I don’t often review books here on the blog (I keep that kind of thing on Goodreads) but I couldn’t resist sharing this delicious piece of escapism by Zena Alkayat.
Tea & Cake London is a mouth-watering guide to more than 70 cafes, bakeries and tearooms. If you thought that afternoon tea in England’s capital means visiting the Ritz or Fortnum’s, think again. Yes, some of the big names are here, but the author has done an exceptional job of discovering smaller, unknown gems.
You could be in the city for a month and not have time to visit all of these. Alkayat’s book will open your eyes to a wide range of neighbourhoods and, happily, price-points. The photographs are gorgeous and if you are a tea lover or Anglophile, reading this will make you want to pack a suitcase immediately.
I confess, I haven’t actually visited any of these tea places (yet) to see if the descriptions are a good indication of what you get. The book would also benefit from a few maps, showing what’s located where, an index for the same purpose, web addresses and a rough price guide. However, as a purely theoretical piece of reading, I can’t think of a more pleasant way to tour London from an armchair. And on my next visit, I plan to turn theory into extremely rigorous practice.
Where’s your favourite place for tea in London? Or, how about your hometown?
All photos: Tea & Cake London