Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Bea's of Bloomsbury- A Rectification

Turned up too late for lunch (it was the walk from Marble Arch and the bloody 'orrible distraction that's also known as Oxford Street!).
Delicious pecan slice and soothing pot of Earl Grey.


Last meet up with George before he goes off to Seoul and settle down with his chat-room sweetheart. What is it with chat-rooms or online dating, personally I'd rather chat a lady up by the bus shelter or at Wong Kei's lonely hearts' zone. Good luck George and you'll be missed.

Three bean summer soup
Out of this world and a distinctly farty hearty bowl of yumminess

Lavender and Chocolate Cake
The initial uncertainty surrounding its appearance was soon put to rest by the delightful gustatory sensation

Courgette, Onion and Cheddar Quiche
I have a problem with cold savouries but this was rather good

Sponge Cake
I'm now conciliated with chuffness

Spiced Chai Tea
I don't care what people say but this is still very much a girlie drink, it was so good I had two. Chaps, swallow your pride; I've done my bit and now it's your turn.

Takeaway of Blondie Brownie, Snickerdoodle and ANZAC cookies.
The blondie was excellent; you don't have to engage your teeth with any chewing activity, just let it melt...gorgeous.


I'm never going to walk to Bloomsbury from Marble Arch in the sweltering heat ever again. I turned up here soaking wet and flushed. I first cooled myself down with one of BoB’s signature Iced Coffee with Maple Syrup.

Sarnie of some kind, I'm sure it was BLT... yes it was and a rather posh one to boot. Excellent eating and to include enough pepper seasoning in the egg mayo (I tink and therefore I'm) was an added bonus and a compliment to the salty bacon. Detail, Sybil, that's what counts.

Vanilla Passion Fruit Koopkake
(Yes, despite that alien berry sitting on top)

Ideal cake for a summer binge. Considering I probably lost around 1/2 a stone en route to here, I could quite easily devour another three of them; sense and sensibility got the better of me in the end. For a cake and sandwich feast, BoB are now offering eat all you can for 15 squid per oink on Sundays.

Thanks to Tim at Lans, I've now seen the light with Square Mile coffee. Tim reckons that their blend makes an ace espresso. He was right and the above was a fine double shot of coffee nectar.

Hey Bea, nice to have met you and the rest of the staff as well.

Small salad of lemon chicken salad and capps.
The chicken was spiffing and the capps; Top Cat preferred it to Lantana and I forgot to ask for a triple shot version instead.

Baileys choc cake, iced chai latte and iced latte.
Bea, your cakes are state of the art. I still think that the chai latte beats the coffee hands down.

Glad I came back
Highly addictive Iced Coffee with Maple Syrup
Chocolate Baileys Cupcake
It would be interesting to see what London's First Lady of Cupcakes think of this. As for myself, the frosting is not quite up there with Hummingbird but the delicious and moist cake is the best I've come across to date. Well done Bea.


An institution that Londoners should be proud of

It’s not usual for me to compose two separate posts of the same establishment unless a subsequent visit conflicts incomparably with a previous one. And this can either be stupendously good or traumatically bad.

My first review of Bea’s can be read here. As a result of that I’m not going to bother with the non-food details of this place.

Came here today for a bloggers’ tête-à-tête, or just plain lunch with MsMarmitelover. Whilst waiting for her (I think it’s normal for blokes to appear before the ladies, don’t you) I settled down with my drug of choice-

Single Espresso shot of Square Mile goodness- this kept me going after a lethargic tedium of being stuck on the bus for 35 minutes (Central Line up the creek) on horrible Oxford Street. Grade ‘A’ hit.

Followed by Bea’s Chai Latte- Now listen here I’m a bloke, and as far I’m concerned (and I’m no chauvinist) we have to be realistic, any forms of lattes we care to mention were primarily concocted for the ladyfolk. If you were to see me smooching up to cup of latte then you’ve every right to call me a milksop or cissy bellaphontee. If needs be I’ll even ‘drag’ myself as Emily Howard to enjoy this nonsuch version. A wonderfully drinkable beverage that comes with all the right spice notes and balance- Grade A (who would’ve thought that for a flippin’ latte!).

Marm’s Onion and cheese quiche- she was initially given a salami and mozzarella quiche by mistake. Although the two quiches looked similar, committed veggies like Marm have this sixth sense with food that might be contaminated with meat. Thankfully this slight oversight was resolved without much trouble and the lovely waitress even provided us with one of Bea’s signature brownies as a form of compensation. We became so preoccupied with talking about of all things, dental matters, I forgot to ask her about the quiche. Let’s assume that it was good, as the plate was empty.

My meat soup or to be precise the American style chilli. This and the cheesecake were responsible for Bea’s deserved second posting. The options available for lunch today were staggering, how can anyone not be spoilt for choice with the likes of Smoked duck with greens, avocado, orange, watercress and ginger/garlic dressing, Mediterranean rice salad, or Potato salad with chorizo and spicy harissa on offer.

I’m not really a soup-for-lunch sort of person, maybe it was the mention of chilli that influenced otherwise. A remarkable bowl of mind blowing deliciousness. Suitably spicy, generous chunks of good beef, mandatory kidney beans and enough hearty veg within to contribute towards your 5-a-day. And it was only a small bowl I had. I’m touched.

Marm’s Passionfruit Meringue.

I tried some of the filling and it was intense. Goes without saying she was well chuffed.

The Mother of all Cheesecakes? Amaretto Cheesecake with Chocolate and Macadamias. Why do cakes like this have to be so delectable to eat and yet so darn sinful!

As described on Bea’s order form, this cheesecake is indeed unforgettable. Do yourself a favour, this place is an absolute must for cake lovers, I’m also beginning to accept that Bea’s edge over Amato is down to the bespoke exactitude in creating cakes. I’m more than moved by the cheesecake, sad but all so true.

I tried so hard to love the cap here but I failed to do so. Grade C. Call me fussy but it was all too toned down for my buds, I think the next time I’m here I’ll put in a request for an extra shot of espresso. Then again there’s always the chai latte which has its own addictive qualities.

There are some places and there are not many of them that can be collectively classified as or belonging to the ‘If you haven’t been, then you’ve never been to London’ category. Bea’s is one of them. Go and put a smile on your face, that extra pound gained will be worth it. A mega thumbs up recommendation.

PS Have to mention that the service from the young ladies was tiptop; no vagueness or frivolity here.

Little Miss Random’s account is a must read.

44 Theobald's Road
London WC1X 8NW


thora said...

OMG, the cheesecake ... glad I'm reading this post in the morning and not yet hungry. Imagine Thora @work today, cheesecake on my mind.

bellaphon said...

Morning Thora, you're up and early! The thought of a nice slice of cheesecake can only provoke good vibes for the rest of the day...aah ;P

I heart cupcakes said...

I love Beas and when I've been the cap has been v.strong - maybe I dont like my coffee as strong as I thought!
I've not been for lunch - just coffee and cakes - was it v.busy or easy to get a seat? I work not too far away so could maybe give it a go.
I had the most fantastic cookie monster cupcakes from there a few weeks ago and I highly recommend them!

thora said...

We're 1 hour ahead of UK time. All this cheesecake talk must have sent good vibes indeed: first of all my man brought me a poppy-seed cake together with my bread roll this morning and another colleague brought a whole TRAY of poppy-seed cake this afternoon. I love poppy-seed cake even more than cheesecake :-)

kerstin said...

Thank you so much for lunch bella ;) The raspberry meringue I took home was scrummy, nicely chewy in the centre. I didn't get to taste my teens chocolate meringue, but it all went in double quick time. My teen chose the Baileys cupcake which she pronounced 'divine'. I'm keeping my chocolate cupcake for later.
Well, teeth are an appropriate subject for food bloggers who like sweet things don't you think? Although I wonder if we kept the shop entertained with my stories of dreadful dates....

bellaphon said...

@IHC- It wasn't that busy when we were there (could be the depression, I mean Bea's isn't the cheapest). Oh those cookie monsters are so adorably devourable!

@Thora- You lucky woman. Pleasure is a slice of poppy seed cake and a glass of Madeira, oh I mean cup of English Breakfast.

@MsMarm- not sure whether you noticed the couple next to us was trying to have a civilized Father/Daughter chatter, until the room was mildly filled with babbles of imperfect dates. What fun!

Unknown said...

Oh wow, thanks for the praise on my post, bellaphon. :)

On lattes not being a bloke's drink... well, that's the only coffee drink my big brother takes. I prefer cappuccinos, as I always felt lattes were for wusses. *cough* That being said, I'm partial to a chai latte every now and then, so I'll make a note of that when I'm next at Bea's!

bellaphon said...

LMR- as ever, batter latte than never! **Cough incessantly**

bea said...

Thanks for all the kind words! Also, I read the bit about the capps--we actually knew about the problem with the weakness of the capps, as James Hoffmann pointed out to us ages ago, our cups were too large. We were using 8 oz. and 11 oz. cups, so too much milk diluted the drink.

We have upgraded and replaced our cups in April to the proper size (7 and 10 oz, double walled so the drink stays hotter), and we have noticed quite an improvement!



bellaphon said...

Bea- Thanks for your comments, I'm abided by. Looking forward to the capps chez vous.

NB Thanks for following on Twitter as well, besides being a right twit and permanently subscribed to 'pay as u go' with my mobile; my activities are zilch!

I heart cupcakes said...

I REALLY need to find out when next Beas are doing the Baileys cupcakes....yum!

Btw have you been here its near Picadilly Circus and I'm told its got great coffee - not been yet but thought i'd let you know - dont hold me responsible if its gross though ;)

I heart cupcakes said...

Just realised that link doesn't show the uk one -check here sorry!!

bellaphon said...

I♥C- Thanks as ever, I shall report back. Vida e caffé; watch your back!

Gastro1 said...

I really need to go to Bea's every time I try I get diverted by some work related thing.

bellaphon said...

Gastro1- for first timers at Bea's, go for the German chocolate truffle cake and a double shot of Square Mile espresso. Bittersweet nirvana guaranteed!