It is a truth universally acknowledged, that good cake is the answer to everything.
Even Jane Austen fans might forgive us for butchering the legendary first sentence of Pride and Prejudice for the indulgent array of baked goodies at Bea’s of Bloomsbury. Such is the emotion evoked by the afternoon tea at this little tea-room in the heart of London.
This is no stately country house and there is no delicate china in sight. This is afternoon tea, re-invented for the urban gourmand, without the fuss. The portions are generous and the crockery is cheeky. Rows of quirky tea-pot shaped lamps line the ceiling. Can you blame us for feeling a bit like Alice at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party?
Then there is the food. Finger sandwiches, a staple at traditional afternoon tea, are replaced by rustic baguettes. We received the pesto-mozzarella and humous-feta baguettes. The savoury sandwiches make way for the gastronomically-wrecking mélange of exquisite baked goodies.
But wait, first there is the all important tea. Bea’s of Bloomsbury offer an extensive selection of black, green, white, and herbal teas. Vid loved their fragrant vanilla black tea but I developed a soft spot for the intense smokiness of their organic Lapsang tea. If, like Vid, you are a coffee lover, Bea’s of Bloomsbury serve Square Mile’s delectable Red Brick espresso.
Of course, there is no better accompaniment to a piping hot cup of tea than cake. Or, in this case, a cake stand laden with a sumptuous selection of eats – cupcakes, scones, meringues, and marshmallows. We were powerless to resist.
It was the colours of the meringue that first drew me to it but its texture ensured fidelity. My roving eyes came to a standstill as I took the first bite of that meringue. I munched on it as I admired the delicate pink swirls that adorned its shell. Tastewise it was perfect – crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside. Next I went for the handcrafted raspberry marshmallow – the tanginess of the fruit cut the sweetness of the marshmallow to produce an intensely flavoured delight. It’s perfect for those who don’t enjoy the sickly sweetness of marshmallows.
Vid, on the other hand, went straight for the cupcakes. Their signature red velvet cupcake with cream-cheese frosting disappeared in no time. Next up, the salted caramel and peanut cupcake. The delicate saltiness of the peanuts on top complemented the luscious caramel flavour perfectly. Nom!
The finely-textured scones reminded me of the ones we had on our road trip to Cornwall.
The best part, however, are their brownies. Their chocolate brownies and blondies (white chocolate brownies) are fabulous, but it is their decadent nut brownies that steal the show. Those, my friends, are li’l epiphanies of gorgeousness. Must be seen (err tasted) to be believed. Every crumbly mouthful is worth its weight in gold.
If you can’t polish off all the goodies on offer, the kind folk at Bea’s of Bloomsbury pack the remnants to take away.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury is perfect for a no-frills afternoon tea in London. Friends, whimsical china, cupcakes, and tea – the perfect recipe for happiness 🙂
- The Afternoon Tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury is one of the cheapest in London. It costs £19/person.
- The first sitting is at 2 P.M. and each sitting lasts for 1.5 hours.
- They have 2 branches – Bloomsbury and St. Paul’s.
- The Afternoon Tea is by reservation only. Make sure you reserve in advance as it can get very busy on weekends and holidays.
- It might not be the place for you if you enjoy privacy – the tables too close to each other for comfort. Eavesdropping is inevitable.
- More information on the Bea’s of Bloomsbury site.
- Hungry for more? Head to Brick Lane to devour London with eating london food tours
While in London, the best way to explore the city is The London Pass (use code JULY6 for 6% discount on passes)
If this article has got your taste buds tingling, then you MUST read about our culinary discoveries from around the world.