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The Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Bus Tour 2018

As we all know, royal weddings are rare, and we believe that all special, historic occasions should be celebrated. That's why, back in May 2018, when Prince Harry married Meghan Markle (and they became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) we offered a special sightseeing afternoon tea bus tour.

Want to find out more about our Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Bus Tour?

Case Study: Royal Wedding Bus Tour 2018

Celebrating the Royal Wedding in Brigit's Bakery style

The Royal Tea Bus Tour was the unique sightseeing experience we introduced to celebrate the Royal Marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Running for one month only (in May 2018), the tour was designed for royal enthusiasts and fans of all things British.

On our fully decorated Routemaster bus, our 90-minute guided tour took our guests through the streets of London while an expert guide talked them through the history of royal weddings and shared facts about afternoon tea etiquette.

For one month, we ran two Royal Wedding bus tours a day between Thursdays and Sundays. As it's tradition when it comes to special occasions, we created a selection of tempting treats and a unique celebratory afternoon tea menu.

Case Study: Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Bus Tour 2018

The royal wedding afternoon tea menu included:

  • A range of traditional English ‘finger’ sandwiches with egg mayonnaise and cress, cucumber, ham and mustard, and smoked salmon with cream cheese.
  • To pay tribute to Ms. Markle’s American heritage (as well as to honour the diverse cuisine of Britain) we added a touch of Californian flair with avocado and crab and some British-Asian influence with spiced crackers.
  • Traditional sweet accompaniments included a dazzling array of tarts, cakes, biscuits, and pastries. We offered apple pie, brownies, and cupcakes to celebrate the American bride. But we also had lemon and elderflower in recognition of the couple’s wedding cake flavours.

Our partnership with royal experts Debrett's

To deliver the best Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Bus tour possible, we partnered with the experts - Debrett’s. They are the authority on modern British etiquette. Their role on our unique bus tour was to tell our lovely customers all about the traditions and rituals of a formal afternoon tea. But as our guests travelled through the City, our tour guides also shared little-known insights about Prince Harry and his youth. Guests got to hear a wealth of history and trivia about the Royal Family.

Want to hear some interesting facts about the royal wedding?

harry and meghan royal wedding

Interesting facts about the royal wedding

  • On May 19, 2018, the wedding ceremony took place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The venue could accommodate a much smaller number of guests compared to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who married in front of 1,900 people. Millions of viewers tuned in from around the world to witness the event. Were you one of them?
  • The couple's wedding ceremony included elements of both tradition and modernity, reflecting their unique personalities and values. Even the decision to marry on a Saturday went against tradition. In the past, most royal weddings took place on a weekday. The late Queen, for example, wed on a Thursday. And the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married on a Friday.
  • In celebration of their union, the couple chose to have a lemon elderflower bake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring. It was made by pastry chef Violet Bakery Claire Ptak, who's best known for her use of seasonal and organic ingredients. This broke away from the traditional fruitcake often served at royal weddings.
  • Instead of wedding gifts, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle requested that well-wishers donate to seven charities they selected.

Do you also want to hear about what our expert guides had to say about the tradition of afternoon tea?

Royal wedding with Debrett's

Debrett's guide to a royal tea experience

One of the facts our guests learnt during this tour is that the uniquely British custom of tea taken with cakes and sandwiches is believed to have been initiated by the Duchess of Bedford in the 1840s to combat a lull of energy in the afternoon.

Afternoon Tea Facts

Here are some facts about tea you might find interesting:

  • It's tradition to serve a choice of two teas - one Indian (such as Assam) and one from China (such as Lapsang Souchong).
  • If you're using loose-leaf tea, you should filter the leaves through a strainer when you pour.
  • Milk should be added after the tea. Historically, good quality china did not crack when pouring scalding hot tea first. If milk was poured first, you could assume the quality of the china was not up to snuff.
  • Resist the temptation to point your little finger in the air when sipping from your cup. It's seen as pretentious and impolite, and it's historically incorrect. This gesture was never associated with proper tea-drinking etiquette - it's more likely a modern misconception or stereotype.

And here are some facts about the sandwiches and the sweets:

  • ‘Finger’ sandwiches are to be eaten by hand rather than with a knife and fork.
  • You pronounce the word ‘scone’ to rhyme with ‘gone’ - not with ‘throne’. Scones should be split in half by hand at the point where there is a natural groove. They are usually served with clotted cream and jam - that's certainly how we like them!
  • Refrain from dunking biscuits or other sweets in your tea.

Are you up for a little more tea trivia?

royal wedding tea trivia

Tea trivia

  • Did you know that the British drink 60 billion cups of tea per year? That’s an astonishing 876 cups per person! Are you a tea lover?
  • Tea in Britain has a global history. Imported from China to Europe by Portuguese traders in the 17th Century, it was popularised by the Portuguese queen, Catherine of Braganza.
  • ‘Afternoon tea’ is the formal ritual of serving tea with sandwiches and sweet accompaniments.
  • Despite its now universal appeal, afternoon tea has retained its aristocratic associations. The experience is considered a special (rather than everyday) occasion.

Well, with our daily Afternoon Tea Bus Tours and the delicious offerings at our bakery in Covent Garden, our Afternoon Tea picnic lunch, and our Afternoon Tea Delivery, we certainly aim to make afternoon tea a special but also everyday occasion. You may not be able to join us every single day, but you'll definitely want to come back!

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