As we all knew (and quite probably ignored), Valentine’s Day came and went last Sunday.
While I’m not a frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Vday lunatic, I do believe that the day was created to take advantage of those blindly in love, laying duty in men’s hearts and desire in women’s, so that gifts are given, plus flowers, plus chocolates, plus a prerequisite card. The blindness of love is a Godsend on this day, because without it, you would see that Hallmark had just yanked the biggest leg of all, pocketing billions upon billions, on this one day.
Having said all that, Valentine’s day does bring happiness to a significant number of people in this world, and no one will question that. Couples are loved up, and singles party on, on what is probably the easiest day of the year to spot fellow singles.
So I don’t hate, not at all.
In fact, for me, it’s as good as any reason to celebrate with a meal, and so it was to be that Panu and I had our very own little celebration at Bea’s of Bloomsbury with their quaint afternoon tea set, although I did notice that today of all days, everything was tainted a peculiar tinge of pink.
Except the sandwiches, thank god.
Tea at Bea’s is served perched on a delicate porcelain tiered tray and starts with a selection of fresh baguettes, with fillings ranging from salami to chicken to cheese to dijon and even a delectable vegetarian option (sweet potato… yummmm).
I hate to say it, but sometimes vegetarian tastes good, and in fact I am a big fan of vegetarian pizzas but please don’t un-love me because of that.
Our tray had little bunny rabbits making out (see below) which I thought was infinitely adorable *schmuck*.
After the sandwiches, we had scones with jam and clotted cream. Actually, I say “after the sandwiches” but really, it’s all there all at the same time and there is no tea police to tell you what to eat first but society has beaten us into having our sandwiches before our scones.
Next time I might just go renegade and start with the cake.
The scones were delightfully light to hold and hard on the outside (which had me concerned for a micro split second) but the insides were disarmingly soft and crumbly ~ not bready at all, which I have no idea whether it’s a good or bad thing, but I quite liked the crumbly consistency. The cream was just ridiculously good, but I am a sucker for cream.
Moving along to the sweet thangs, our kissing bunny tray also held a selection of sugary delights including two cupcakes, meringues and a selection of chocolate and vanilla ganache, which I so happened to have no photos of. Truly bizarro.
And I now have to say this, although I feel a little bit like I’m betraying my fidelity seeing as I normally love Hummingbird so much (I only went there a day before) but I’m starting to drift away from the Hummingbird cupcake (usually thick, sweet and heavily doused in some sort of icing or cream cheese frosting) and towards Bea’s much lighter cupcake, which is noticeably spongier, fluffier and whose frosting I can actually eat without scraping scraping half of it off.
Maybe I’m just getting old.
The ganache were little cubes of heaven and the meringues were a perfect end to the meal ~ dissolving into nothing in my mouth. This is truly empty calories. But oh, in such a wonderful way.
Their only downfall, if you can even call it that, is that the venue is small and reservations are snapped up way before I’m usually even thinking about booking something (and you have no idea how anal my organised-ness can get).
But if you can get even more organised than me, then definitely drop them a line and check out Bea’s for afternoon tea, or even just a casual coffee & cake. Empty calories but so much goodness.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury
44 Theobald’s Road
Bloomsbury, WC1X 8NW
0207 242 8330