About Us

"A New Era for Whittington's"

In Early 2022, Andrew and Lesley felt it is a right time for them to move on to their new chapter and with great pleasure, they met Chi, Chi Man, Chung and Hau, who are twin sisters and their lovely friendly husbands. They have been working with Andrew and Lesley for couple of months, not only to see how to prepare the food, tea and coffee, but also to understand the ethos of Whittington’s and the relationship with customers. In July 2022, they took over The Barge and so Whittington’s continues to be a family run business.

Chi has 10 years professional pastry experience. She started her career in London having completed her study in Patisserie from the Le Cordon Bleu and initially joined the pastry team at the Hilton London Metropole. She then moved to Hong Kong where she gained experience as a Baker before running a high end Patisserie where she created variety of beautifully presented desserts and artisan breads. Having returned to the UK in 2020, Chi worked as a Pastry chef at The Hinds Head in Maidenhead (Michelin star restaurant) part of Heston Blumenthal’s group. Whilst her husband, Hau, is a barista and coffee art specialist, so expect the standards that Whittington’s as become renowned for being maintained.

Let’s come and meet Chi and her lovely family and continue to support them as they take over the reins. Andrew and Lesley will then be frequenting The Barge for coffee breakfast and even lunch, so come and have a chat and a catch up.

Whittington’s is a modern, light and airy wide beam canal barge, built in 2012 and moored on the Thames in central Reading, just alongside Christchurch Meadows.

Tea rooms are our heritage, and while they may have vanished from the high street, as the big coffee house chains have taken over, the Whittington’s team is on a mission to keep the British tea room alive – with a modern twist, in relaxed surroundings on the water

Created and run by Andrew and Lesley, Andrew is a keen cook, with a passion for creating delicious meals using fresh ingredients and supporting local suppliers. Lesley is a professional singer, who studied at the Royal Academy of Music. 

Andrew is a descendent of the original Dick Whittington. His grandfather was Richard  Whittington, who was related to the original Dick Whittington. So the name was born – and the Whittington’s logo even includes Dick’s cat in its design.