Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a tea shop and cafe in Holborn serving beautifully turned out cakes, afternoon tea and lunchtime sundries. They pride themselves on being ‘green’, composting waste and using locally sourced food including Square Mile coffee which is presumably from the city of London and is unquestionably delicious. My latte was strong and liquoricey and served in a little glass which I like becuase you can immediately see if it is too milky; it wasn’t.
Bea’s is dominated by the large kitchen, given over to baking, at the back and as a result it lacks a little in atmosphere. I do like being able to see kitchen action and it is reassuing to see them baking the bread and cakes but somehow it is almost too dominant and the grey decor doeasn’t help with cosiness, or the lack of it. However the cakes are wonderful, I had a sticky cup cake with buttercream icing and pears poached in brandy and it was excellent, a grown up cake with the pears balancing the icing perfectly.
On weekends they do a limited lunch menu as they concentrate mostly on afternoon tea, but we had three mini baguettes for £3 (3 each that is) and they were indeed mini. You can choose from a selection and we had courgette and hummus and mozarella, tomato and pesto. The bread was wonderfully chewy and the filling tasty. It is not quite enough for lunch which leaves plenty of room for cake but if you have a fairly healthy appetitie you might need 3 plates full for 2 people.
Our lunch cost £15 for 2 coffees, 2 baguette plates and 2 cakes. I would probably go back but personally think that the Fleet River Bakery, also in the area, has a better atmosphere and does equally good coffeee, although perhaps comes second in the cake department.