A QUAINT Hampshire tea rooms run by a passionate baker has been crowned the Daily Echo's Cafe of the Year 2021.

Millie's Tearoom in Hythe scooped first prize in our hard-fought contest for our readers favourite place to enjoy a perfectly roasted coffee, selection of teas, delicious food and friendly welcome.

Thousands of Echo readers nominated their favourite Hampshire eatery and the entries were whittled down to a top ten.

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Millie's, which is named after owner Julie Gregory's 12-year-old daughter Amelia, scooped the top prize ahead of a host of other cafes dotted around the region. They included Number 15, which is also in Hythe, as well as Miss Ellie's Cafe in Manor Farm Road, Kate's Cafe in Portswood and Cafe Aroma in Shirley.

Julie told the Daily Echo: "It's just amazing, we're absolutely thrilled. It makes me so proud of everybody and how hard we all work. Our customers obviously appreciate what we do and I'm so grateful to everyone who voted for us. It's brilliant.

"It's been a difficult time for us and all small businesses, but we love being part of the community in Hythe and have some wonderful customers.

Daily Echo:

"We love what we do but more importantly our customers love it too. Our achievement is very much a team effort and I am grateful to my staff who share my passion. Please thank all of our customers who have supported us and voted for us, we really appreciate it."

Julie, who had previously worked in other cafes in the town, decided to go it alone three years ago.

She had a love of tearooms from visiting many with her mum Karen and wanted to create something from her passion for baking and The Great British Bake Off.

Located just back from the waterfront in Hythe, the premises was formerly an estate agents and attracts a host of regulars and visitors to the New Forest six days a week.

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Guests often discover Millie's after disembarking the Hythe Ferry from Southampton and travelling on the nearby pier train, which is the world's oldest pier train at 112 years old.

Julie's staff at Millie's, Andrew Richardson, Dawn Kitcher, Lisa Ball, Jenna Dryden and Megan Caveliere, pride themselves on their great customer service and lovely homemade treats.

The cakes, including Lacey's lemon cakes named after Julie's other daughter, are the biggest sellers and customers also love the cream teas, afternoon teas, homemade quiches, sausage rolls and selection of loose leaf teas.

  • Millie's Tearoom is our Trader of the Week. If you'd like us to feature your lcoal business, click on the link below.