Now located in the old Bristol Art Gallery on Hope Street, Revival is looking better than ever. With its uber-high tin ceiling and gleaming white interior, the home décor and gift shop is reminiscent of a boutique that could be found on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Owner Victoria Fonseca is a woman after my own heart; she and I have both spent a great deal of time in Europe and we’re both in love with men who were born and raised in Portugal. In fact, she and her co-owner husband, Diamantino, recently returned from an extended jaunt through the western part of his native continent.
“We went to Europe to meet with tea experts and to visit tea shops in France, England and Ireland,” Victoria explains. “We’ve wanted to create an authentic tea house experience here in Bristol for quite a while. We’d been on Thames for five years but the building was older and didn’t have the French doors we wanted.” As luck would have it, the couple was strolling through downtown Bristol and noticed the recently vacated storefront at 423 Hope. They just knew it was the perfect place to expand their thriving retail business.
“We’ll open the tea room soon,” she says, gesturing to the right half of the shop where counters will soon be built and tables awaiting guests. “In the mornings we’ll offer the standard selection of pastries and beverages. People can take out or eat in and enjoy the free Wi-Fi. In the afternoons, the linens come out and we’ll be doing high tea by reservation... just like they do in Europe.” She’s literally radiating warmth and excitement as she speaks and it’s clear how passionate Victoria is about bringing this experience to Bristol.
Of course, Parisian elements have been present in her store all along – from the regal crown, which finds itself in metal garden stakes and cast iron paperweights to the distressed French provincial wine rack furniture. The Montag candles are divine, in scents such as caramel macchiato and Italian cashmere. From stunning blown glass ornaments to charming vintage paper dolls and jewelry, there’s something for everyone here under one roof. As a bonus, patrons have the privilege of conversing with the kind and interesting Victoria.
True to form, I didn’t leave empty handed. I treated myself to an adorable kitchen towel made from an old flour sack and a set of black glass coasters from the clearance bin at the back of the store. Items there start at just one dollar. Stop in for tea, towels or talk – you’ll be glad you did.