Tea for you and me

Join me on my epic quest to find the best tea ever

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riverfront bar and kitchen

BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XT.   (View on map)

The giant teabag and mini cup of milk (with EM’s pint of something that’s not PALM in the background).

According to the BFI website there are two bars at the BFI, one called ‘benugo bar and kitchen’ and one called ‘riverfront bar and kitchen’. I think that we were in the ‘riverfront bar and kitchen’ as we weren’t in the dining area, but as the tea I bought had ‘benugo’ stamped all over it I am not 100% sure. Anyway, it was a beautiful hot and sunny day and we were sitting outside by the river after seeing an amazing play at the National Theatre – what more could you want?

Teapot? No, a big empty tea bag thing that was filled with loose leaf tea in a paper cup.
Leaf tea? Yes.
Milk jug? Well, not as such – as we were outside the cup had to be paper, so I had a mini paper cup full of milk instead.
Price? £2.30 for the tea, £6 for S’s pint of PALM.
Cake? Yes, some muffins, tray bakes and loaf cakes.
Go again? Yes, if I was in that area with people who wanted a pint and I wanted tea then this is a good place to go. It’s not that often you get a bar that sells loose leaf tea (though teapots would be better, obviously).


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Central Bar

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX   (View on map)

My tea and a bit of the ballroom at the Central Bar in Royal Festival Hall. My apologies for the unappealing dribble of tea down the side of the cup - I split some whilst wandering about looking for a table.

Once again I was early and waiting to meet someone at a train station, this time Waterloo was the station of choice. It was cold and dark and raining so I didn’t want to go too far away, but all the places in the station were packed so I braved the weather in order to head to the Southbank. Royal Festival Hall was the first place I came to and I knew they had tea and lots of space, so I went in.

The tea was hot and was Clipper, but it was teabags and came in a paper cup, but I wasn’t expecting much else as I had ordered tea from a bar after all. Though they have a large number of tables and sofas all over the place, there were surprisingly few that were empty. After wandering about a bit I eventually found one in a corner overlooking the ballroom and settled down to pass the time.

Teapot? No.
Leaf tea? No, Clipper teabag.
Milk jug? A big one you helped yourself to.
Price? £1.65.
Cake? Not in the bar, but I think there are other venues inside the hall that might do.
Go again? Yes, a good place to go to get some work done as there are tables and free wifi.

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Jam and Tea

The Vintage Marketplace, Vintage by Hemingway festival 2011, Southbank, London.

Cupcakes and bunting.

This is a little different from other reviews on here because you can’t go visit this one. It’s been and gone. Over. No link to viewing it on the map because it was a ‘pop-up’ tearoom just for the festival, in a tent in the vintage marketplace section. It was provided by Jam and Tea and had a limited range of menu options – cupcake and tea, cream tea, petit fours and tea, or afternoon tea. LB and I plumped for the cupcake and tea as we could see rows of them on cake stands at the back of the tent.

It was a very hot, very busy day and the tent was also very hot and very busy but everyone inside was having a good time and enjoying the tea. Once we’d ordered a stand with cupcakes on was brought to us and we chose the ones we wanted – both of us picked the cream coloured ones (no difference in flavour, just difference in colour).

I think the best thing about this place was the set dressing – all the bunting, photos, postcards, tablecloths and crockery. For example, another lady on our table ordered the cream tea and her jam and cream came in tiny teacups. As this was a vintage festival there were a few people dressed in vintage clothing and this added to the fun feel of the tent.

Tea and cupcakes for two, along with a bunch of sweet peas.

Teapot? Yes.
Leaf tea? No.
Milk jug? Yes.
Price? £5 for tea and cupcake, £7 for tea and petit fours, £8 for a cream tea, £15 for afternoon tea.
Cake? Only those mentioned above.
Go again? Yes, but to the main cafe, not to the kiosk.