What are some the most British things you can think of? How about afternoon tea and red double-decker buses? Well, Brigit’s Bakery in London has decided to combine the two for what must be one of the most quintessentially British experiences out there; an Afternoon Tea Bus Tour of London.
BBakery serves up a French-inspired high tea, featuring sandwiches, cakes and pastries, on board a classic Routemaster bus. The daytime tour runs several times throughout the day and takes you around iconic London sites such as The London Eye, Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St James’s Park, Hyde Park, The Royal Albert Hall, Harrods, Marble Arch, Nelson’s Column, Downing Street and more.
The evening tour, which is new this month, starts at 19:30 and 21:30 each day and takes a slightly different route through Westminster then on to St Pauls Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Shakespeare’s Globe.
BBakery also run’s themed afternoon teas, from a Paddington tea to celebrate the release of the new film, to spooky Halloween teas and festive Christmas teas. Last week I went along to their Halloween event to experience my first Afternoon Tea Bus Tour.
Halloween Afternoon Tea Bus Tour:
I regularly notice the BBakery buses cruising around central London, with plenty of happy customers on board waving down from the upper decks. So when I arrived at Somerset House last Sunday I was extremely excited to finally experience the bus for myself.
Being early November, the tour I was booked on to was the final Halloween-themed tour of the season. I think the question on everyone’s mind as we boarded the bus was the same; how were they planning on making afternoon tea spooky? Well, only time would tell…
The evening started with a selection of delicious treats such as salmon and cream cheese sandwiches, cheese and tomato rolls, cucumber sandwiches, mini quiches, pumpkin tart, and a selection of macaroons, cakes and sweet pastries. The cakes and pastries were coloured in orange, red and green, with decorations such as scary faces, bats and spiders. Very creative and very tasty, but I wasn’t yet quivering in my seat.
But then, just as we were seeing off the last of the sandwiches, a large bang came from the back of the bus… Gradually, a man made his way through a hole in the floor and slowly started creeping down the aisle of the bus, cackling to himself in a high pitched laugh.
Chef JP, with his blood-soaked apron, mouth sewn shut with cocktail sticks, unnerving stare and piercing laugh, knew all too well how to make you feel extremely uncomfortable. His presence on the bus from this point forwards, popping up behind people and making awkward eye-contact, made the Gin and Tonic very much needed to calm my nerves.
Eventually, after injecting a syringe full of red liquid into each of our drinks (thanks JP!) he returned with a tray of edible insects – just in case we weren’t satisfied with the delicious cakes. Despite a rumour floating around the bus that the insects were fake, I knew all too well that this wasn’t the case. Jimini’s is a company I have heard about before, who are aiming to introduce a new sustainable and healthy source of nutrients in our diet: edible insects as food. Well, you’ve got to give everything a try once right!?
Finally, to end the night, JP decided to do something nice and bring out scones with jam and clotted cream, accompanied by a lovely cuppa in a custom BBakery travel mug. At this point, I was already on the brink of bursting, but it would have been rude not to try the scone at least… so I ate the whole thing. An hour and a half later I found myself waddling off of the bus and on to the tube home, fuller than I’ve been in a long time!
The whole experience is certainly one I won’t forget anytime soon. Getting to enjoy the beautiful views of London at night, whilst enjoying a delicious feast of sweet and savoury treats felt like an experience that was designed just for me (London + Food = my 2 favourite things!). But I have to say, the creepy entertainment supplied by Chef JP is what really topped off the night. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Christmas tour.
*My night was hosted by Adwaiz and BBakery but all opinions are entirely my own.