Yes I just posted an entire post about how I can’t eat gluten and dairy, yes I just went and broke all those rules by having afternoon tea. But sometimes the rules are worth breaking.
Afternoon tea has quickly become a fashionable experience to have in London these days, so companies are having to go the extra mile to set themselves aside from the rest. I throughly enjoyed the quirky Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea at the Sanderson Hotel last year but the BBbakery was something else.
Red double decker buses are an iconic sight in London and one of the main forms of transport but to have afternoon tea on one is was a whole new experience. The BBbakery bus offers a delicious afternoon tea served on an old school red bus while driving you around the sights of London. It is the ultimate London experience.
Our afternoon on the BBbakery bus
We were booked onto the 12.30 departure from Northumberland Avenue and arrived just minutes before the bus was due to leave. The staff greeted us with a friendly smile and showed us to our downstairs table where our afternoon tea was already set out; much to our delight, we were starving. Our waitresses for the afternoon introduced themselves and highlighted the important points, like the fact there was no toilet on board the bus. As soon as those formalities were over they were round to take our drink orders and ensure we were comfy for the ride.
Being an old style double decker the back of the bus was open meaning it was a little chilly onboard but this was nothing a hot cup of mint tea and our coats could not fix. We hadn’t driven far and we were tucking into the savoury bites on our trays of afternoon tea. We each had our own tray and each one the same as the other. For savoury we had a mini quiche which was leek flavour, a tomato bread slice, a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on green bread, a salmon and cream cheese pancake and a chicken salad bread roll. Each was delicious and light except for the chicken salad roll which was a little heavier, still I enjoyed all of these in between bites of the important cake selection. For sweets, there was a mini chocolate cupcake, a vanilla cake with custard inside, a mini lemon meringue, a green macaroon (I could not work out the flavour) and a raspberry and cream cake. All of these were the perfect mix of sweet but not too sickly which some afternoon teas can be.
The drinks selection was vast despite being on a bus and I opted for a peppermint tea to help wash down all of this food I am not suppose to eat. The tea came in a travel cup with a lid to prevent any unwanted spills and to of course keep the heat in. I was surprised when we were offered a refill and happily had my cup filled for a second time, willing my bladder to cope without a toilet (incase your wondering, it did). Just as I was beginning to realise the afternoon tea had come without scones, the waitresses began fiddling around in the storage containers. Of course they presented us with a fresh tasting scone, strawberry jam and clotted cream, I was over the moon at this addition to our already delicious selection. Unfortunately I made such a mess putting the cream and jam onto my scone it never had it’s photo taken but believe me it was gorgeous and super light again.
While we were happily munching on the aforementioned treats the bus drove us slowly around the sights of London city centre. We were lucky not to encounter much traffic on a Sunday afternoon and were able to take everything in but move on to the next thing quick enough. Due to this the tour took an hour and 30 minutes to complete the loop. Although, as a Londoner I had seen many of these sights before it was fun to really take them in and think about them rather than taking for granted how lucky I am to live in a city with so much history.
Overall I would recommend the BBbakery as an iconic afternoon tea in London which will also show you the sights. The waitresses aren’t tour guides but they will tell you where the landmarks are and there is a book to swat up on all the information. The food is delicious, very light and not too rich, while service is spot on due to the nature of being on a bus. The only negatives I would say is the lack of toilet and the fact the seats are rather small and you feel like you are sitting on top of each other.
The BBbakery bus has 5 departures a day from either Victoria or Northumblen Avenue and prices are £45 per a person. They have special afternoon teas for occasions like Christmas and it is also possible to hire the whole bus for a hen do or similar.
NB: You will need to book a long while in advance to claim a seat on the top deck of the bus and the front seats up there cost an extra £10 each.