Salford’s pink teapot cafe hits out at council as owners hunt for new home

The Travelling Teapot, a 1970s caravan cafe, has been a fixture in Buille Hill Park, Salford, since the start of the year.

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 13th July 2023

Owners of Salford’s pink teapot cafe The Travelling Teapot have hit out at the local council as they revealed they are on the hunt for a new site.

Owners of The Travelling Teapot, a pale pink 1970s caravan known as Betsy to her friends, told The Manc that they were looking outside Salford for a new location and expanding the cafe’s horizons across the north west.

Revealing that they were ‘gutted’ to be leaving their home patch, owners hit out at Salford council as they said bosses had been unhelpful in helping them find somewhere to pitch up closer to home.

Bosses at the teapot cafe said: “We’ve got to make a decision by August whether to continue or close the business as we’ve been trying so hard to get a new pitch with better footfall but not had any success.

“We are gutted but we just can’t find anywhere to trade. Salford council won’t help so we are going to have to spread our wings.”

the travelling teapot
Image: The Manc Group
the travelling teapot
Image: The Manc Group

The teapot cafe on wheels is the only one of its kind in the whole of the UK, according to owners Maria and Vicky.

Serving up delicious homemade cakes and other sweet treats like cookies and triple chocolate brownies, there’s also an extensive menu of hot and cold drinks with hot chocolates, locally-roasted coffees and piping hot cups of tea.


The cafe has been a fixture at Buille Hill Park, Salford, since opening at the start of February

Getting the project off the ground, owners say, took fifteen months, so by the time they were ready to start serving from their magical teapot cafe they were beyond excited.

However, six months down the line, whilst Betsy and her owners have plenty of fans they maintain that the footfall at their current site is not high enough to continue trading there and the time has come to move on.


Speaking exclusively to The Manc, owners revealed that whilst it had always been their dream to trade in Salford they ‘did not know or expect’ to run into so many problems with finding a site to trade from.

They said: “Being born and bred in Salford we naively thought that a new, independent business would be welcomed.

“We paid £800 for a Salford Council street trading license in November 2022 to trade at Buile Hill Park fireworks event. The council pushed it through on the proviso we could use it to trade on the streets thereafter.

“We had to pick a location (following their guidelines) and we were under the impression when this happened we were good to go. Nine months later we still haven’t had permission to trade on the streets.

“We have a park license which we use for Buile Hill Park {…] but the footfall is just not enough so have been looking for locations for places with more footfall.


“We have applied for so many locations within the guidelines. The locations have either been turned down, emails not answered, passed to management committees, asked to contact other people within the council etc.”

Image: The Travelling Teapot
the travelling teapot
Image: The Manc Group

Owners told The Manc that they had applied for locations around The Lowry only to be told that the council didn’t own the land, contrary to information on the land registry, and generally said that despite sending numerous emails they often did not get a response.

It appears from correspondence seen by The Manc that owners were told there were ‘too many coffee shops in the area’ and they weren’t taking on any more.

“We did persist and ask if we could go on a waiting list until one became available,” owners added, “but apparently there isn’t a waiting list or criteria.”

They also allege that new businesses have since been given licenses to trade in areas they have been refused.


Sharing the news of their departure from Buile Hill on Instagram, bosses wrote: “Please share. The UK’s only giant teapot on wheels is looking for a new home. We can bring a breathe of fresh air to your location. DM for info.

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“Permanent pitch wanted. DM for info. Looking around the Northwest for a new permanent location. The UK’s only giant teapot on wheels. Fabulous drinks and cake menu. Breathe new life to your venue, eye catching, crowd pulling and unique. All enquiries considered.

Owners also said how sad they were to leave the park in the comments section, writing: “Awww we are so sad. We will be there a couple more times. The people we have met and all our customers have all been amazing!

“You’ve all been so loyal and kind, which honestly wish we could stay, unfortunately the park is just too quiet. Wherever we end up we will hope to see you again.”


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A spokesperson for Salford City Council said: “We are disappointed that the owner feels this way. Salford City Council has provided extensive support over the last eight months including enabling the business to trade at the 2022 Bonfire Night celebrations attended by 15,000 people, trade at the two day We Invented the Weekend festival in June 2023 at Salford Quays and listing the business as a recommended street trader to help community event organisers find suitable food vendors for their event.

“Our business team also facilitated an introduction to the Kargo food hall team at The Quayside Shopping Mall and we understand discussions about trading there are ongoing.

“The owner continues to trade at Buile Hill Park and has expressed an interest in moving to another park location which would need to be one without an existing community café. We have not asked the business to relocate.  

“Salford City Council does not provide a location finding service for any business but does respond to any request to use council owned land and we are happy to continue working with the owner as we have done over the past eight months. However if a business is seeking to trade on a privately owned site then it is for the business owner to negotiate directly with the private landowner.”

Featured image – The Manc Group