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Unique in London: The Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

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If there’s one afternoon tea that everyone seemed to be talking about in 2014 it’s the BB Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. It’s a pretty ingenious idea. Served on an iconic red Routemaster (a double-decker bus), it’s a modern and inventive twist on the classically English afternoon tea.

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It’d probably do well with tourists even if the bus was stationery, but the fact you get a tour of some of London’s most famous landmarks whilst you sip your cup of tea makes it even more popular. Whilst it may be a bit of a novelty, the tour is filled with visitors both old and young, from near and far, and it seems to be a winner with those looking to do something a little different.

The number one thing that everyone wants to know is how you can have afternoon tea on a moving vehicle. Flying scones and broken china just wouldn’t really work. Okay, maybe the flying scones…but, let’s park that idea for another time. The tables (mostly booths of four) have sunken holes in the corner (like a drinks holder in a car) so that you can pop your tea or coffee in there without fear of it spilling. The drinks are also served in a cute travel beaker, that’ll you want to take home with you (unfortunately you can’t). And as for the plates and cake stands, well they’re suctioned onto the table. Simple!

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The Food

BB Bakery is a traditional French Salon de Thé, so it’s lovely French baking in London. It also means that the staff are French. You’ll have to pay attention when they announce the long list of different teas in their gorgeous, thick accents.

BB Bakery prides itself on catering for special dietary requirements. The vegetarian platter consists of delicious cream cheese sandwiches, a miniature quiche and a dainty roll. As with most afternoon teas, it’s deceivingly filling and that’s before you even start on the top tier of beautiful sweet treats or the grand finale of scones. Gluten-free and halal afternoon teas are also available. However, nut allergies are not catered for as far as the cakes go.

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The cakes are a petite collection of popular desserts, like meringue, pastries and sponge cakes. The star is definitely the raspberry topped cake that’s dressed with some sort of pistachio cream icing. The large scones are served with clotted cream and strawberry jam – as they should be. It’s quite a feat if you manage to eat all of your savouries and sweets, and then a scone. Cute, pink takeaway boxes are available for the weaker eaters!

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The Tour

The tour last about ninety minutes, taking in some of London’s most treasured buildings. You’ll see Big Ben, Harrods, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, the Royal Albert Hall, Notting Hill, Marble Arch, Piccadilly, Trafalger Square and Covent Garden…that is of course if you’re paying attention. There’s no running commentary or announcement when you’re at each point of the tour. There’s a route map on the tables, as well as a little guide book explaining a few facts about each sight, but it’s left in your hands to decide whether you want to play tourist.

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If it’s a miserable day (highly possible in London!) be prepared for a steamy tour as the windows fog up. The staff do their best at wiping them regularly, but if you’re more into the tour than the tea be prepared to give the window a wipe too.

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The Verdict

A two-for-one experience (a bus tour of London AND afternoon tea), it’s a little pricier than some other afternoon teas in London. However, it’s only £5/10 more than some of the most famous ones, so it’s worth it for the novel experience. It’s a unique experience and a great way to see the city, especially for visitors outside of London. You can find out availability and book online here. You can book a whole floor, or even the whole bus if you want. Don’t forget to let them know that Taylor Hearts Travel sent you.

Have you been on this tour or is it something that you’d like to do? X

#SundayServed is all about worldly food and drink. Join me every Sunday for a slice of deliciousness around the globe. 

Big thanks to BB Afternoon Tea Bus Tour for hosting my yummy tour.

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Comments (15)

  • […] dinner in a Coppa Club Igloo is amazing! I’m a sucker for anything novelty (hello, afternoon tea on a red London bus!), so as soon as I spied the London igloos on my Instagram feed I knew that I had to […]

  • […] Unique in London: The Afternoon Tea Bus Tour […]

  • JP 4 years ago Reply

    Oh amazing I definitely want to do this. Ingenious way of keeping the food from flying everywhere and a great way to see London.

    Taylor Hearts Travel 4 years ago Reply

    I hope you get to do it soon! It’s such a fun and novel experience :)

  • LAN 4 years ago Reply

    This afternoon tea bus is so awesome. I like the idea of enjoying the delicious cakes while watching the beautiful sightseeing.

    Taylor Hearts Travel 4 years ago Reply

    Me too!

  • Mandy 4 years ago Reply

    Just had my second trip on the BB Afternoon Tea Bus. Very special indeed. For a small corkage fee you can have a bottle of bubbles too, which we did. You have to take your own! Stopped in at the bakery after and bought one of the mugs. Will be going for a 3rd time.

    Taylor Hearts Travel 4 years ago Reply

    Great suggestion! There’s always time for bubbles. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Hope to ‘see’ you again soon :)

  • […] also managed to see two other lovely bloggers for a London rendezvous last month. We sampled the BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour. It seems to be the latest London experience that’s on everyone’s list and it definitely ticked […]

  • Jayne 4 years ago Reply

    This looks like great fun – what a novel way to approach afternoon tea in London!

    Taylor Hearts Travel 4 years ago Reply

    It’s definitely a great option for doing something different in the city. I hope these sorts of unique tours pop up in other cities too!

  • Great write up and pics Char! I’m hoping all your readers who are tempted to try out this tea get slightly more cheery weather than we had

    Taylor Hearts Travel 4 years ago Reply

    Thanks, Shikha! Haha, it’s London so there are probably only three sunny days to play with ;)

  • Natasha 4 years ago Reply

    Great post – look forward to trying in the summer !

    http://www.traveladdictuk.com

    Taylor Hearts Travel 4 years ago Reply

    Thanks, Natasha. Good idea – you’ll hopefully avoid those foggy windows!

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