My recent week in London was an entire week-long tea extravaganza of my favorite tea spots, bellow are some of my memories and recommendations. There's nothing like sipping on warm tea in rainy England in the afternoon, talking with your bestie, for me that was Luca Bella, who also helped me with this blog. We recharged for our London adventure filled evenings over high tea!
Beas of Bloomsbury Rated: 5/20
After leaving Beas of Bloomsbury I felt catfished. It was a classic example of: don't trust everything you see online. Things were definitely not how they seemed. Beas of Bloomsbury was a cramped (wifi-less) coffee shop. It should definitely not advertise itself as a "teaservice" because neither the tea itself (which was on the same level as Lipton) nor the service was on par with its virtual expectation.
Food: 2- the bread was definitely not fresh with very little toppings and the desserts were very basic for the shop advertising as a bakery. The only rescuing element was the warm scone and fresh clotted butter.
Atmosphere: 1- crowded, uncomfortable and just not special.
Tea: 1- hardly any selection and served in uninspiring, pottery barn-esque tea cups.
Presentation: 1- the menus were dirty and everything felt very rushed and unrelaxing.
Sketch Rated: 20/20
Sometimes it takes a low (Beas of Bloomsbury) to truly appreciate a high. Sketch is everything I could have wanted in a tea service and more. My inner little girl was freaking out as I entered the all pink dining room. There's an old school glamour mixed with magic at sketch. It's quirky, adorable, and delicious.
Food: 5- endless refills and delicious food is a deadly combination that definitely contributed to a sugar high followed by an ultimate sugar coma swiftly after. But, honestly, worth it. We also did the gluten-free option!
Atmosphere: 5!!! So much pink !! Amazing and endlessly entertaining art by David Shrigley surrounds your table. The waitresses also have the cutest pink dresses and made me feel very taken care of.
Tea: 5 - I switched up my tea a bunch and each one was better than the next. I even got a floral tea that blossomed in a clear pot!
Presentation: 5- I loved the David Shrigley designed dining ware. His work is so fun and quirky. The tray itself was so beautiful with lots of pink in the desserts (my favorite being the pink macaroons). Also, the simplicity of crisp white table cloths just makes everything feel fancier.
Tea tox at Brown's hotel Rated: 17/20
Sketch was amazing, but be warned it will leave you never wanting to touch sugar again. Which I learnt isn't necessarily a bad thing with the Brown's hotel health conscious tea service. They attempt to recreate a tea-service but with healthier ingredients. It was most definitely satisfying and it was so nice to walk out not feeling like I just ate my weight in sugar.
Food: 4- one point down because I missed the scones but the creativity of it all was really inspiring. Lettuce cups instead of bread. Fruit kabobs for dessert. Also the finishing touch of sorbet after everything was cleared was a perfect ending.
Atmosphere: 4- I couldn't help feeling I was in a library. The tea room had beautiful wooden detailed ceilings and creaking wooden floorboards to match that gave it old fashioned character. It had a very masculine feeling to it compared to sketch's pink girlyness. We sat by an unlit fireplace that would have been to die for in winter. Also a live pianist made everything feel a bit more special.
Tea: 4- they had a fine selection but to go with the whole tea tox theme we stuck with alterations between fresh mint, fresh ginger, and fresh rose petal tea.
Presentation: 5- White table cloths and super comfy leather chairs with food presented on beautiful silver trays that seemed to have a lot of history themselves made everything feel very classic London.
Oscar Wilde Tea Room at Cafe Royal Rated: 18/20
This service is the definition of decadence! It was our final tea service on Luca Bella's actual birthday and it was a really magical ending to our tea spree. Beas of Bloomsbury made everything look better online, but not even a photograph can capture the immaculate space of this tea room! The online platform cannot capture the glory of sitting at such a royal service fit for a queen.
Food: 3- this was the only disappointment. There was nothing that I really loved or wanted more of. Of course, maybe by this point I was feeling a bit burned out. The veggies with our big bowl of hummus was a nice healthy side snack though and was filling enough to make up for the rest.
Atmosphere: 5- Atmosphere was everything!!! We walked in to a grand piano playing classic Disney music and it just made my heart so happy. This pianist blew every other pianist out of the water with a wide repertoire (including the squeal-inducing "Sex and the City" theme). He just really got me. Also so many mirrors! Such beautiful gold leafed ceilings! It was all so special.
Tea: 5- they had the most beautiful tea menu with in depth descriptions of each special house blend. Definitely no knock off tea bags here.
Presentation: 5- fancy white table clothes, shiny silver platters, and gleaming silverware arranged by size. Everything was perfect.
Honorable Mention: Beach Blanket Babylon
It's great for going during the day with your BFF to talk the day away. They're cool with you siting and just having fresh mint tea for hours though their Macrobiotic platter is also Devine. The Lion fireplace is a must for an extra cozy time.
Honorable Mention: Biju
Biju is the best place to go bubble tea your heart out and still be healthy... My favorite is Rooibus tea with milk no sugar plus tapioca, pudding, herb jelly and chia seeds. Please get the large if you get as many toppings as me lol. All my friends love the coconut water no sugar with coconut jelly an chia seeds yay happy belly happy body happy mind!