Bustronome: A Unique Experience, and Home to London's Best Vegan Afternoon Tea
Thanks to a fair few accurately-targeted instagram ads, I first heard about Bustronome during the summer of 2019. Their concept, combining fine dining, luxury bus travel, and experiencing the sights of one of the world’s most iconic cities, really caught my eye.
I only found positive reviews; “this must be too good to be true,” I thought, "and there’s no way they’ll have a vegan menu, even if I did give them a try"…..
I was wrong. Long story short, I was impressed by their publicity, overjoyed to find they had a vegan menu, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw their prices. I booked three tickets for one of their afternoon tea tours back in October.
I was still sure the experience wouldn’t be quite as amazing as amazing as they said it would be, but Bustronome were truly phenomenal - I want to share with you what this company is all about, and let you try them for yourself!
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❋ The Experience ❋
Bustronome is less of a meal, but far more an experience.
Aboard one of their renovated (and honestly, pretty classy) double-decker buses, you will be seated on the top deck to appreciate the sights of London through its panoramic windows.
You will spend roughly two hours on board the bus, driving around central London and passing the city’s most iconic landmarks while you eat. You will be given a route map, and an audio guide to provide you with info for everything you see!
With amazing views, incredible food, and the constant desire to take photos, it’s difficult to know what to focus on!
❋ Menus ❋
Bustronome provide tours for lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea, with vegan and halal menus for every meal.
Bustronome pride themselves in their high quality standards, which their food always meets. Bustronome chef and creative director, Sébastien Nicolleau, focuses on creating accessible, seasonal and contemporary French cuisine that everyone will enjoy. The Bustronome menus are frequently changed to complement the time of year, so no two visits will be the same.
Below are two of the courses from the vegan afternoon tea - they might look small, but they were REALLY decadent and delicious! I wasn’t painfully full by the end, but I was very satisfied!
❋ Prices ❋
Bustronome’s prices vary based on the meal you choose, and whether you decide to add wine and/or champagne. Excluding child tickets, the cheapest option is afternoon tea without champagne, priced at £54.
Bustronome’s four-course lunch costs up to £77, and dinner prices range from £105 to £150, including six courses. Their most expensive ticket includes champagne AND four glasses of wine!
❋ The Highlights ❋
Communication: Although this is somewhat specific to the tour we experienced, I was impressed by how well a last minute change to our starting location was communicated. There were multiple demonstrations taking place in London on the day we visited, but Bustronome worked hard to make sure this affected us as little as possible.
Vegan Options: As a vegan with reasonable experience of searching for decent options when eating out, Bustronome 100% won me over with the afternoon tea I was served. Not only did my plate have as much variety as everyone else’s, but it included some really original ideas I hadn’t tried or come across before, and it was all so DELICIOUS. Vegan afternoon tea menus are particularly hard to come by, and I would go out on a limb and say that Bustronome might well provide the best vegan afternoon tea in London.
Price: It is generally true that “you get what you pay for”, but I was very pleasantly surprised by Bustronome’s prices. Promising gourmet food, five-star service, and luxury travel in one of the most expensive cities, I was honestly amazed that afternoon tea would cost me a little over £50. As a result, I anticipated some shortcomings in quality, but Bustronome fulfilled their promises on all accounts.
❋ The Lowlights ❋
Scones: I would love to see a vegan alternative for scones on the menu (that isn’t a few of the biscuits served in an earlier course)! They are not hard to make, and would have been the cherry on top of my otherwise-amazing afternoon tea!
Disruption: Admittedly, this was completely out of Bustronome’s (or anyone else’s) control, but our tour had to be cut in half because of demonstrations taking place on Parliament Square on the day of our tour. We spent a lot of our meal sitting stationary in traffic, and didn’t see any of the sights in the west of London. Fortunately, we live less than an hour away and have plenty of opportunity to visit London, but this might have been a lot more upsetting for those who had travelled further.
❋ The Verdict ❋
Amazing food, amazing atmosphere, and an amazing experience: Bustronome honestly has it all. The experience feels luxurious from start to finish, and is a great way to celebrate a special occasion without breaking the bank.
I’ve said it already, but I truly believe Bustronome provides the best vegan afternoon tea in London. That’s a big deal, and something I have been sharing with my vegan friends since my visit in October. I look forward to trying the vegan options for lunch and dinner at some point!
Not only is their food incredible, the bus itself is really cool. The tour is also a great way to see the iconic parts of the city without having to contend with the hordes of tourists or temperamental weather!
For a VIP experience at a mid-range price, I give Bustronome a 10/10.
I hope my review of Bustronome has intrigued you enough to book your own tour! I couldn't recommend them more!
This unique and classy experience not only exists in London, but in Paris as well, where the concept originates. Bustronome will definitely be on my bucket list next time I'm in the city!
Feel free to share my article with anyone you know is planning a trip to London soon - Bustronome are so underrated! Head to the vegan travel section of my blog for more of my experiences of travelling as a vegan!