Obnoxious Instagrammers Are Not Welcome in This Phone-Snatching Restaurant

Obnoxious Instagrammers Are Not Welcome in This Phone-Snatching Restaurant

Not everyone thinks the behavior is equally #instacute.

By Alesandra Dubin

For some people, the whole point of traveling, or indeed the whole point of eating, is just to stage the perfect Instagram shot that will inspire envy among their followers. Those people would be wise to steer far clear of the London restaurant promising to snatch your screen before you can say “#nofilter.”

At London's Tea Terrace Restaurants and Tea Rooms, guests must stow their phones in a so-called "phonetentiary,” according to Food + Wine. That’s a small box right at the table, outfitted with a combination lock, which is designed to help you focus on your damn food — and also dispense with the distraction your nonstop snapping causes to other diners.

Think you can bust your phone out of the slammer? Not so fast: Only staff members know the combinations to each lock box. The sheer power of your technology addiction alone cannot open it.

The boxes are made to look like books so as not to distract from the tea-time atmosphere — and you can buy one to take home to send a message to your family and friends when you invite them over, too.

"We want to bring back good old conversations," Tea Terrace director Rowena Shouly told City A.M. "Very often we see guests, especially families with tweens or teenagers, not engaging in conversation because the children are on their smart phones. Or sometimes, friends would be busy posting photos of themselves at our tea rooms or their food on social media."

Ah, conversation indeed. (And if you’re off to Google the very meaning of that word now, you definitely need a digital detox — stat.)

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