Last weekend, my lovely friends and family in London threw me a baby shower. Baby showers aren’t big here, but from the name, you’ve probably guessed that the occasion revolves around “showering” the mom-to-be with gifts. Essentially, this means the shower was tons of fun for me and required tons of goodwill and patience on the part of friends and family who attended.
My friends couldn’t have chosen a better venue for the shower: afternoon tea at the newish Bea’s of Bloomsbury location at One New Change. Unlike neighboring restaurant, Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa, which is large and loud and mediocre, Bea’s is quiet, relaxing and maintains the same high standards that you’ll find at the original Bea’s of Bloomsbury location.
The decor at Bea’s at New Change is sleek and chic, and what I most appreciated was how everything tasted as good as it looked. The cheeky serving tiers at our tea held buttery, crumbly scones, rich brownies and chewy meringues. I wasn’t a huge fan of the blondies, which tasted unpleasantly under-baked, but happily that was the only clunker at our tea.
Most cupcakes in London bakeries rely on frosting to cover up the fact that the underlying cake is dried out. Happily, this isn’t the case at Bea’s, whose cupcakes were moist and came in interesting, delicious flavors like passion fruit and Bailey’s. Savoury baguette sandwiches were also fresh and delicious. We shared platters piled high with vegetarian and meat-lover’s sandwiches and washed it all down with individual pots of Jing tea.
It was a great afternoon tea, and when you compare the generous spread at Bea’s with that of London hotels charging 2-3 times the price, you’ll see why I was so impressed with Bea’s version. Considering how tourist-friendly Bea’s location is, they could probably get away with serving mediocre food, but I’m glad they don’t.
Afternoon tea at Bea’s is £15 per person and £22.50 with a glass of Moet.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury One New Change, 83 Watling Street (aka the side of the One New Change mall that’s closest to the Thames/Millennium Bridge), EC4M 9BX; 0207 242 8330; closest Tube station: St. Paul’s