Beas of Bloomsbury is an adorable, little cake cum coffee shop that was recommended to me by someone on twitter when searching for a good, well-priced place for afternoon tea in London.
With a sister doing dry Jan and a bestie carry a 7 month old bump we needed a non-alcohol focused place to catch up. Plus, none of us had actually done afternoon tea before (I know what kind of girls are we?!) so it was the perfect match for us.
Beas of Bloomsbury have three cafes in total. One in St Pauls, one in Farringdon and obviously, one in Bloomsbury. Location wise the Bloomsbury cafe suited us all best so we booked in for 1pm and all but one of us, arrived a little early however this was no problem at all and we were shown straight to our table.
We started off with English Breakfast Tea for three and hot water for one, I know, one of my friends, who had in fact suggested afternoon tea, doesn’t actually like any type of tea?! But anyway we were promptly bought our savoury baguettes to start which were cut into four and had three different fillings to try: salami – then brie, tomato and ham – and pepper, cheddar and pesto.
They were little parcels of savoury heaven.
I know finger sandwiches are the norm for afternoon tea but I actually preferred these. They were fresh and tasty, particularly the brie, tomato and ham one…and tbh my favourite thing is crusty baguette bread soaked from juicy tomato so yeah definitely better than some stinky old finger sandwiches.
Once the plate had been polished off they asked if we were ready for the cakes. Pretty sure that was a rhetorical question.
Enter the three tiered cake stand.
The server helpfully explained exactly what was on each tier. Starting with scones and macaroons at the bottom, four different flavoured cupcakes next (raspberry, red velvet, chocolate caramel and pistachio) and finally passion-fruit marshmallows, a selection brownies and yet more macaroons.
Of course on the side we had lashings of clotted cream and strawberry jam for our scones.
We decided to work our way up from the bottom and all started with scones which unfortunately weren’t warm. A little disappointing as, being from the South West originally, much of my adolescence was spent bunking off sixth form to go for cream teas (I know, what a goody goody!) at the top of Gold Hill (the most pictureque hill you could possibly visit!) in this cafe here!
So I’m used to pretty high standards on the scone and jam front. Saying that they were still tasty even if they weren’t warm.
We then divided the cupcakes into four so we could all have a bit of each (apart from the pistachio which we were too full for!) The caramel & chocolate one was my favourite – I mean look at that sliver of caramel down the middle!
Finally, we lethargically made our way onto the brownie selection. By this time we were seriously full and with sugar levels through the roof we were struggling to finish what was already on our plates.
BUT we suddenly remembered the passion fruit marshmallows and oh look, we all had some extra belly space. And my god, were they the welcome little bit of fruity nourishment we needed. To be honest, they were the best thing on the stand, so full of real flavour…all of us were eyeing up our neighbours marshmallows hoping to sneak an extra one.
Throughout our time the tea was topped up constantly allowing us cup after cup and when we were told our time was up they offered us to take the left over bits away which means nothing went to waste and it truly was £19 well spent.
The staff were really friendly and helpful with no request too much. They were more than happy to check ingredients for my pregnant friend to ensure she could safely eat all that was on offer and even when it was time to move on the guy was so polite, keen to make sure we’d enjoyed ourselves.
The cafe itself is on the small side and when lots of people are popping in trying to get a table, perusing the cake counter and squeezing past to their reserved area, it can feel a little crowded. That said being as small as it is, it feels very friendly and quite casual.
I was worried for afternoon tea we’d be expected to dress up and that goes against my Sunday winter wardrobe of loose fitting, cozy jumpers and comfy leggings. So I was glad it wasn’t super posh but instead laid back and welcoming.
Thoroughly recommended for cost and cosiness – Beas of Bloomsbury isn’t high tea or for those looking for fancy pants surroundings. The selection and amount you get is, well, too much really but of course that’s a good thing. If you’re not keen on afternoon tea though you can still pop in for a coffee and cake…there are so many tempting ones in the window plus some amazing looking meringues.