44 Theobald's Road
London WC1x 8NW
Tel: 020 7242 8330
I'd been meaning to go to Bea's for quite some time now, but after reading on her RSS feed that she'd come up with Cookie Monster cupcakes, I just had to haul myself down there so as to see one up close for myself, economising be damned. So when A. called up last Monday and asked if I'd like to meet for a coffee prior to dinner with P., I thought to myself, what better place could there be? Besides, A.'s one of the kookiest girls I know, so it was only natural to bring a kooky girl to see a Cookie Monster.
Hee! I'm so witty, I swear, I should be a professional comedian.
Anyway, back to Bea's.
Food: Bea serves up a great variety of baked goods, being a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef. There's also a range of savourary goods, sandwiches and salads available, should you wish to indulge in something more substantial.
I tried Bea's New York-style cheesecake with amaretto base. I wouldn't ordinarily have tried the cheesecake as I don't like dense cakes, but a temporary brain misfire meant that I'd gotten New York-style and Italian-style cheesecakes mixed up. Oh well. It was probably a good cheesecake if you like that sort of thing: a little dense, definite taste of amaretto and a great, crumbly base. I finished it up quickly in spite of my dismay at realising my error.
A. opted for a chocolate and something slice. As she'd eaten tea an hour before meeting up with me, so she couldn't finish more than half of her cake. It looked good though, even if my photograph of it was a bit blurry.
Beverages: My skinny cappuccino was not bad. Bea uses Square Mile coffee beans for her coffee, and that's generally acknowledged as one of the best brands around. I'm not an expert on this if you were to put me to a blind taste test, but as long as I can drink it without choking, it smells good, and I don't need to put any sugar in, and it wakes me up for more than five minutes, I'll like it.
Another thing that Bea has is a large La Marzocco coffee machine. It takes up one side of her serving counter alone. It's huge, black and shiny. It commands respect. It's like the Godfather of coffee machines. Seriously. You could imagine this baby commanding its loyal troops to ensure all those silly Nespresso machines out there to sleep with the fishes.
Service: Service was polite, if not overly attentive. It was close to closing time, and the staff were just happy to let A. and I sit there and chat, without trying to rush us in any way.
Size/Ambiance: The cafe had about eight to ten tables, if I recall correctly. It wasn't at all crowded when we got there (we were the only customers) but I could imagine this cafe filling up very rapidly during the lunch hour. I liked the peaceful forest green theme of Bea's, and was tickled by how the wallpaper and the upholstery matched. It's the little things which count, and Bea seems to have gotten them right here.
Bea's is a great little find in the middle of central London. It's cosy, it has a quaintly European style when it comes to decoration, a cheerful New York accent (from Bea herself), incredibly beautiful cakes (even if I don't dare to eat anything that's that blue), and felt like a little oasis of tranquility on a late Monday afternoon in the heart of the City.
I will definitely return one day... and who knows, might even try out one of the decadent chocolate cupcakes. I decided against them last week as post-break-up, I've been eating quite a fair bit and I really can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe right now!