Afternoon Tea, a time-honoured British tradition has seen its popularity rise significantly in recent years, with London boasting an endless number of places now offering afternoon tea. To say any one afternoon tea in London is the same, would be an understatement as its popularity has led to countless unique and innovative variations, catering for all tastes and styles.
One such unique concept is BB Bakery’s Afternoon Tea Tour Bus, the only one of its kind in London. There is something about afternoon tea which exudes eloquence and sophistication, and what perfect way to sip tea than on a vintage 1960’s Routemaster bus decorated in Parisian chic, whilst soaking in London’s rich and charming history.
Our afternoon tea journey began at Victoria bus station where we were seated to our table on the lower deck of the converted 1960’s Routemaster bus, all set up with an array of savoury and sweet treats presented on a 2 tier stand with a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice.
The savoury selection consisted of traditional cream cheese and cucumber finger sandwiches, mini vegetarian quiche, mini chicken ciabatta roll and a smoked salmon blini, a refreshingly varied selection from your traditional finger sandwiches. The cucumber and cheese sandwiches, although a classic combination, the mint flavoured bread added an additional taste dimension. The mini quiches were flavoursome, whilst the pastry was buttery and held its form. The ciabatta was filled with chicken, tomato, and basil. Another classic combination with flavours that work well together. However, we found the ciabatta to be too thick, thus diminishing the flavours of the filling.
The sweet selection consisted of lemon meringue, chocolate cupcake, raspberry and coconut cream and choux bun. The menu did also state macaroon, however, this was absent from the selection which was disappointing as nothing quite compares to French macaroons.
The lemon meringue although creamy, was rather sharp. The pastry helped cut through the sharpness and balance the flavours.
The chocolate cupcake had a deliciously chocolaty topping. However, the sponge could have benefited from being a little moister.
The choux bun was generously filled with pistachio flavoured custard, which oozed out with each bite, caressing the tastebuds to delight. Although the filling was mild in flavour, it was nonetheless enjoyable.
The coconut cream was our favourite of the selection. The filling was velvety, creamy and indulgent, whilst the pastry was buttery and slightly crumbly.
A limited tea selection was available on board and presented in an insulated travel mug which you can take away with you as a souvenir. The coffee selection consisted of your usual cappuccino, latte, etc., and although satisfactory, the coffee was not of a barista quality, which is disappointing for true coffee aficianados.
In traditional afternoon tea manner, the meal was completed with a miniature jar of raspberry jam and scone, but the ubiquitous clotted cream was missing, which diminished the enjoyment, furthermore we would have preferred the scone to be warm, however, with limited kitchen and heating facilities on board the bus, it is understandable but nonetheless disappointing.
BB Bakery has combined the quintessential English custom of traditional Afternoon Tea with French Patisserie to offer a chic Afternoon Tea experience on board the iconic Routemaster bus. The concept is entirely unique and innovative, with nothing else quite like it in London, so therefore whether you are a tourist or a Londoner, you will enjoy the overall experience.
Disclaimer: Halal Afternoon Tea should be requested at the time of booking. We were invited to review.