Nothing about the entrance says 'cake' to me. You have to squint through the window to discover it's Bea's new place. Once inside however, the minimalist display of cupcakes, sitting elegantly like Manolos in grey geometric cubbyholes, leaves you in no doubt. The famous Bea's of Bloomsbury is expanding, with its first little offshoot emerging in the heart of the City, at One New Change. The City folk may well be having to tighten their belts and wean themselves off habitual overindulgence, but that leaves all the more for us, and the odd fortunate tourist (it's next to St Paul's).
Not a great lover of cupcakes, I find the Hummingbird Bakery chain's obese concoctions a waste of calories: the Big Macs of the cake world. But Bea's are altogether finer, more delicate, creations, made to taste as good as they look.
I say delicate... but this slice of triple chocolate cake was a whopper. A doorstop of incredibly rich buttercream and moist dark chocolate sponge. Finishing it was a (pleasurable) challenge.
It being the day after Thanksgiving, we also had to try Bea's pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Soft, indulgent, and perfectly pumpkin-y.
I know I've done this back to front, but Bea's is known for its cakes, so I've sidelined the lunch dish. It might not look pretty, but the generous plate of belated Thanksgiving turkey (an unusual offering for Bea's, where savouries are usually more along the salad line), a steal at £6, was spot on: lashings of gravy, surprisingly tasty turkey, and moreish morsels of cornbread stuffing.
See Kang Leong's London Eater blog for a mouthwatering sequence of pics of the main Theobald's Road shop and cafe, Bea's lair and the hub of this fast-expanding baking empire, where I'll be heading next to try their famous high tea.