I’m not normally a fan of afternoon tea but when it’s served on a vintage routemaster as it tours London’s most iconic sites, then the idea is much more appealing. As London bus tours go, this is certainly a fun way to spend an afternoon with the service, the food, the music and the sites all going some way to making the experience a success.This tour was created by the gorgeous people at B Bakery (Brigit’s Bakery). The very talented Brigit together with her son Cedric have created a bakery empire with shops in London and Bath.
The Covent Garden branch in particular has proven a magnet for cake lovers, tourists and social media enthusiasts with a highly instagrammable range of baked treats served in elegant floral surroundings.
In recent years the bakery has begun to branch out with the aforementioned afternoon tea London bus tour, the fun sounding Gin Lovers Afternoon Tea Bus Tour and the recently announced London Night Bus Tour.
Although B Bakery are based in Covent Garden do be warned that the bus departs from Victoria Coach Station in Victoria rather than outside the shop. I got a bit confused and ended up at the shop but fortunately the staff were only too happy to help, and I was soon on my way to Victoria.
Tickets for the afternoon tea tour are £45 per person and I did initially consider this to be a tad pricey but by the end of the tour I was convinced it was actually money well spent.
The bus itself was lovely. The routemaster has always had a special place in the heart of Londoners as it is not only a particularly good looking vehicle but it has also become one of the most recognisable icons of the city.
Thanks to the advent of Instagram, events that offer photo opportunities are big business and thankfully the Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour is one long series of photo ops with a tasty tea to boot.
The interior of the bus was well maintained and in fine fettle. The routemaster’s traditional interior was largely conserved and the only major addition were the little tables which popped up between every set of seats. The lower deck proved to be a little hot (no surprise there then – it’s 2018!) but fortunately there was a nice breeze coming from the back entrance to the vehicle which manage to stop it getting uncomfortable.
The tea was set out on tiny tables with savouries on the bottom and sweet treats on the top. You then got to pick a hot drink to go with it (I picked the Rooibush Jardin Rouge – a fruity tea which I strongly recommend) and this duly arrived in a branded flask. You also had the option of adding prosecco and given the choice, why would anyone refuse, right?!
The pastries were absolutely gorgeous and easily rivalled those of star bakers such as Dominique Ansel or Peggy Porschen. I must confess that I adored and then devoured each one. The pastries were as light as a cloud and the fillings were dreamy and full of flavour.
Each guest got two of each pastry and with four different flavours that meant eight minis per person- more than enough in my opinion. Then there were the savouries. With another eight items each, all in in, there was certainly a lot of food and I was not about to waste any of it!
As we ate, a pre-recorded guided tour explained what we were seeing as we drove through the streets of London and during intervals in the commentary, music by the likes of the Spice Girls and Michael Bublé got everyone swaying.
At the end of the tour, those who had struggled to finish their tea were very kindly given takeaway boxes by the B Bakery team – yours truly needed three boxes but let’s not dwell on that! We were also allowed to keep our drink flasks which I thought was a really lovely touch.
As the tour ended and we pulled back into Victoria Coach Station I suddenly found myself thinking what a lovely afternoon I had had and what good value it had proved. £45 may seem like a lot but believe me this tour is well worth it. The bus was lovely, the food was gorgeous and the staff were all excellent. I would definitely recommend this tour for a special occasion or even if you just fancy giving yourself or a loved one/friend a bit of a treat. I highly recommend it.
For more information on the B Bakery Afternoon Tea London Bus Tour, please click here.
For more information on London Bus tours and outdoor events in London, please click here.
If you like to see more of our fabulous Food columnist Juti, then why not visit her excellent website, The Belle of Brunch.