Blooming Bloomsbury's

I know its been so long since I blogged. But with a hyperactive daughter and some really hectic work schedules, I was finding it difficult to keep up. So yesterday I went to Bloomsbury’s- the coffee shop that my friend Shafeena started recently. I had seen pictures so I was prepared for its beauty. But I wasn’t really prepared for the kind of service I was about to get.
Unexpectedly, I meet Shafeena there. And the gracious host she is, she sits me down and orders tea and cupcakes for me. With its black walls, intricate designs, big chairs with arm rests and wooden flooring, I felt like I had walked into an old, beautiful English Victorian home. Every table had a bit of intimacy. It’s the perfect place to snuggle up on a chair, crunch your toes, sip a piping hot cup of tea or coffee, gorge on delicious freshly made cupcakes and read a book. On the side of each table were open glass walls through which you could see people walk around the mall. “I wanted it to be open, but at the same time intimate,” Shafeena said. If I had heard her say this before I saw the shop, I might have laughed and asked her “And how exactly do you plan to do this?”

I order a Jing jasmine tea but cant make up mind about the cupcakes. They all looked so amazing (and three of them are named after her nephews- how cute is that?) that I kept going back and forth. Shafeena is telling me about how she ate 96 cupcakes on the tasting day- I cannot even begin to imagine the sugar rush. She then finalized on 30 of her favorite ones to put in the shop.

And as I stood there, a lady walked in and asked for red velvet cupcakes. When the staff showed the cake, she frowned. “Its not red,” she said. “It is,” the staff insisted. And when I looked closely, I saw that they were just a shade of red, and not the dark red ones that you get in other shops. “People just don’t understand,” Shafeena said, sounding exasperated. “The red is just the color. The darker cakes just mean more color. I try to give people the healthy option- making fresh cakes everyday, adding as little color as possible, bringing in the best quality tea and coffee from around the world, but people just don’t understand.”

That’s when my tea makes the grand entrance. Silver tray, white teapot, white cup and saucer, a tea card and tea timer.
“Please don’t drink the tea until the tea timer runs out,” my server instructs. “Tea becomes proper only if it brews for three minutes.” The tea card, that explains a bit about Jing tea, has a beautiful quote by C.S. Lewis- “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me” Meanwhile, the cupcakes that Shafeena chose (ya, I just couldn’t make up mind) also arrived- Diabetic and red velvet. I wasn’t sure of the diabetic. “Go on,” she urged me. Hesitantly I bit into it and I must say I was totally impressed. It tasted really sweet (it’s a natural sugar syrup, she explains) and it had lots of nuts in it. Yummmmm. By then my tea-timer runs out. The smell of jasmine is so overpowering that I actually didn’t want to drink my tea. I just wanted to sit and smell it. I’m generally not a big fan of herbal tea but this one was actually good
And we sit and chat some more. About family, our kids, life, etc. “So how did you come up with the name?” I ask her. And that’s when she tells me about Bea. Shafeena did her masters from London and while she was there, she used to love going to Bea’s cake shop. “Bea makes the best cupcakes in the world,” she gushes. And so when she decided to start her own place, she obviously roped Bea in to make the great cupcakes here. And as an ode to their friendship, they named the shop Bloomsbury’s- the place where they first met. Now isn’t that cute?

And then its time for me to leave. Shafeena promises me a box of cupcakes to take back home- which i duly went and picked up. All i remember is bringing that box home. Next instant, it was all gone :-)


Mehnaz said...

This post is pure torture for me....

I can almost smell the Jasmine Jing tea in your post!!!