We all love afternoon tea, don't we? It's one of those totally English things that tourists and locals alike enjoy doing - teeny tiny sandwiches (crusts cut off, of course!), dainty little cakes and pastries, a pot of steaming tea and let's not forget the scones! Before I continue, clotted cream or jam first? If you tell me you like jam first then we're just not going to be friends.
So afternoon tea started around the reign of Victoria - dinner had been pushed back to 6-ish so everyone needed something in the afternoon to get them through to the main meal of the day. It was also a great opportunity to get together with your chums for a bit of a chin wag or, as it wasn't such a formal meal as dinner, you could invite your daughter's potential suitor over to weigh him up.
I booked a table at BB Bakery in Covent garden not for any of these reasons but for another excellent reason - to celebrate a birthday!
There she is, the birthday girl!
I'll let you in on a secret - she will be having a special birthday this year but it's not for a few months...July was the only time me, my mum and my sister could get time off together as they both had to plan in travels from American and Finland!
The bakery is located just around the corner from Covent Garden - far away enough to be away from the touristy hustle and bustle but close enough to still be able to watch the world go by through the large windows that are decorated with massive jars of macarons, towers of pastel pastries and flowers.
We were seated in what I thought was the best seat in the house - around a small dark wood table in the corner, right by the windows.
First we ordered tea - I went for the Pettiagala Ceylon as I like quite an aromatic tea but there are other options including green teas, fruit teas and coffee.
Our teas came out in beautiful mis-matched vintage looking teapots...
So what tasty treats did we get?
Smoked salmon on a blini with (I think) creme freche, a polenta "finger" with roasted peppers, roast chicken on a sun-dried tomato studded ciabatta roll and a veggie quiche (served warm).
A perfectly baked macaron, lemon/lime meringue tart, a crumbly based, vanilla creamed topped cake and a mini chocolate cupcake. This was my absolute favourite (which is why it deserves a picture on its own) - a crispy almond-y pastry filled with the most delicious custard I've ever had.
Then came the scones...shiny glazed top, warm and perfectly crumbly when sliced open...top with clotted cream and strawberry jam and you have the perfect finish to an afternoon tea!
The atmosphere was delightful, the service was spot on and don't let the daintiness of the cakes and savouries deceive you - we had to ask for a doggy bag because we were all absolutely stuffed! I would definitely visit BB Bakery again although they have afternoon bus AND boat tours which both look brilliant so think next time I might have to try one of those!
Afternoon tea starts at £29 per person
6-7 Chandos Place
020 3026 1188
*we paid for our meal in full, ourselves and were not asked to review BB Bakery but my opinions of the place are all mine and entirely entirely true!