Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a miniature chain of cafes situated across London town, with branches in St Paul’s, Farringdon and of course Bloomsbury.
They do afternoon tea, which is good, but they also do a gluten free afternoon tea, which is just GREAT!
We headed to the original Bloomsbury branch to try it out. Bea’s website states that they need 24 hours notice to provide a gluten free afternoon tea, but we made last minute plans and rang them only four hours before and they were able to accommodate us, so if in doubt just give them a call.
The café itself is what an estate agent would describe as ‘bijoux’ – it’s tiny! There’s a sort of corridor of tables alongside the counter, but the tables further back are quite cosy.
Service was a little haphazard, we got our gluten free afternoon tea because we asked for it four times and had already pre-arranged it on the phone, but the rest of the table were presented with things bearing little to no resemblance of our actual order! Thankfully we weren’t in a rush so didn’t mind too much.
The gluten free afternoon tea (£26.50 – that includes a glass of Champagne) came with a selection of sandwiches, these were a little on the dry side and the fillings weren’t that exciting, but that wasn’t a huge problem because it’s not about the sandwiches at Bea’s – it’s about the cakes! And those did not disappoint, at all.
The top picture is the gluten free afternoon tea (for one), and here is the ordinary one (for three)
We got a huge selection of different cakes, the richest chocolate cupcake ever (which was the size of a muffin, actually), two pieces of great, moist banana bread with cinnamon, a vanilla marshmallow, meringues and some sort of little chocolatey splodge things which tasted like the gooiest, richest brownies ever. To. Die. For.
We were told when presented with the afternoon tea that freshly baked gluten free scones were coming; these never actually appeared, though. But once we’d finished stuffing our faces with all those cakes we were a little glad of that!
The Verdict: Not great service, but hands down some of the best gluten free cakes around, and pretty good value for money too.