George Clode tries out the latest themed bus tour from B-Bakery.
As a Londoner, I am forever trying to experience the city in new ways.
It’s easy to become desensitised to the amazing attractions and sights on offer, and when you’re walking through Trafalgar Square glued to your phone answering emails, you know something has got to change.
Cue B-Bakery, a forward-thinking bakery based in Covent Garden, which offer tours through the heart of the capital by bus and boat with different themes.
Perhaps best known for its Afternoon Tea tours of London and Bath on a modified classic Routemaster bus, its summer tour combines Japanese/French cuisine with Hayman’s Gin cocktails.
All in the mix
It’s an interesting mix, but the high-quality of the sushi and powerful content of the cocktails make this a seriously enjoyable and luxurious hour-and-a-half trip.
The bus departs from swanky Grosvenor Gardens in Mayfair and a sushi platter and welcome cocktail – the first of three – await as guests board.
The staff are welcoming and accommodating, catering as they did on my tour to a party of vegetarians and various allergies and intolerances.
There’s a happy, party atmosphere on the bus, but not in a stag-and-hen do way. Motown and funk play as the bus cruises through the city, interrupted occasionally for the automated tour-guide to highlight a point of historical interest.
While these facts are interesting, the tour is really all about the culinary experience. I was blown away by the quality of the food and the passion of chef Gohei Kishi, who came out to chat with guests and talk us through the different dishes and quirky desserts.
The tuna, salmon and mango Poké bowl was to die for, and of the large selection of sushi per head, I can recommend the snow crab rolls as a particular stand-out.
Pair it with the last of the cocktails – a fizzy, gingery gin number – and you’re onto a winner.
This was a high-end culinary tour of London, unlike anything I’ve done before. It makes for a great way to explore the capital’s hotspots in style as a tourist, or a special night out for locals.
For me, there is nothing like pretending to be a tourist and looking through fresh eyes for a couple of hours to make you really appreciate the place you’re from. And if those eyes happen to have a slight rose-tinted gin glaze to them, so much the better.