Founded in 2008, Bea’s now has three branches across the capital; but it’s the original Bloomsbury branch that’s still the best. Things at this bakery-cum-café are far more casual than most afternoon tea destinations, which makes it feel less of an occasion, but does allow you to relax a bit more. If you can, try to get a table at the front of the café – tables at the back feel a little isolated and, due to the proximity of the open kitchen, can be a bit noisy.
Bea’s is perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth. While a selection of mini baguettes is included on the stand, the famed sweet offerings such as the obligatory scones with clotted cream and jam, and more exciting cupcakes (flavours vary), soft, wobbly fruity mashmallows, delicate and crisp mini meringues, and a trio of gooey brownies (including the infamous killer brownies with peanut butter), outshine them by a long way. There is a selection of 12 JING teas to accompany your treats, which features solid crowd-pleasers, but doesn’t offer anything overly adventurous.
Although this is a more informal experience, Beas’ afternoon tea is so popular that you do have to book in advance. It costs £19 per person (£26.50 with a glass of champagne), so you can feel like you’ve indulged without breaking the bank.
Star of the show: mini cheese toastie
Scone rating: 8/10
Perfect for: a special occasion with the girls
Price: £26.50 classic afternoon tea; £36 for champagne afternoon tea; if you are feeling extra fancy why not try the gold afternoon tea with Bottega gold prosecco £34.50