If you love the idea of seeing all the best parts of London without getting swallowed up by the crowds, then I have just the thing for you:
AN AFTERNOON TEA BUS TOUR!
BB Bakery is a chic little cake shop and bakery in Covent Garden, who have expanded into doing afternoon teas on boats as well as buses.
I was a little bit worried about how they were going to safely serve boiling hot tea on an actual moving bus, but actually, everything is both super safe and super efficient!
There are adorably illustrated travel cups for your hot drinks, with little cup holders dug into the tables so there’s no danger of spillages at all. (Unless you’re me, obviously…)
Orange juice is served in bottles. Cake trays are longer than the traditional ones, with only two tiers instead of three, for extra stability.
The plates are even attached to the table with little suckers, so they won’t slide around!
They’ve thought of everything, and it makes for a really comfortable experience.
The food and drink selection itself is also brilliant.
We started with little bottles of orange juice and an extensive choice of hot drinks: from coffee, to hot chocolate, and several different types of tea.
Then there was a fantastic tray of savouries: smoked salmon and soured cream on blinis; chicken salad rolls; mini mushroom quiches; ham, cheese and mustard mayo sandwiches; and the traditional cucumber sandwiches (on very non-traditional green bread!).
The blinis and mini quiches were my absolute favourites, but it was all very fresh, and the flavours were really good.
For sweets we had mini raspberry cupcakes topped with buttercream frosting; delicious choux pastry buns filled with custard (everyone LOVED these); gingerbread sponge with custard and berries; and the richest, squidgiest, best macarons I’ve ever had in my entire life.
Honestly, they were OUT of this world. Definitely worth trotting down to Covent Garden for a box, even if you’re not doing the tour.
BB also provide gluten-free, vegetarian and halal options, so no worries on that front. If you have any dietary requirements, they’ll replace it with something else. Simple.
Scones are the ultimate element of an afternoon tea. I’m pretty sure it’s actually illegal to have tea without scones. (It’s not. But it should be.)
The ultimate test of a good scone is whether you can break it perfectly in half with just your hands, and the ones on the afternoon tea bus tour were absolutely perfect.
They’re served with individual tubs of proper Cornish clotted cream (that crust!) and teeny tiny jars of strawberry and apricot jam.
Fresh, crumbly and utterly moreish. I could have eaten seven of them!
The tour bus route starts by Trafalgar Square. Once everyone is on board, it loops around Big Ben, Harrods, Buckingham Palace, Notting Hill, Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus, and finishes back at the beginning again.
The waitresses were really friendly and helpful, and they’d occasionally point out certain landmarks which was a nice touch.
The only thing I can really suggest to make it even better would be if they maybe had a tour guide who could wander round the groups and give some historical info and fun facts about the areas as you pass them.
That’s my only niggle though, as I absolutely loved everything else about it!
It’s not cheap, with adult tickets coming in at £45, but if you’re looking for a fab afternoon tea experience that’s a little different from the norm, this is definitely one to look out for.
You can find all the details about booking it on the BB Bakery website.