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Bea’s of Bloomsbury, London WC1: afternoon tea review

Affordable, informal and designed for those with a sweet tooth - read our review of afternoon tea at Bea's of Bloomsbury, perfect for people in need of a laid-back atmosphere and a huge chocolate brownie

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.

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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.

Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe

Star of the show: mini cheese toastie

Scone rating: 8/10

Perfect for: a special occasion with the girls

Price: Bea’s signature afternoon tea £28pp, champagne afternoon tea £36pp, gold afternoon tea £34pp.

Address: 44 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8NW


Still in the mood for cakes? Check out our best ever afternoon tea recipes now, and create your own feast at home…


 Plus, check out our guide to the best afternoon teas that are not in the UK…

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olive magazine podcast ep65 – Who will win the great scone debate? Jam or cream first?!

On this week’s podcast the team explore the British tradition of afternoon tea, sharing their favourites in London, and get into a debate on which is the right way to serve scones. (Psst, cream is the right way.)