The unapologetically girly BB Bakery
This post was originally meant to be about a lovely and very girly cake date. However, one thing led to another and I have now added on a whole other half. Intrigued? I thought so. Here’s the original post:
“Right readers, I think I have found the London cafe that knows my friends and I down to a tee – it’s called BB Bakery and it is FABULOUS. The cakes are perfection, the staff are friendly and the decor is very cute. R discovered it when looking for tea after a trip up the London Eye and raved about how much I needed to visit it.
So we met for tea and cake, BLC in tow, one very wet February morning. Unfortunately they closed the County Hall branch a week after our visit due to refurbishment of that building, but I’m pretty certain the sheer quality of the food will have us becoming regulars at their Covent Garden branch.
Look at those cakes!!!
Don’t you just want to dive into that lemon meringue?
I love it when places that generally do sweets have outstanding sandwiches.
Check out their website – it’s so quirky and girly!
I won’t be taking Mr Man there – it’s way too ladylike for him, this one is definitely for the girls who will adore it. Even better than the unapologetically pastel interiors are the cakes. Oh-my-goodness, these were stunning and we both had our cake-happy faces on.
Our little selection of greatness
We shared a lovely pot of Darjeeling tea, a generous and delicious brie & tomato baguette, a phenomenal Victoria sponge and a perfect ‘summer in Paris’ tart. We couldn’t get enough. We both said “oh my god” an awful lot while trying desperately to take our time on the cakes. The Victoria sponge was quite possibly the best I’ve had anywhere – they had the flavour spot on.
Brie & tomato baguette
‘Summer in Paris’
THAT Victoria sponge
If you’re in the Covent Garden area I’d suggest you get a move on down there to get a slice of cake. When I looked on their website to find out more about BB, I discovered that they’re launching an afternoon tea bus – care to join me for a ride? I’ve always fancied afternoon tea on a bus tour of my favourite city.”
BB Bakery can be found at 6-7 Chandos Place, London WC2H 4HU, nearest tube is Embankment. We paid £11.50 each for coffee, tea, cake and a shared baguette. I’ve also noticed they do an amazing afternoon tea spread for £26 per person (must be booked in advance) and you can hire a room too – perfect for a hen-do or a baby shower.
And now the added on part of the post: The Afternoon Tea Bus
After our visit to BB Bakery, I wrote to the owner to congratulate them on such a lovely cafe with very nice staff (I do that sometimes, I don’t think people do that enough when they get good service). I said I’d like to know more about their afternoon tea bus and would be grateful if they could send me any information about it. What I wasn’t expecting was an email from BB herself inviting me to come and meet her and Philippe in their Covent Garden branch so they could tell me in person more about the bus.
So I rocked up to their Covent Garden branch at 10am two Saturdays ago, sat down with a nice pot of Sencha and from them learned all about the history of their cafe, how they’ve managed such a great hybrid of British and French patisserie and Rodney, the Routemaster given a whole new lease of life as London’s afternoon tea bus.
Lovely pot of tea on a Saturday morning
Originally from France, via a stint in Madrid, former hotel and restaurant owners BB and Philippe moved to London four years ago to set up BB Bakery with the aim of creating classic, value for money, good food for customers who wanted tradition with a touch of eccentricity. They employed three French and two English pastry chefs to ensure their goods were made with the right expertise, while BB designed the quirky and very girly interior.
The result was a cafe in Covent Garden that is always full, and smiles on customers faces who come from all walks of life. They didn’t want BB to be trendy, just classic and somewhere that appeals to people of all ages. When I was in there I certainly agreed with the results.
Something that had always been on the back-burner however, was the idea of an afternoon tea bus that takes in the best of London’s sites while also enjoying a traditional afternoon tea on a London icon. It has taken a while to meticulously plan and implement it, but the newest member of the BB Bakery family, Rodney the Routemaster (Rodney being the name he was given when he first joined London’s Routemaster fleet many moons ago) will be hitting London’s streets in the next few weeks.
Afternoon tea bus interior (image thanks to BB Bakery)
If ever there was a London experience made for me, this is it. I LOVE the Routemasters and have been known to wait around at Tower Hill station for the Number 15 Routemaster to take me into town, or the Number 9 to take me from work to Hyde Park on a summer’s evening. To combine it with a tour of London’s icons (see map below) and afternoon tea made with cakes that I already know are amazing, I’m totally sold and will be taking a group of the girls later this summer.
Afternoon tea bus route (image thanks to BB Bakery)
Here are the details:
Rodney will depart from Northumberland Avenue (near Trafalgar Square, the same road that the Corinthia Hotel backs on to) twice a day – 15:00 and 17:30 Mon-Fri and 12:30, 15:00 and 17:30 Sat-Sun. He’ll take you around London’s sites for two hours and in that time you’ll see The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Harrods, Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Notting Hill, Marble Arch, Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square.
On Rodney, you’ll enjoy afternoon tea (you can ask for gluten free and vegetarian options when you book if need be) which will include sandwiches, mini quiche, scones, mini cupcakes, macarons and sweet pastries, along with a pot of tea of your choice.
If you’re worried that you’ll spill everything, don’t worry – they’ve already worked that out – everything will be fixed in place.
They’ve kept Rodney looking quite classic. The iconic red exterior will remain, and inside the seats are burgundy and white. Rodney’s waiters will be wearing bow ties, and his drivers already know his kind well, all being trained Routemaster drivers.
I am very excited about this and wish I’d come up with the idea myself. Will you be taking afternoon tea with Rodney?
To join Rodney, you’ll pay £45 for afternoon tea (£35 for children aged 6-11) which I think is quite good considering that a normal tour bus without afternoon tea costs more than £25 and afternoon tea at BB costs £26. They also take group bookings and if you can guarantee more than 22 people will be in your group (up to 34 people) you can hire the whole bus. To find out more and to book see http://www.bbbakery.co.uk/our-bakeries/afternoon-tea-bus-tour/.
BB’s Afternoon Tea Bus will depart from 8 Northumberland Avenue, nearest tubes are Embankment and Charing Cross.