|Time for Tea|
Husband and wife team Philippe and Brigitte Bloch are the brains behind BB Bakery, a French Salon de Thé in Covent Garden. Together they’ve created an afternoon tea stop-off with a clean and contemporary look that attracts city girls in chic outfits and stilettos, ladies of leisure and groups celebrating special occasions.
I popped in with a friend on what I thought would be a quiet Monday afternoon and to my surprise there were several other tables accommodating a tea stand. A tea stand that I must say makes you go ‘oooh’ before you’ve even tasted its contents.
I’ll start with the savouries. The ham and cheese baguette and smoked salmon on multigrain loaf were very nice indeed, but it was the miniature vegetarian quiche that had been warmed through which was the real winner. A nice French alternative to the finger sandwich it was light enough not to spoil my appetite.
The golden brown scone was served freshly heated from the small pantry which sits at the back of the café. It had a tempting glaze on its top and just the right amount of crumble when I broke it in half to add the clotted cream and strawberry jam. You could still see the grooves from the dough cutter which added a pretty homemade quality.
On to the sweet treats. Made on a daily basis by a mix of French and English chefs they are mini temptations of bigger versions on sale at the cafés counter. Upscale on the way out so you have something to enjoy later on.
I fell in love with the dark chocolate pecan brownie chunk, its moist, dense and sticky texture was moreish and as for the browned lemon meringue pie, Philippe’s favourite, it was a refreshing and zingy triumph. Other tasties included macaroons, mini cupcakes with neatly swirled buttercream, and sponge topped with raspberries and blueberries. The colourful and appetising display was served on pretty crockery that Philippe and Brigitte source from vintage markets and shops on a regular basis. To drink we had fresh orange juice and a pot of camomile tea.
We really took our time at BB’s and enjoyed watching people rush past on their way down to the Strand or up into the heart of Covent Garden. If you can’t make it to this branch there’s a sister café in County Hall and Philippe and Brigitte are cooking up plans to open a third BB Bakery in Mayfair. Unlike typical Salon de Thé’s BB’s serves alcohol, I suggest a glass of Champagne Rose La Romantique.
Traditional tea is £26 per person, or £33 with champagne. Booking 24 hours in advance is required as afternoon tea is prepared fresh on a daily basis.
Charlotte Vowden is a travel & lifestyle journalist who is as happy in the mountains as she is sipping champagne and eating cake. Writing for The Sunday Times keeps her busy but she’s always looking for her next adventure or afternoon tea destination.
DISCLAIMER: As is common in the catering and leisure industry, we were provided with complimentary services for review purposes. Whilst this has not influenced our review, we believe in the full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.