The Tea and Tattle, is a traditional tea room boasting the most affordable quality afternoon tea this side of the Thames. Considering it’s location opposite the British Museum in the Bloomsbury area of London, there’s probably some truth to that. Housed in the basement of the Arthur Probsthain Bookstore, you could say that the tea room has a captured audience, and that’s before the overspill from the British Museum (if they run out of scones at their own café). Established in 1903, the bookstore was once known for it’s vast library of books that were piled high, filling every inch of space in the store. Nowadays, it’s less on books with the addition of music, film and gifts as well as an Oriental and African art gallery. I’m alone, as my partner has opted to remain lost in the bowels of the Museum while I explore Tea and Tattle. Luckily I get the only table left. It’s not ideal, squeezed against a wall near the cafe’s semi-office? Space is tight and every table filled. I hate to say it but the service has a ‘tourist tired’ feel. It may just be my imagination, but perhaps some of the staff have had a long day? My scone arrives swiftly, ready-made and ready to go. The cold but tasty plain scone (unusual for England as they seem to be big on fruit scones) arrives halved and dressed with my chosen raspberry vanilla jam. It’s rich and fruity, one of the best I’ve had. Along with this one, there are three other jams and a marmalade to choose from, which all sound equally interesting and delicious: Bramble and Bramley, Damson, Strawberry and Black Pepper. The cream is clotted and spread on the scone with jam on top like a true Devon Cream Tea (Cornish Cream Teas are served with the jam on the bottom, like most Australians eat theirs).
Tea: A good selection of tea. The menu states that it is loose-leaf, but I see no evidence as the tea arrives in the teapot with no tea leaves or tea bag.
Overall: Super popular and cosy, and in a handy location.