Quirky Afternoon Tea on a London Bus with BB Bakery

Following the recent post-holiday gluttony, I noticed many bloggers’ social media feeds trending with statements of detoxing, 5/2 diets, juices for dinner – the dreary list goes on. I’m more of a believer in sustainable healthy living – no drastic diets, no en-vogue nutritional fads, just regular balanced lifestyles throughout the year with eating out and naughty treats to be enjoyed in moderation.Afternoon Tea Bus Tour LondonAnd so, on a rather happy “moderation” day, I joined Char and Ayla on board the BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus, without doubt one of the most novel experiences you’ll find in London. I’ve met both of these lovely ladies on a number of occasions and felt an instant affinity with them. For one, just like myself, they are totally travel-mad and their passion for travel trumps all others (sorry husbands!!) but also like myself, they juggle this with busy careers, mortgages, spouses and their global tales prove that you don’t have to give this all up to pursue your travel dreams.

But you’ve not clicked on this to hear all about my blogger love. You presumably want to know more about the afternoon tea bus so without further ado…BB Bakery Covent Garden cupcakes

The BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus

BB Bakery have had a tea salon in central London for a number of years now. If you walk past it, you will be hard pushed not to want to pause when you see their array of delicate, fanciful French pastries – just look at the cupcakes above! It’s always packed because frankly, they know how to do cakes so I came into this with high expectations. I once raved about the pizza restaurant on a London Routemaster bus but that was stationed so I was panicking slightly about how I would get through this without major spillage and clumsiness..BB Bakery tea bus tour menuThe bus tour starts just by Trafalgar Square and lasts approximately an hour and a half. We were seated at the top deck, where tables were mostly arranged for up to four people and we were given a warm and friendly reception from a member of staff with a most attractive French accent.afternoon tea bus salmon and cucumberAs you board the bus, you’ll note a selection of sandwiches, quiches and sweet pastries already laid out and if you’re an eager-beaver of a photographer, take advantage of those moments on the static bus or try to optimise on traffic/traffic light opportunities once you’re on the move (not usually a problem in central London.) We learned the hard way that zooming in on a mini-cupcake on a moving bus in no easy feat. The sweet treats were as scrumptious as I remembered from their Covent Garden bakery and any leftovers will be nicely boxed up for you in a dainty pink cardboard goody bag, which kept Pumpkin a happy man on my return.BB bakery fruit tart afternoon tea bus One of our group has a nut allergy and despite forewarning, they were unable to accommodate the request, stating that nearly every dessert contains nuts in some form so if you are affected with a similar allergy, do check in advance regarding specifically what to expect from your tea.

They have thought through all the logistics of ensuring that your edible treats end up mostly in your mouth and less on your lap. I enjoy a tea-flavoured dessert but I’d rather my clothes didn’t smell of it. You have to remember that it is served on an actual moving bus without a kitchen on board so the scones were not as warm as you may be used to in other establishments and the tea can’t be served in bone china cups fit for the queen; but they compensate for this well with these uber-feminine and funky thermos cups.routemaster bus afternoon tea I’m no shoplifter but was tempted to ask permission to snuggle this cup into my handbag! I was a little disappointed to find that the clotted cream came in self-contained, disposable plastic packs, as it didn’t have that indulgent richness normally affiliated with clotted cream but this, I assume, was probably down to logistics as well.scone jam Rondas clotted creamDuring the tour, we passed the world-famous London tourist attractions including The Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey before venturing west to view the Royal Albert Hall, a beautiful performance venue, which conjures up nostalgic sentiments for me, as I was lucky enough to have had my university graduation ceremony there. What I will say about the tour is that you do have to be quite astute to keeping abreast of the sights.London afternoon tea bus tour BB bakery They do provide a map of the tour route but there’s no formal guide or voice-over to remind you when you’re passing significant attractions.  On a bright sunny day, many of the major monuments will no doubt be obvious but if like us, your tour happens to fall on a horribly rainy day, when the windows fog up at your mere inter-cake breath, the sights can be easy to miss. Credit to the staff for diligently coming round as often as they could to wipe clean windows for us to allow us a clearer view. Westminster Abbey afternoon tea bus tour LondonWe went on a Monday afternoon in January so understandably, it was not filled to capacity and it is difficult to gauge an experience for its true ambience at such times but my personal feeling was that either a little bit of gentle background music or alternatively enhancing the tour by adding in a guided tour element to it would further its appeal.lemon meringue pie choux bun afternoon tea The £45 per adult cost is certainly on the steep side and comparable to many of the best 5 star hotel afternoon teas in London but I imagine the price premium is attributable to the uniqueness of having tea on board a moving Routemaster and the quirky niche they found with this experience. inside interior afternoon tea bus LondonIt is certainly a great pick for all those difficult Londoners who seem to have been there, done that and got the T-shirt for absolutely every activity going in town but it would also appeal to all those outside of London with a fondness for both the quintessential afternoon tea tradition as well as the city of London and its historical beauty. With a few adjustments to the menu and environment or perhaps tweaking the price a notch, I think this exciting new venture has huge potential and if you love the idea of this, you can even hire out the bus for private events or stay tuned for their upcoming afternoon tea boat tour

We were guests of the BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus but I am opinionated little lady, particularly where cakes are concerned so all views, good or bad, are entirely my own.

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38 thoughts on “Quirky Afternoon Tea on a London Bus with BB Bakery

  1. This looks wonderful!! Yummie!!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:25 am

      Thank you! It was delicious – definitely one for anyone with a sweet tooth!!

  2. Muddy Boots Bakes February 26, 2015 — 7:25 pm

    Such a fun idea, especially for those who aren’t so familiar with London! I would have been tempted to have theft like tendencies with the cups too- they are very cute! Laura xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:27 am

      Thank you Laura! The cups are so sweet aren’t they?! It really is a great little idea and from the look of the website, it seems they have lots of ideas on how to extrapolate it further on other forms of transport around London so could be interesting to see how that goes too! x

  3. :-O there’s a high tea bus?!?! OMG!!! As if I wasn’t already keen enough to go back to London! This is such an awesome idea!!!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:29 am

      Haha, so it sounds as if we should be expecting a return visit from you soon then Jess?! It’s such a fun concept & the dainty cakes especially were just delicious ☺ Thanks so much for reading!

  4. What a quirky was to see London!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:33 am

      Bit different to pushing, shoving and cursing your way through Oxford Street when hungry eh?! :mrgreen:

  5. Oh this seems so long ago that I think we’re due another get-together and definitely more cake!! Mmm, that one with the pistachio topping was delicious 🙂 xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:34 am

      It really does feel like ages – does this mean time is going slowly and we’re not having enough fun?!? Must meet up and correct that! ☺ x

  6. I think this would be so much fun! Getting to see London AND eating lots of sweets! My husband and I have London on our bucket list and while I am not exactly sure if I could convince him to go for an afternoon tea, I probably could get him to do this! I would only be worried about motion sickness — did you feel sick at all?

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:39 am

      Thanks Carolann! Yes it’s a great way of coaxing people who wouldn’t normally go for afternoon tea – for the quirky novelty factor if nothing else and if you still couldn’t persuade him, I’m sure there’d be a whole group of London bloggers happy to join you instead! I often feel a bit nauseated with long coach or bus journeys but this was actually fine – there’s always so much traffic in central London that this goes at a reasonably slow pace so I didn’t find the motion an issue – so long as you don’t stuff down all the cakes in one go :mrgreen:

  7. All the treats look so delicious and I love the thermos cups! Such a fun way to see London, shame it was raining when you went but at least you live there full time so you weren’t really missing out.

    Ash | Liakada Travel

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:41 am

      Yes that’s the only thing about people who end up with a rainy day and have come all the way from somewhere far and wide – but then again, I guess if you do have to play tourist in London on a rainy day, then being under cover with tea and desserts probably isn’t a bad way to do it! Thanks for reading Ash ☺

  8. Ooh yum – what a beautifully quirky way to partake of afternoon tea!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:43 am

      Thank you Suzanne! It was certainly the most novel afternoon tea I’ve had! I think it would have been just wonderful if the sun had made an appearance but there was something quite warming about being sheltered on board with tea and cake ☺

  9. That looks like such an awesome and unique experience. It must be cool to enjoy the sights of London while enjoying such mouth watering pastries on a double decker bus. However, the price is a little on the steep side but I guess it is all about experience.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:46 am

      It certainly was unique Constance – great way of combining two famous London/England traditions! I do agree about the price though – it is certainly on the steep side and I think probably, in part, guests are perhaps paying a little extra for the novel experience. Thank you for reading ☺

  10. I’ve seen this bus once driving around London and thought that it must be good fun, especially for tourists who want to take in the sights at the same time

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 2, 2015 — 8:50 am

      It’s quite funny spotting it for the first time in and amongst all the standard buses, which I must admit have felt rather boring since being on this one! I definitely think it must appeal to tourists from out of London though I must admit, even as a Londoner, I’ve always been curious about doing one of those London bus tours and now I can tick that one off the list! Thank you for reading Suze ☺

  11. Sweets and a trip around town sound perfect for me, as I will be a first-time visitor to London at some point. I’m willing to deal with the cream in the packet for the sake of city views.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 14, 2015 — 8:25 pm

      Well said Dave! I hope you do enjoy London when you make it here – I’m a little biased as a Londoner but it’s a great city and the tea and cakes are – well – the icing on the cake if you forgive the terrible pun! Thanks so much for reading 🙂

  12. I’ve seen so many people do this and it sounds great but way too pricy for me to shell out on. Maybe for a birthday!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 14, 2015 — 8:26 pm

      It is definitely on the costly side compared to many other afternoon teas, I agree so yes an excuse like a bday celebration is a great time to justify it!

  13. I love these muffins and cupcakes! Tea time in London is always a great idea :-)!!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 14, 2015 — 8:27 pm

      I couldn’t have said it better myself Agness! What is England without a cup of tea and a hearty piece of cake after all? ☺

  14. Naughty treats to be enjoyed in moderation?! No Shikha, just no 😉

    You seem to have all the same feelings as me on this afternoon tea bus tour which I’m glad to hear! The best part was of course seeing you two lovely ladies 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) March 11, 2015 — 3:11 pm

      It was a lovely afternoon all in all Ayla and looking forward to seeing your write up on it too 🙂 And yes, I’m not sure who I was kidding about the “moderation” thing but I’m trying my best to cut down a bit before I end up with a full set of false teeth!!

  15. How did I not know about this bus! ❤︎

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) May 28, 2015 — 9:13 pm

      It’s still relatively newish in the grand scheme of things but fun idea eh?! And in fact, I do believe that they’ve now launched an afternoon tea boat ride and last I heard, they were planning one in a London cab too!

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

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) June 12, 2015 — 7:06 am

      It’s a great idea isn’t it?! That’s what makes this tea so unique and the cakes were delicious! Thanks so much for reading ☺

  17. So cool!!👏👏👏👍👍😍😍😍😋😋😋😋

  18. The Jetset Boyz July 3, 2017 — 9:39 am

    For a while we’d said we must give the B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour a go but never got around to it. So, when we won Afternoon Tea for two at a social media meetup in January we were absolutely delighted! Getting to ride London’s iconic vintage Routemaster is a treat, to do it whilst eating tasty cake… awesome!! 😊 😋 😎

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) July 10, 2017 — 12:01 am

      What a great prize to win! Sounds like you had a wonderful experience on board – it’s a great way to combine 2 such quintessentially British things – the routemaster & high tea! I actually saw the bus driving past today in the city & it brought back fond memories!

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