In late May I arrived in London to visit my partner who is currently based here on a short term work-related transfer. This is my first international voyage, and has so far been an experience that has evoked many different emotions for me. I must admit that the long haul flight from Australia wasn’t particularly thrilling, however I am excited to be embarking on a new experience, and even more excited about enjoying high tea in the afternoon tea capital of the world- London!
In April, the BB Bakery in Covent Garden began offering their usual afternoon tea on board an iconic red double-decker bus. The bus takes guests for a tour around London’s most popular tourist attractions. As a first time traveller to London and a lover of afternoon tea, as soon as I saw this advertised I booked it straight away. I couldn’t think of a better way to view the sights of London then to do it on board a double decker bus, all the while enjoying the delightful afternoon tea treats that the BB bakery has to offer.
The inside of the tour bus is stunning. There are these gorgeous red and white booths, and the tables are decked out with scrumptious looking afternoon tea treats. Each person had a beautiful little china plate to put their food on. However for safety reasons, the amount of crockery available is limited.
The host was a delightful Frenchman by the name of Jean-Philippe. He was very friendly, jovial and accommodated the requests of all guests on board. Before the tour commenced, Jean-Philippe welcomed all guests on board the bus and provided us with a description of the food that was on offer before promptly taking our tea and coffee orders. He also joking informed us that at any time we could request for the driver to slow down.
I was offered the vegetarian afternoon tea, while my partner enjoyed the classic non vegetarian option. Staff remembered my dietary requirements and there were no issues, which is something that I always appreciate. There are also gluten free and vegan options available.
The food looked deliciously appetising, and it was beautifully presented. It tasted superb and you could tell that it was 100% freshly prepared. My guess is that it probably came straight from their flagship bakery in Covent Garden.
My vegetarian savoury tier included: a cream cheese sandwich, a vegetarian quiche (which was absolutely amazing!) a cheese sandwich, a cheese and salad sandwich and a cheese and salad blini. My partner received a cream cheese sandwich, two ham and cheese sandwiches, a salmon blini, and a quiche. The bread had a beautiful freshly baked smell to it, and the fillings were ample.
The sweets tier included: a pecan brownie, a mouth watering petite lemon meringue tart, cupcakes (mine had strawberry frosting), a lemon macaron, a fresh berry fruit tart and a French scone. The French scone was interesting. It reminded me more of a sticky bun, and there was no jam or clotted cream to accompany the scone, which made it difficult to eat. I would have preferred the option to spread some fruit preserve and cream on it and eat it like a traditional scone. However, this is a minor criticism as the food was essentially faultless.
You are given an ample amount of food and I can guarantee that you won’t be leaving hungry. In fact, after working our way through the two tier stand, Jean-Philippe came around and offered us more food. This is when we received our French scone and a lemon flavoured macaron. At the end of the tour we were given a gorgeous pink take away box for any food that we didn’t manage to fit in.
Drinks were served in these gorgeous BB bakery travel mugs, and were a fabulous idea. There are also cup holders in the booth tables, and we were each given a small bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice at the beginning of the tour. The last thing you want is to be drinking tea from a tea cup and saucer and having it spill everywhere while the bus is moving! Initially, the thought of having afternoon tea on a moving vehicle without seatbelt restraints seemed daunting, however the BB Bakery were well and truly prepared when they began running this bus tour service.
I absolutely recommend this tour to anyone travelling to London. Even if you are only planning a short trip, this is the best way to enjoy what London has to offer. In an hour and a half, you get to indulge in some scrumptious and freshly prepared sweet and savoury treats from a popular UK bakery, while checking out some the most popular tourist attractions in London. Below is a tour map; and as you can see, the bus tour takes guests around the most popular tourist attractions in London Town.
I was absolutely impressed with the venue, the food, the service, and the overall experience of the BB Bakery bus afternoon tea tour. I highly recommend this tour to travellers, or even to locals looking for a great way to celebrate a friend’s birthday, or for a fun afternoon out. The experience has definitely been one of the highlights of my trip to London thus far.
Special thanks to the BB Bakery for allowing me to use their beautiful photographs. For the purposes of this review, poor iPhone quality images just won’t do!
The BB Bakery Bus Tour runs twice a day from Monday to Friday at 3pm and 5:30pm.
On weekends the tour runs three times a day at 12:30pm, 3pm and 5:30pm.
Afternoon Tea is priced at £45 per person.
Bookings are Essential.
Phone Number: 020 7237 3392
Bakery Address: 6-7 Chandos Place, Covent Garden. London WC2N 4HU