A European Historian from Canada living it up in good ol' London Town.
Published October 20th 2012
With three contrasting locations and shops, Bea's of Bloomsbury offers up a few different café experiences – Chelsea, the City and Bloomsbury. My favourite, however, is the St. Paul's location in the One New Change Shopping Centre. It is a modern glass structure on the old and distinguished Watling Street. Peeking out from the side of the shop is Wren's famous St. Paul's Cathedral in its entire splendour. What an idyllic location for locals and tourists alike.
The narrow shop contains two levels of quaint, colourful seating that jumps out against dark grey walls and flooring. Large windows and adorable tea-pot light fixtures illuminate the café. The talented designer Go Sugimoto created a fun and hip style while staying true to some classical teashop elements.
Bea's is an American owned café that highlights its cakes, teas and coffee. It also serves up light breakfasts and hearty, healthy lunches from Monday to Friday. Breakfasts consist of toast, spreads, yoghurt, granola, muesli and pastries. A tasty smorgasbord of salads, sandwiches, chicken and frittatas are available between 12-2pm. Customers can purchase a salad plate and mix and match the daily dishes.
But, it is the cakes and coffee which are the true delight. The American-style cupcakes are light and moist. The Italian buttercream is not overbearingly sweet like on other cupcakes in London, but tastes like the actual ingredients it contains. I recommend the chocolate raspberry or red velvet cupcake alongside a nice, strong flat white.
Bea's uses Square Mile coffee with a top-of-the-line Synesso espresso machine. A wide range of Jing loose tea is also available in personal or large pots. I recommend the black current and hibiscus for those decaf enthusiasts.
Due to its location, the shop does get busy with local office-worker Monday-Friday and tourists on the weekend but I still recommend stopping by – it is worth the extra wait during busy periods. The staff members are friendly and witty.
Nearest Tube: St. Paul's (Central Line), Bank (Northern Line, Central Line, Waterloo and City, DLR)