It’s true: Americans think the British drink tea and eat crumpets all day, and then drink more tea and eat more crumpets with the Queen. So naturally, afternoon tea has become an extremely touristy activity. After lunching with a Londoner, I learned that most locals don’t actually have afternoon tea regularly, and even he, himself, had never had afternoon tea before. Although I have been in London for a while, I still consider myself a tourist, so having afternoon tea was a must on my to-do list.
Lucky for me, I was able to make reservations for Bea’s of Bloombury's annual Alice In Wonderland themed Mad Hatter Afternoon Tea Party. Though it wasn't exactly an “afternoon” tea party since the event was from 7-9PM, for £25 a person, there was unlimited tea, champagne, and all-you-can-eat delights. And of course, I stuffed my face until my body couldn't handle the sugar rush anymore and then brought boxes of goodies home with me.
The Bea’s on Theobalds Road is a little bakery cafe inconspicuously nestled in Holborn. I found it extremely charming with its decor and intimate setting. The event was only open to 25 guests because that was the actual capacity of the place. I was excited to find that this lovely bakery has been known to produce some of London’s best cupcakes!
We sat along a long table with other guests, some who were dressed up as Wonderland characters, and sipped a variety of JING teas. My favorite teas of the night were the Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea and the Goomtree Estate Darjeeling Second Flush. I loved how each tea had its own distinct taste and aroma - these were definitely high quality teas, and its high-end retailers confirm its brand positioning.
Raspberry frosted cupcakes, fudge, snickerdoodles, chocolate vanilla cupcakes, spongy scones…mango coconut marshmallows (my favorite treat of the night), fresh berry cream…mini baguette sandwiches…numerous tea pots……and THE CHAMPAGNE!
I was so tempted to ask for a nutritional sheet, but A. that would have been annoying to do, and B. I think I would have been depressed for ages learning the number of calories I consumed that night. I had everything pictured above (more than one), some not pictured (such as Victorian sponge cake and cinnamon spiced cake), and a few different pots of tea. My stomach was about to explode, literally. There was so much leftover that the sweet bakery girls, dressed in lovely costumes, packaged all the extras for us to bring home.
Then I forced my roommates to eat it all so I could feel better about not being the only fat and gluttonous one.Oh, I felt extremely guilty eating all those sweets, I don’t think I’ve had more sugar in a day ever in my life! But that’s the beauty of guilty pleasures… And the next morning, I relieved my guilt by getting my fat ass to the gym. Wonderful.