Fancy a trip to London?

If you’re looking for that extra special something to make your London visit memorable, look no further than the Brigit Bakery afternoon tea bus tour. My friend Suzanne and I booked this for my birthday four years ago. Since today is my birthday and this was my very first blog post, I thought I’d post it again. That tea bus tour remains one of my all-time favourite birthday celebrations.

Tea on a bus?  Why not?  Especially if it’s London and the bus is a red double decker of yesteryear and it’s your birthday! My friend Suzanne was in town so what more perfect way to celebrate!

I couldn’t stop laughing with delight and anticipation as Suzanne, who has been my partner in wackiness for over thirty years, and I raced through Victoria Bus Station (not the train station!) and out the door towards our prize vintage coach which looked for all the world like it had been transformed by our fairy godmother out of a tubular red pepper.

Like a couple of ninnies, we’d run right past the check in desk, the neatly lined-up queue of patient English passengers including a bridal hen party swathed in gold sashes, and had to be herded quickly back inside by a very worried looking, arm waving man in a uniform.  For all he knew, we were a couple of lunatics aiming to cause trouble with some seriously loaded handbags.

“Ladeez!  Are you going on the tea bus tour?” he called to us frantically in a thick accent of unknown origin.  “You have to check in pleez!”

“Oh, sorry!”  I was still laughing.  “It’s my birthday!  I guess I’m kind of excited!”

We happily joined the queue of patient English passengers who were giving us a very British “These Americans!” look.  Thank goodness for the ladies in golden sashes whose names were clearly splashed across their chests. We greeted them with an overload of enthusiasm.

“Oh!  So you’re The Mother of the Bride!”

“And you’re Rebecca–The Bride!”

Obviously, everybody already knew who we were.

At long last, though, we were allowed to board our tea bus.  Our tables had been reserved when booking and the best ones are up top, of course.  So, Suzanne and I climbed the narrow winding stairs and found our Table No. 7 with facing seats.

And oh my!  The table was already laden with the most delectable tea treats made by BB Bakery of Covent Garden who run the tea bus tours.  There were fresh finger sandwiches, mini quiches, tiny chocolate cupcakes, baby lemon meringue tarts, pistachio macaroons, cream puffs, and each one a mouthful of pure yumminess!  Drinks included bottled orange juice and a diverse selection of teas. Although our table was set with pretty china plates, tea was served in a lidded plastic cup due to health and safety regulations. Tea on a moving bus isn’t without its hazards.

I put on  my birthday princess crown and away we went, eating our way through iconic London–Hyde Park, Royal Albert Hall, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster–and waving royally to all our staring subjects below us.  If you truly want to feel like Queen for the Day in London, then climb on board your moving throne and get the wave going.

Our loyal staff truly made us feel like royalty.  They were wonderfully attentive without being obsessive about it.  Halfway through when we thought we’d eaten every last crumb, they brought out fresh hot scones and another chocolate cupcake with a pair of lighted candles.  As we rumbled merrily along, I blew out my candles while an entire busload of strangers sang “Happy Birthday” to one very happy American lady.  If I could have had a golden sash, it would have on it QUEEN JEAN.

Book your own afternoon tea bus party at