others. It was always so light and bustling and she later suspected it would be far better to be served than to be the Nippie and work so hard.
After that first visit, Mary used to frequently visit the Cornerhouses, and the Oxford Street branch always remained the favourite. Shopping trips with Cousin Joan always used to be interupted by a stop for tea and a light lunch. On one occasion they got so lost in the spoils of shopping for themselves that they missed lunch and stumbled in for Afternoon Tea. Fresh sandwiches always followed by scones and cakes, what a treat she thought. Mary always said this was the only lunch she ever never minded missing.
The English Charm within the stories Mary told stayed with Harriet into adulthood. When the time was right, these stories ignited a passion for a business that would hold many of the values depicted in her grandmothers stories. Harriets own attention to detail and the English charm and elegance of the Corner Houses with their Nippies have evoked a business style at the centre of the brand today.