Bea’s of Bloomsbury is what every café in London should aspire to be.
If you don’t fall immediately in love with the aesthetic of Bea’s of Bloomsbury then you had better check your eyewear: this is one pretty café. The beautifully engraved window (declaring the venue's name in calligraphy-style lettering) gives way to views of impossibly high, intricate cakes that immediately make you want to get married just so you have an excuse to buy one. Inside is a perfect example of modernity meeting traditionalism. Clean lines and a monochrome colour scheme give way to ornate patterned chairs and elaborate displays of cakes. And really, when the cakes look as good as they do, you need little else.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury is quintessentially English, and as such it attracts its fair share of tourists. However, in-the-know local workers also come here for a coffee and a cake instead of opting for one of about a million chain coffee shops that infect every corner of Bloomsbury. Regulars know that the selection changes often so you’ll rarely be left gazing at the same old boring cakes you’ve seen day in, day out. And if you’re unsure as to what to order then the incredibly knowledgeable staff are more than happy to offer recommendations.
A red velvet cupcake tastes as velvety and decadent as it sounds. The perfectly light, moist sponge is topped with a creamy but not cloying mascarpone cream. Also excellent – and unusual – is the gingerbread cupcake with a gingerbread base (complete with kick), which is an unusual flavour but certainly not unpleasant. And that’s what makes Bea’s of Bloomsbury stand out. It’s all about varying the boring concept of the simple cupcake and putting a twist on it. Whether that’s with unusual ingredients or frankly beautiful decoration - it almost seems a shame to eat them. Almost. Well, it would be rude not to. If you fancy something a bit more substantial then they offer a Sweet Afternoon Tea for £12, which includes a scone, clotted cream and jam, a cupcake, a mini Valrhona brownie, a mini Belgian Blondie and a mini meringue. But that’s only for the very hungry.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury is happy to point out that their tea comes from Jing, who also supply Heston’s Fat Duck as well as Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants and other high end establishments. It’s just further proof of the care they put into sourcing the best produce. With the option to have your coffee any way you like it and a huge range of flavoured teas and herbal options, it’s impossible to get bored working your way through the menu.
The Last Word
Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a delight. It’s good to see an independent café thriving in such a competitive marketplace.