Four years ago I took a contract to work in London for six weeks. Tom and I hadn’t been together that long and I went to stay with him in Hertford and got the train to Wembley every morning. It was an exciting time, it was my first time living outside of the North West for an extended time and we used to get the train into London of a weekend to do touristy things. Then, my contract got extended… and extended and six months later I was still there. I realised that it’s where I wanted to be and I probably should find somewhere to live in London and try to get a permanent job. The minute I moved into London we stopped playing tourist and immediately started to take for granted all of the wonderful things our capital has to offer. So, when Thistle Hotels invited me on an afternoon tea bus tour of some of London’s greatest sights I jumped at the chance. Cake and sightseeing, sounds like bliss, right? Right!
The renovated Routemaster is pretty damn dreamy and BB’s Bakery haven’t scrimped on a single aspect. From the wrapped orange juice bottles to the booklets telling you about the route everything is covered in their super stylish illustrations. The mismatched china plate settings are gorgeous and ingeniously stuck to the tables to stop your goodies crashing, tragically, to the floor. Also, don’t worry about wearing your hot drinks either because they arrive in cute ceramic travel mugs.
The spread is fantastic and all laid out on oversized stands (for stability). It was all really tasty too. Everything looked too good to eat.
From the teeny tiny mushroom quiches (my favourite) to the gorgeous green(!) cucumber sandwiches even the savouries were as good as the sweets. We all know it’s the sweet stuff we look forward to most in afternoon tea. There were lemon meringue pies that were light as air, cream puffs full of creme anglaise and the loveliest raspberry cupcakes. If that wasn’t enough halfway round the tour they brought out gorgeous fluffy scones, mini pots of jam and cups full of the most delicious clotted cream. There was so much food they even gave us little goodie bags of leftovers to take home! Tom was overjoyed by the stash I brought him home.
The bus picked us up by The London Eye and took us on a circular trip around London taking in Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, The Royal Albert Hall, Marble Arch and Trafalgar Square to name just a few. I was surprised to learn that there are a fair few Thistle Hotels in Central London, a couple of which we passed on the tour. In fact, they have put together a list of their top 10 London attractions that you can reach easily from all their hotels.
Every now and then the girls on the bus would draw our attention to points of interest on the tour (handy hint – sit on the left side of the bus if you want to see everything!) and as nice as that was I would have liked it if there was a bit more information about the sights we passed but that could just be me being a bit geeky. It’s not like we didn’t have enough entertainment on the bus. They had a bluetooth speaker so we had some cracking background music. Who knew bloggers love the Backstreet Boys so much?!
We really had a fun afternoon and I highly recommend it as an alternative afternoon tea to anyone whether you’re a tourist in London or not!
Thanks so much Thistle Hotels. I had a great time!