Afternoon tea bus tour London

An Afternoon Tea Bus Tour of London

I’m a born and bred Londoner so it’s only natural that I should love the quintessentially English occasion of afternoon tea. Afternoon teas with a twist especially take my fancy like the burgerlicious tea we demolished at BRGR.CO or the fun cocktail making afternoon tea at Hush. So when I heard about the tea by BB Bakery that is set on an old double-decker red bus and takes guests on a sightseeing tour of London while they eat, well you can only imagine how excited I was.

I boarded the bus with fellow blogger ladies Shikha and Char and we took our seats on the top deck where the tables were beautifully laid out with tiered trays of finger sandwiches, mini turkey salad rolls and mini quiches. After the obligatory foodie snaps, we delved straight into the savoury tier which went down a treat.  I loved that they provided something different to just the normal sandwiches that most afternoon teas serve.

Afternoon tea bus tour

We were a little concerned that all the food and fancy china would go flying as soon as the bus started moving, turning what should have been a sophisticated afternoon tea into an accidental food fight on wheels. But after we tried moving the plates, we realised they were all suctioned down and the handy drink holders kept our adorably girly tea flasks in place (Note to BB Bakery: if you gave the flasks away as a little souvenir this would have totally made me love you).

Afternoon tea bus tour London

Not surprisingly for England the skies were dark and grey and the rain was pouring down outside smearing all the windows up, but the staff kindly wiped them clear every so often so that we could see all the sights as we drove past. We had a little map and guide book that detailed the sights on our route including the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace to name a few.

Afternoon tea bus tour London

Unfortunately we ended up completely missing most of the sights as there was no commentary or live guide pointing the attractions out and obviously the food stole most of our attention. One of us would catch a brief glimpse out the window before we even realised where we were (“Ooh look, Big Ben!!”) and then we all raced to grab our cameras and tried to hold still for a non-blurry shot as the bus trundled past.

Afternoon tea bus tour London

Everyone knows that the best part of afternoon tea are the scones and cakes so you can imagine how disappointed I was when they refused to serve me any cakes because they all apparently contained nuts. BB Bakery had been told in advance that I had a nut allergy and, as they offer gluten free, vegetarian and halal options, I was expecting them to be able to cater for nut allergies too. So I was left to sit forlornly by as everyone else tucked into their cupcakes, lemon meringue pies, fruity pastries and macarons. At least I had my scone which came with little pots of clotted cream and strawberry jam. The scone wasn’t quite as warm and soft as I like but that may be expecting too much when we had a moving vehicle for a kitchen!

Afternoon tea bus tour London

After an hour and a half the bus tour came to an end and I was given a cute pink take away goody bag full of all the cakes that I hadn’t been able to eat. It seemed they were perfectly happy for me to have a allergic reaction in the privacy of my own home as long as it wasn’t on their bus!

Of course I delved into it as soon as I was home and I wasn’t at all surprised that I could eat pretty much all of it! I may not have had a reaction but I obviously can’t state whether they were completely nut free or not but I’m guessing that the staff couldn’t guarantee it and so they didn’t want to take the risk. Personally I would have been perfectly happy to risk having an allergic reaction just for a piece of cake!

Afternoon tea bus tour London

Despite stepping off the bus feeling a little disappointed, the afternoon tea wasn’t all bad. As long as you don’t have a nut allergy like me I’m sure you’ll love it as the food was rather scrumptious, especially the lemon meringue pie pictured above! The whole unique setup really was brilliant and with a few changes, such as some commentary or even just some background music to make the atmosphere that bit more amiable, this would be a fantastic novel afternoon tea.

I rarely talk about anything negative on the blog, mainly because I’m very easily pleased but also because I want you lovely lot to go away feeling happy and inspired after reading something on here. So it pains me that this is my first (and hopefully last) slightly negative review but of course I have to be honest. Especially when it comes to cake.

Have you had afternoon tea on a bus? What other afternoon teas with a twist would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank you to BB Bakery who hosted our afternoon tea.

30 thoughts on “An Afternoon Tea Bus Tour of London

  1. Bec J. H. says:

    Well done for being honest – people can’t expect you to be absolutely thrilled by everything all the time! I’m glad you got your cakes eventually though, even if you did have to wait.

  2. Angie Silver (@SilverSpoonLDN) says:

    Oh no, I’m sorry you didn’t have a good time. I guess it’s kind of a good idea in theory especially for people visiting London. But I think I’d rather be in a nice warm hotel where they would be more likely to cater for your allergy. Thanks for an honest review hon 🙂
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    • Ayla says:

      It’s a great idea, I just think they need to work on a few things and it really would be brilliant. Actually it wasn’t at all cold on there despite the gloomy weather outside so that’s a bonus!

  3. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) says:

    I think this is a really fair and honest review of our experience that day Ayla – if we’re in that boat again another time, I shall bake some nut-free goodies for you in advance and bring them for you 🙂 The bus tour tea has great potential I think but it definitely needs some tweaking but it was a nice way to beat the January blues with both of you though 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      Even just one of the staff shouting out that we’re going past a big attraction would have been fine. At least that way we could chat but wouldn’t actually miss out on anything.

  4. andreaspassions5 says:

    I literally think the afternoon tea bus tour is the cleverest idea ever – seeing historic sights of London whilst engaging in a beloved English tradition is surely a tourist jackpot! However, of course, it’s understandably not going to be the best of the afternoon teas out there…proven by your mediocre scone (so sad for you!!!!!). A real shame they didn’t cater for your allergies but glad you got to scoff at home 😉 Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea’s Passions

    • Ayla says:

      It’s a brilliant idea! If they only worked on a few things then it would be a definite for all visitors to London. Such a unique way to have afternoon tea and see the sights at the same time! I did lots of scoffing 😉

  5. Enma says:

    Ow how rubbish they couldn’t cater for you! It’s a growing problem too. Every flight bar 2 this year has had an announcement that we are not to eat nuts. Hopefully they will learn from you! Otherwise should great, will have to check out cost 🙂 x

    • Ayla says:

      Not catering for allergies is a major mishap in my opinion – so many people have nut allergies now and it’s a serious allergy to have. I think it is around £45 per person. If you’re after a unique way to see the sights of London, it is a fun experience. As long as you don’t have a nut allergy!

  6. thegrownupgapyear says:

    Aw, boo to you not getting cakes on the bus but at least you got to enjoy them afterwards. I think a commentary of sorts sounds like a good idea, as I would definitely miss out on all of the sights if there was a plate of cakes in front of me!

    • Ayla says:

      Cakes and gossiping so of course the sights are going to be missed! A few little tweaks and it would make a fabulous afternoon though.

  7. Packing my Suitcase says:

    Awnn it must have been disappointing not to be able to enjoy the afternoon tea cakes 😦
    But this idea is awesome! I would totally do something like this. What’s more Londoner than an afternoon tea on board a top deck bus? 😀 ❤
    In love with this idea!!

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