Last month my friend surprised me with afternoon tea Soho style and a trip down to London for my birthday. Feeling very lucky, I hopped on the train down to Euston anticipating delicious cakes, pretty buildings and the hustle and bustle of London life. Having never been to Soho before, I couldn’t wait to explore a new part of London, as well as eat more than my fair share of what was on offer.
As if afternoon tea wasn’t enough, we first stopped off at a chic Italian restaurant, “Manitoba Tigella”, which turned out to offer one of the best food and drink deals I’ve come across. For well under £20 we could choose a “tigella” (a stuffed Italian bread), a pasta dish and a drink, all served by a friendly waiter (who even gave us a free taste of one of the restaurant’s multi-coloured meringues). Aside from the amazing value for money, the food was really tasty and arrived at our table in no time – just what we needed after a long train journey. There’s a varied menu throughout the day and plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to choose from (just look at that wall of wine)! If you ever find yourself in the New Oxford Street area, I’d definitely recommend the restaurant if you fancy a quick bite to eat or a relaxed evening Italian dining experience.
After lunch, it was time to search for “Soho’s Secret Tearoom”, unconventionally located above a local pub. Walking into the tearoom, we were met by pretty pink walls, yellow polka-dot table cloths and waitresses wearing 1940s style skirts. The tearoom evoked a true 1940s atmosphere, with mismatching, floral cups and saucers, retro cutlery and splashes of pink and yellow colours which perfectly fitted the theme. The menu offered traditional afternoon tea, but we were also able to customise our choice of food and drink, all for a very reasonable price. I chose: a scone with jam and cream; a chocolate cake with a raspberry filling; and a good-sized pot of English Breakfast tea. Every part of the afternoon tea was delicious and I love how it was presented when it arrived at the table. I liked that the tearoom was quirky and more relaxed than a big hotel tearoom and the 1940s soundtrack playing in the background really added to the atmosphere.
Having satisfied my sweet tooth (to say the least), we went on the hunt for a reasonably priced cocktail, and stumbled across “Bar Soho” just in time for happy hour. All the cocktails were half price (ours were under £5!) and we just managed to get a seat before it started to get busy. As we sipped our colourful cocktails, we couldn’t help but stare at the walls and ceilings, which were covered in black, white and red art and graffiti (the perfect Instagram opportunity). For the price, the drinks were tasty and refreshing, the perfect way to finish off a lovely day in London – thank you Grace!