Bea’s of Bloomsbury

It’s finally finals week, and the stress of exams is palpable.  We’re slowly all coming to terms with the “study” in study abroad.

After a nerve-wracking finance exam, a friend and I were more than beat.  We sighed with relief the minute we walked out the classroom door, but the relaxation didn’t last long: we had another exam the next day.  While I groaned and began mentally preparing myself for yet another long night of studying, my friend thought of a study break.  She’s in charge of one of the London branch of one of the school’s clubs, and she figured that all the members were probably feeling the same agony as us.  The solution?  Cupcakes!

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Bea’s of Bloomsbury is a small café run by an American who fell in love with London and decided to set up shop permanently.  Before you even walk into the store, a large window display made of baked goods greets you.  For Christmas, Bea’s made a cute winter display complete with animals made of cupcakes.

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P1000576It’s the Restaurant Festival in London!  That means all those fancy places with their $30 dishes suddenly become a little bit more affordable.  Last year, I missed Restaurant Week in New York, but this year I saved up to go somewhere nice.  This week is also my friend’s birthday, so there was a good excuse to round up a bunch of people to go enjoy some good food.  The birthday girl chose the restaurant that would entertain 12 hungry souls: Quaglino’s.

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Royal Albert Afternoon Tea Tour

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Sometimes, all you need is to feel like a child again.

I had heard about a truck that occasionally offers free tea to anyone who stops by, but I had no idea where to look for it.  But then, by chance, I happened to see an advertisement in the magazine Time Out London.  The truck – almost too perfectly timed – would be in Bloomsbury Square at the end of the week.

My friends and I went after class, around 12 PM, and we were first greeted by a wonderful sign that read, “Join us for tea, cake, fun, & frivolity.”  Fun and frivolity?  We knew then that we had made the right decision to go.

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belgo stamped

You’ve most likely have heard of the saying “dine and dash,” but sometimes it may just be the other way around.  At Belgo in London, there is special called Beat the Clock, where the price for each dish is the time shown on your food order.  One of my friends had heard praise about the restaurant’s mussels, but we ran into one problem: the timed special is every Monday through Friday, but class ends at 5 PM, exactly the time when the special starts.  Beat the Clock ends at 6:30 PM, but we wanted the cheapest price possible.  When class ended, we walked as fast as we could.  I believe the official time we arrived at the restaurant was 5:27 PM.

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