On a wet and windy afternoon not so long ago, the husband and I found ourselves a cosy and soothing place to stop and spend some time. The steamed windows of VRAC were inviting and the delicate scent of tea and freshly baked cannelés – a French speciality from the Bordeaux region, were enough to make us want to take up a seat and never leave.Yep, Marlo looked at us with incredulous eyes that morning, as if to say – are you really going out there in that weather?! But we are so glad we did.Formerly a tea shop in the 1950s and a funeral parlour in-between, the owner Pauline has turned this inspiring little corner on a hidden Lewes street back into the kind of place you’ll want to visit over and over again. If I was a Lewes resident I would definitely be in there all the time! The focus at VRAC is on sourcing top quality tea, that is ethically-grown, rare and with beautiful natural flavours. In the shop you’ll find more than 30 loose teas from small estates around the world, as well as a small selection of tea related apparatus including chic silver tea caddies, Japanese tea pots and the occasional vintage tea cup.The decor in the tiny shop is understated but chic, with warming light from filament bulbs and wooden counter tops. Large black canisters keep all Pauline’s teas safe from the light, and your freshly prepared tea will arrive in a beautiful cast iron tea pot and delicate japanese style cups to pour in to.Pauline’s passion for tea came from her mum and the weekend visits they took together to a little tea shop in the town where she grew up. At VRAC, she now passes on that passion by serving up the most wonderful tea experience, as well as hosting magical evening tea tastings and regular introductions to the art of the Chinese tea ceremony.Her philosophy – “Make time for tea, it is healthy…and preparing it will be your little breather in the day” – is one I can definitely get on board with, and I hope you too will go and take time for tea at this fantastic little place. After meeting Pauline and falling in love with Vrac, we got talking about a shared passion for delicate aromatic drinks, which then led to The Future Kept special tea blend. Made from white wings organic Chinese white tea with English lemongrass, sage, calendula and mallow petals – for a refreshing, calming cup. We now are finding more and more reasons to visit Lewes, just so we can stop by this little corner for a perfect cup of tea. My tip – get there early if you have your eye on those cannelés, they sell out quickly!