To celebrate Afternoon Tea Week (10-16th August – YES that exists!), I was invited to try out BB Bakery’s halal afternoon tea and the BB afternoon tea bus tour! Finding afternoon tea in London is easy! But finding one that is halal, with pretty crockery and a lovely venue is hard to find, so I was extremely excited.
BB BAKERY AFTERNOON TEA (£29.00pp)
Finger sandwich with cream cheese, cucumber and fresh mint (x2)
Vegetarian cheese finger sandwich
Smoked salmon blinis with cream cheese
Lemon meringue tart
Mini vanilla choux with puff pastry
Strawberry mini cupcake
BB Chocolate Macaron
Scone with clotted cream and jam
Okay, so you’re feeling full and fat in spite of having a light lunch, to prepare for your afternoon tea. Warm scones, which I topped with generous helpings of clotted cream and jam, are delivered to your table upon your request. They give you a fuzzy feeling in your stomach and are freshly baked. A great way to end our afternoon tea.
Now… you may be thinking, how is this a halal afternoon tea? When our afternoon tea platter arrived I noticed there was no meat in the sandwiches. I clarified that we were meant to have halal meat and they responded with “yes, this is your vegetarian halal afternoon tea”. Disappointed with the fact that this was not actually a halal afternoon tea we did not want to spoil our day out and went ahead with our tea. I later met the owner – Brigitte Bloch (BB), the lovely French owner of BB Bakery! I told her what had happened and she apologised and assured me that they do in fact serve halal meat. She kindly invited me back for a day on the BB bus to have a halal afternoon tea! I thought it was unprofessional of them to not have halal meat for us, however, I decided to give them another chance…
BB BUS AFTERNOON TEA (£45.00pp)
I think the idea of having afternoon tea on a Routemaster is unique and great! The vintage bus drives around Central London, passing some of London’s greatest sites! It’s perfect for tourists and a great novelty for locals. I was told in an email that the bus would be departing at 5.15pm. My friend IA and I arrived at the pick-up point at 5pm only to find that we were the only ones there! Confused, we rang the bakery and were told that they forgot to inform me that the bus would be departing at a later time – 6pm. Talk about bad luck! This was extremely inconvenient as we now had about a whole hour to spare with nothing to do. Considering this was the second time the company had messed up, I was really disappointed.
In the end, the bus arrived at around 5.50pm and we departed on time. The bus was well decorated and our afternoon tea was set up and ready for us! All of our plates and trays were cleverly attached to the table so that nothing falls as the bus moves. The service on the bus was great and a book with a little history of each of London’s sites was present on our table. One of the waitresses also pointed out monuments as we passed each one.
The sandwiches and pastries served on the bus were the same as those served at their bakery, with the exception of one tomato and cream cheese bun being exchanged for a halal chicken, tomato and lettuce bun with mayonnaise. This naturally became my favourite sandwich! The chicken and the bun were fresh and delicious and I wished there was more than one! I was left disappointed that only one item out of all the foods they served was halal.
At the end of the bus tour, you are allowed to keep a cute cup and can take any leftovers home in a girly pink goody bag!
Brigitte Bloch has set up a unique company that offers halal afternoon tea not only at a bakery but on a bus, boat, as a picnic and also offers to deliver to your work/home. Overall I did enjoy BB’s take on afternoon tea, however, I didn’t think it was amazing! It’s a shame that mistakes were made on both occasions, because aside from these mishaps, the waiters were attentive! Considering the price, it is important that errors like these are not made in the future. I am not sure if I would pay for their afternoon tea, but if I am ever in Covent Garden I would definitely go back to their lovely bakery for a cup of their red fruit tea and a fruit tart (or two)!
Telephone: 020 3026 1188
Closest Station: Leicester Square