If you find yourself in Bloomsbury, London, head to Tea and Tattle, an African bookshop with a tea salon hidden in the basement. This may sound like an odd combination, but once you consider the shop’s proximity to the British Museum across the street (housing the Rosetta Stone—the African book on translation), and other literary haunts, from the British Library to Charles Dickens’ house, it starts to make sense.
One of the sons in the family-run business is likely to wait on you, and will offer a choice of afternoon tea menus with varying finger sandwiches, scones, cake, and tea. After one bite of the scone, slathered in Devonshire cream and tasty plum or strawberry jam, I opted out of the rest of the tea service, and ordered another round à la carte. Tea and Tattle will make you agree with Henry James, when he wrote, “Under certain circumstances, there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
Tea and Tattle, 41 Great Russell Street, 44/(0) 7722-19270