AN AWARD-winning tea room in Bradford on Avon has been sold.

The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bridge Street, which was placed on a par with the Ritz and Dorchester hotels in London when it won a Tea Guild excellence award in 2006, has been bought by husband and wife team Roy and Ali Hayward.

The couple owned and ran North Lodge Guest House in Bath for five years before buying the Grade II Listed tea rooms, where waitresses dress in traditional Victorian serving costumes.

Roy said: "We are very excited to have realised our dream and to finally own this quintessentially English tea room which serves one of the best cream teas in the UK!

"We plan to increase the range of teas, coffees, cakes and meals on offer, lower the prices and extend the opening hours."

Roy and Ali have hired two new chefs, including a pastry chef, as part of their commitment to improve the menu.

The Bridge Tea Rooms building, which dates back to 1675, has a full restaurant licence and the new owners hope to open for evening meals from Easter, and extend their current range of beers and wines.

Bath-based Withy King Solicitors completed the purchase of The Bridge Tea Rooms on behalf of the Haywards.