Check out my experience on London’s first ever afternoon tea bus tour on Conde Nast Traveller‘s website. Thoroughly recommended (the tour, that is!)
LONDON BUS AFTERNOON TEA TOUR
BEST FOR: SIGHTSEERS IN HEELS
London buses: not a mode of transport you’d normally associate with such a sophisticated pastime as afternoon tea. But then you haven’t been on BB Bakery’s bus yet – aka ‘Rodney’, a shiny 1960s Routemaster, which the Covent Garden family-owned bakery recently restored and put back on the road for its new Afternoon Tea Bus Tour.
Served on vintage crockery in keeping with the retro bus, the tea includes dainty sandwiches, quiche, macaroons, cupcakes, lemon-meringue pie, strawberries-and-cream cakes, scones and particularly delightful brownies, with a flute of pink champagne and tea; English breakfast, Earl Grey, green and various other options (served in a less-delightful but reassuringly spill-resistant paper cup with a lid).
On-board waiter Jean-Philippe manages to simultaneously charm and serve all customers while keeping his balance in the aisles during the 90-minute ride. Outside, if you can tear yourself away from the brownies (and the attentions of Jean-Philippe), you’ll catch iconic landmarks including Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the London Eye on a route that travels from Trafalgar Square and back via Kensington and Notting Hill – although thankfully there is no audio tour guide to interrupt the spirited conversation.
The bus-tour tea is the first of its kind, and brilliantly combines sightseeing with other classic English pursuits of afternoon tea, cake and a charming piece of history. If only all bus rides were this much fun – what a merry city London would be.
Afternoon Tea Bus Tour, £45 per person. The tea lasts around 90 minutes and departs every day at 12.30pm and 3pm from the London Eye. For more details or to book contact BB Bakery (020 7237 3392; www.bbbakery.co.uk).