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Bob Bob Ricard Review

Nicole Dalamagas is more than impressed with Afternoon Tea at Bob Bob Ricard

Written by . Published on June 8th 2011.

Bob Bob Ricard Review

ON stepping through Bob Bob Ricard’s impressive, brass monogrammed doors, you may ask yourself one of three questions: Is this some sort of 1930s Gentleman’s Club on board the Orient Express? Did I fall down a rabbit hole into some alternate reality? Could life be any better right now?! 

Dressed in my finest Peter Pan-collar frock, I feel I fit in quite nicely among the Hollywood Golden Age style décor, with its mirrored ceilings, extravagant mosaic flooring and walls covered in a paper so detailed. It’s as though a myriad of swans really is flying off into the blue…

After opening in 2008 on the former Circus site (ironically one of London’s most minimalist and quite frankly, dull restaurants), Bob Bob Ricard has continually astounded its guests with its stunning, albeit wacky, interior (which won the Time Out award 2009). Dressed in my finest Peter Pan-collar frock, I feel I fit in quite nicely among the Hollywood Golden Age-style décor, with its mirrored ceilings, extravagant mosaic flooring and walls covered in a paper so detailed, it’s as though a myriad of swans really is flying off into the blue. Art Deco brass fixtures give everything a glitzy glam touch and blacked out windows exude film-noir vibes.

As my guest and I sit at one of the delightful leather-bound booths, one particularly happy waiter, all dressed to the nines in a candy pink blazer, pops my coat onto one of the neat in-booth hanging rails. Further questions ensue: Are they trying to be ironic here? Is this place perhaps even too camp for Soho? Above each seat is a little green curtain, which can be drawn for that extra bit of privacy if needed (although why on earth would you need it?) and a little power point can be found on each marble table top, which I’m told is for your own private toaster at breakfast (you know, because toast just isn’t toast unless no more than three seconds have passed since it popped). But the most exciting part of this place, indeed, the reason you HAVE to go, is the Champagne button. C’est genial. Gone are the days of simply calling over to your waiter/waitress and requesting a glass of champers—they may as well be the Dark Ages. For in modern times such as these, no such strenuity is needed.

A glass later, and after a few cock-ups getting right a vegetarian order, the food arrives. And what a picture it is. Cute, crustless, cucumber sandwiches made with a delicious onion bread and an array of adorable miniature British cakes, including Victoria Sponge, a cream hornet and my personal favourite, a bite-sized piece of Battenburg. Fresh, homemade scones are served up with a huge dollop of cream and a jar of artisanal strawberry jam, which perfectly complement a refreshing cup of Earl Grey. As you work your way up from savouries to sweets, your taste-buds will explore a range of extremely familiar, but nonetheless, totally welcomed flavours. From soft cream cheese to fresh soft cream, decadent chocolate and crispy cucumber, these really are a delight. But to be honest, it’s the cakes that do it. Tempting you back into childhood with their nostalgic tastes.

I’m not going to lie, as more of a cheap Vegan café kind of girl, I was a little skeptical of Bob Bob Ricard at first. But after delightful couple of hours of gorging on the delicious little cakes, sipping from pink-rimmed teacups and possibly wearing out the champagne button, I am officially a convert. The food was divine and in huge portions; I even have the doggy bag to prove it. Impeccable service all round by super-friendly staff, and I particularly enjoyed their subversive pink male and blue female dress code, and I’m not even being sarcastic (well, maybe a little). Now, as I walk back through those beautiful brass doors, there is only one question running through my mind: Have I died on gone to Heaven?

Follow @nicoledalamagas on Twitter!

Rating: 17/20

Food: 7/10
Service: 5/5
Ambience: 5/5

Bob Bob Ricard
1 Upper St James Street



Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: We get carried away.

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