Welcome back to my blog. I hope you enjoyed my previous post – the sixth in my ESB Musical Bake series – inspired by Waitress the Musical, Jenna’s Blackberry & Apple Pie. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, click here!
In today’s blog post, I want to begin a new series – Tea with ESB. In this series, I want to share with you the best tea shops and bakeries I visit and give you the lowdown on the tastiest tea and cake I can find. I hope to give you inspiration to visit the cafés I suggest or just encourage you to enjoy having tea out in your own town!
For each place I visit, I will tell you about the location, atmosphere, and food and drink to give you a flavour of how I enjoyed it. I will also give a cupcake rating of up to 4 cupcakes – one for each of the 3 categories and an extra cupcake for my overall experience.
To accompany this post, I have covered ‘Tea for Two,’ a 1925 song from musical, No No Nanette, written by Vincent Youmans and Irving Caeser. To have a listen, click the player below or visit my English Singing Baker Soundcloud profile.
To kick the series off, I want to share with you Bea’s of Bloomsbury, a bakery and tea shop I visited earlier in the year, just around the corner from St Pauls Cathedral in the City of London.
BEA’s OF BLOOMSBURY – ST PAULS BRANCH
Website : https://www.beas.london/
Address : Bea’s of Bloomsbury, 83 Watling Street, London EC4M 9BX
Nestled in the corner of a shopping centre just down from Bread Street, where medieval Londoners used to buy their freshly baked loaves, Bea’s of Bloomsbury is an outpost of a shop that surprisingly enough began its life in Bloomsbury, selling freshly baked cakes to the local area. It is just around the corner from imposing St Pauls Cathedral and as you approach, the well known London landmark reflects in the glass windows of the shop front. So, it would make the perfect pit-stop on a visit to the City of London, whether you are shopping or visiting as a tourist.
On their website, Bea’s of Bloomsbury says they want you to feel as if the shop is your living room, and certainly the welcoming staff help to make you feel at home the moment you walk in the door. The glass covered building lets in lots of light, and is opposite a small garden, which makes you feel you might as well not be in London. The café is split over two floors – with the counter and seating downstairs and cosy additional space upstairs. The seats are beautifully upholstered in brightly coloured fabrics, and the lamp shades are made out of tea and coffee pots which I thought was a unique design feature that added to the atmosphere! The only pity is the exposed ceiling, that is a bit out of keeping with the traditional feel and doesn’t quite fit with the other quaint and beautiful bits and pieces that decorate the café.
FOOD & DRINK
You can have a nosy at what bakes are available downstairs before you make your way up, but be warned, there is so much to choose from you may have trouble choosing what to have. From whipped icing topped cupcakes to moist layer cakes, the choice is endless. When I visited, I had a ‘duffin’ which was a highbred of a doughnut and a muffin. I had never seen one before so it was deliciously unusual treat! You can book ahead for set menu formal afternoon tea, but the staff are more than happy for you to come on the day and choose your own treat from the counter instead. There is a large menu of teas and coffees alongside the bakes, so there is a hot or cold drink for anyone and everyone!
A charming place to sit and watch the world go by, Bea’s was a lovely experience and I agree with the slogan wholeheartedly – ‘Life is short, eat cake!’ – particularly when the range of cakes on offer is so tempting! A perfect hideaway in the City for a revitalising cup of tea and cake.
See you next time for another post but in the meantime,
Happy Tuneful Baking!
English Singing Baker x