From all the different types and themed Afternoon Teas in London, I personally think that Afternoon Tea on a London bus is one of the coolest! If you’re in London in England, you’ve probably seen them driving around: the big, red double decker vintage routemaster buses from Brigit’s Bakery.
They really are the best type of advertisement in the city, because what is a better way then to get the attention of people then to drive a bright red box on wheels, full of people munching on delicious cakes and teas, right in front of their noses? I know, right?!
In the B-Bakery Bus, you can enjoy the first ever London Afternoon Tea bus experience in a fully refurbished 1960s London routemaster bus. This tour combines the tradition of English afternoon tea with the history of London, as you drive along the main sights of the city while enjoying a little feast of finger sandwiches, mini cupcakes, scones and lovely cakes.
We invite you to join us on a quick review of the tour we did (that you can book here), which was kindly sponsored by B-Bakery in exchange for a honest review. Let’s go:
What we'll cover in this article
AFTERNOON TEA ON A LONDON BUS
ARRIVING AT VICTORIA STATION
When we get to Victoria Coach Station (about 10 minutes walk from Victoria Train/Underground Station), it’s very easy to figure out where to take the bus. On the digital screens, it already popped right up as destination ‘Afternoon Tea’ with a special pink marker next to it!
If you’re someone that finds it hard to be somewhere on time (a.k.a. NOT DUTCH), then I suggest you aim to get to the coach station at least 20+ minutes before the tour departs. If you’re late, the bus will leave and you’ll miss out. Okay Mom! Just warning you :)
Gate 0 is straight to the left and then towards the end of the terminal. There is a desk and seats to wait until you are called. When it’s time for that, you simply show your booking (can be on your phone) and they cross you off the list, let you know which bus you are on (when we were there, there was a bus ‘1’ and a bus ‘2’, so multiple buses run at the same time!), take you to the bus (which is right outside), and show you your seats.
Then the fun can begin!
Best Transport Ticket for London
If you’re travelling to London from outside of the UK, then my best tip is to get a London Oyster Visitor Card ahead of your travels. This card, you can top up with any amount and use it to travel on all London public transport.
You save time on arrival, as your card is ready to use when you land and you can also enjoy exclusive offers and discounts at various restaurants and attractions with your card.
The Visit Britain Shop is the official shop of the British Tourist Authority, so I can highly recommend purchasing the pass through them.
All cakes and other pastries are freshly baked in the morning and when you step on board, your table is already set for you, so you can pretty much dig in right away … although you might want to listen to the introduction and instructions from your hosts first, show your table manners!
There are two 4-seater tables and two 2-seater tables on the lower deck of the bus (behind the driver) and upstairs (where we sat), you can find another four 4-seater tables and two 2-seater tables (VIP, in the front of the bus). Of course on both decks, there is space for the staff to serve out your drinks as well.
We loved how all the tables were already set up and the bus was decorated with fairy lights all around the windows, it made for a super cozy setting!
You might not expect much from an afternoon tea on a London bus, but you’d be surprised! The traditional Afternoon Tea London menu is seasonal and may vary throughout the year, but in general, this is what you can expect (there are also gluten free, vegetarian, vegan and halal options):
Freshly Prepared Savouries
- Spinach, feta and sun-dried tomato savoury muffin
- Smoked salmon pretzel with cream cheese, chives and cucumber
- Minty cucumber and cream cheese sandwich on beetroot bread
- Pastrami burger with tomato, salad and a mustard mayonnaise
- Ham & cheese sandwich with wholegrain mustard mayo on granary bread
Want to make your own Afternoon Tea at home?
Here are some amazing books for planning your tea party:
Assortment of mini Homemade Cakes & Tarts
- Lemon meringue tart
- Vanilla and raspberry jam choux
- Queen sablé and cream cheese mousse
- Chocolate mini cupcake
Plain, freshly baked scone with clotted cream and jam, which they will bring you a bit into the tour in a cute basket!
Included Non-Alcoholic Drinks
This afternoon tea bus in London is accompanied by a selection of teas from Betjeman & Barton, who are French tea experts since 1919. You can choose between English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Green Tea, Jasmine Tea, Rooibos, Jardin Rouge and Peppermint.
Not such a tea fan (but HOW?), no worries! You can also choose coffee (Americano, Cappuccino or Latte Macchiato), hot chocolate or just plain water if you’d like.
And again, they’ve thought about this: you will get your drinks in a B-Bakery branded plastic cup with a lid, so you don’t spill anything when the bus makes a sudden move. At the end, we got to keep our cups, but I’m not sure if that’s the case on every trip. Ours were with Christmas decorations, so they might wanted to get rid of them as they’re bringing in other seasonal cups? Not sure here!
Additional Alcoholic Drinks
Additional drinks to pre-order are Prosecco (glass / bottle), Sparkling Wines (half bottle / bottle) or Champagnes (bottle). They come in cute B-Bakery branded plastic glasses, that you need to hold on tightly! We had our prosecco at the end after our hot drinks, which was a good idea, so we didn’t have to rush drinking them.
COMFORT & ATMOSPHERE
It took a little while for us to get used to the moving and shaking of the bus while eating, but luckily all plates have a piece of anti-slip foam under them, there are cup holders, the cake stand is wide and has only two tiers and everything else is pretty much secured onto the table.
While I can get nauseous in a car sometimes, I am comfortable with sitting in a bus ‘the wrong way’ and was totally fine during the whole trip, but if you have severe motion sickness, you might want to consider this and pace yourself with the eating to take more time to look outside and/or take something before you board the bus.
What I liked was that all the plates and cutlery were ‘real’ (so no plastic, which I support so much!), which gave everything the feeling you were in an actual restaurant rather than on a picnic and made things a bit more eco-friendly (I know we’re on a BUS – but still). Even the jam from the scones is served in a glass jar (I hope they recycle), just the clotted cream was in a plastic tub, which I hope in the future they can also upgrade to something that can be recycled or even better: cleaned and re-used.
I would love for the B-Bakery to look into some more eco-friendly upgrades in their business for the future (they already do great with their reduce of plastic and serving vegetarian and even vegan food!), because I can’t imagine that at the moment, driving so many buses around London can be something our planet applauds…
There is no walking around allowed during the tour (and also no toilet), but with the tour being around 1.5 hours, you don’t really have time for that anyway as you will be focused on enjoying the view, chatting with your company and -most important of all- stuffing your face with all the treats in front of you.
All tables have room for four people, but if you book with just two people, you get the whole booth for yourself. We found this very comfortable, and although we saw many people sit with four at a table without problems, with our winter coats and bags with us, we were happy that we could spread out a bit!
DURING THE TOUR
During the tour, you can listen to (British) music playing and there is also commentary with some background information at some of the sights along the way.
We really had to remind ourselves actually to look outside (the rain and accompanying fogged-up windows didn’t help us with that) and look out for the highlights along the way, such as the London Eye, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, Harrods and much, much more!
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
Time flies when you’re having fun, and as the lovely people from the B Bakery bus tour set our table for four people just for the two of us (so we can show you what a fully set table looks like), we weren’t even able to finish everything and got a cute pink cardboard carrier to take the rest of the sandwiches and cakes home. Ps. this is not a complaint ;)
It was almost sad to leave ‘our’ bus, as we could have easily stayed for another round, just chilling out, but unfortunately (for us), the next round of hungry people were waiting eagerly at Victoria Coach station for their turn, so we had to say goodbye to our hosts, driver and of course our beloved bus!
We had such a good time on our London tea bus tour! On such a rainy day, this tour was perfect as we sat warm and dry and (after wiping the window) could just sit back, relax and take in all the sights of London while enjoying some great food. The whole tour ran so smoothly, and you could really that they’ve spend a lot of time thinking about the execution and perfected the organisation of the activity.
The hosts we had on the bus were friendly, funny and made us feel comfortable and looked after the whole trip. If you’re in London for the first time and don’t have a lot of time, or if you’re already familiar with the city and would like to try a unique activity, then this is the tour for you! You combine a delicious afternoon tea with a sightseeing tour of the city and get to spend some quality time with the people you’re with.
Sounds like a perfect afternoon to me!
Besides the ‘Standard’ afternoon tea bus tour London that we did (although there really isn’t anything standard about it, it’s really quite unique!), you can also go for a ‘Gin Lovers’ Gin bus tour London, and there are also themed teas during Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, Mother’s Day, St. Patricks, Easter, Halloween and of course Christmas afternoon tea bus tours London. They are rolling out a Night high tea bus London Tour as well soon. I believe that we have to come back soon…
Make sure to check the website for more details on all tours, dates and current prices. You can find all practical information below.
If you have been on the afternoon tea London bus already, but want more (or want to get a taster of their goods beforehand), then you can find Birgit’s Bakery in the middle of Covent Garden in London. They have private rooms and seating downstairs and their French pastry chefs use the quality products from the UK and France.
Of course, you can also go for a full afternoon tea on this location. Prices are from £32 per person (week days) and £35 (weekends), or from £36/£39 with a drink!
And did you know that there is also a Afternoon Tea Boat Tour? On their refurbished 1980’s Classic London yacht, you will sail for two and a half hours along the river Thames, taste all the baked goodness at your table inside and you can enjoy a drink on the decks. This tour starts and ends at Butler’s Wharf near Tower Bridge.
Finally, as if this wasn’t enough, B-Bakery can also deliver your Afternoon Tea right to your doorstep (or office if you work in London), or you can order a lovely picnic bag (to be picked up at their bakery in Covent Garden) so you can enjoy your tea in the park!
Not in London? Then you can also find the bakery in the city of Bath in England.
Here is all the information to book your own afternoon tea in London bus tour:
Get social: instagram.com/brigitsbakery
Address Shop: Brigit’s Bakery, Covent Garden, 6-7 Chandos Place, London WC2N 4HU
Bus Tour Seating Preference
When you book, you can choose to sit either downstairs, upstairs, or even all the way in the front upstairs (the VIP-seats!).
Bus Tour Prices
The prices are different for all types of seats on this London vintage bus tour with afternoon tea and can also vary on certain days. Prices average around £45-50 for a normal seat and around £60-65 for a VIP seat, although there are cheaper options out there, so if you have a bit of time, make sure to check more options and find some good London bus afternoon tea deals on the site!!
Bus Tour Age Limit
This afternoon tea tour bus London is for everyone age 5 and up.
Bus Tour Departure Times
Tours leave daily at 12:30 and 15:00 close to Trafalgar Square and at 12:00, 14:30 and 17:00 from Victoria Coach Station.
There will also be tours at 13:00 and 15:30 on the weekend from Victoria soon.
Transportation in London
Make sure to order the London Oyster Visitor Card before you depart!
Central Hotels in London
- Point A Hotel, Shoreditch
- The Library, Covent Garden
- citizenM London Shoreditch
- citizenM Tower of London
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- Discover Royal London And Experience Changing The Guard At Windsor Castle
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- Osborne House Tour Review – Stepping into Queen Victoria’s Hidden Life at Isle of Wight, England
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Disclaimer: We were kindly hosted by B Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus on this tour in exchange for a honest review. All photos and opinions are 100% our own, as always.