In her hey day, my grandmother was an excellent cook. I have many recollections of her kitchen creations; she used to make these “Monster Cookies,” which were some version of macadamia nut cookies sandwiched together with icing. Her apple pie was absolutely remarkable, and everyone, even on my Dad’s side of the family, knows that no one can quite make an apple pie like Tibby. Her pies making skills are essentially a legend. I never appreciated Tibby’s cooking expertise when I was younger, I like to think that my love and natural inclination for cooking is something that is partly due to her influence. And although everyone calls my grandmother Tibby, her real name is Bernice, and her friends call her Bea, so yesterday, when I had tea at Bea’s of Bloomsbury, I couldn’t help but think about my grandmother’s knack for cooking, baking, and recipe creating, and how much I would have loved to have her company for tea.
Bea’s of Bloomsbury is bakery located in Central London. Although Bea’s is relatively new to the London scene, established in 2008, they have a cookbook and seem to be well-renouned amongst the London bakery scene. All of my classes here in London are abnormally small (five people!), so as a class, we decided to venture out on a frigid London afternoon to have tea together after class, and I was thrilled Bea’s was our destination.
Originally, I had planned on opting for the traditional tea service – black tea with a scone, clotted cream, and jam. However, after seeing the pastry case, I decided I should keep an open mind when selecting my sweet of choice. Please notice the size of the meringue cookies; they were enormous.
I finally choose for the carrot cake loaf and vanilla black tea. I have never been a huge fan of carrot cake in the past, but lately, it has seemed to be my cake of choice. In my opinion, a vegetable baked into a cake is an unbeatable combination. It was a muy bueno decision.
But, the best part of the afternoon was the camaraderie. The carrot cake and tea were wonderful, but the company of my classmates and my professor cast some warmth on the miserably chilly London day. Studying abroad is always an enlightening experience, and it is comforting to enjoy the companionship of people who are going through the same experience of you.
If you are ever in London, I would happily recommend making a stop at Bea’s to brighten up a cloudy London afternoon. The atmosphere is charming, the food is phenomenal, and the place is just pretty darn cute. Although if I went back next time, I think I would opt for the more traditional black tea with a “proper” scone. But, since I couldn’t have a slice of my grandmother’s famous apple pie, carrot cake at Bea’s of Bloomsbury was a great runner-up.