Review: Afternoon Tea on the Brighton Regency Routemaster

We were kindly gifted tickets from Fizzbox in return for an honest review of this experience

A couple of weeks ago we had a very rare Saturday afternoon without the girls, so we went a well earned date day out. Since the girls were born, we’ve had approximately ZERO hours together without at least one of the children, unless you count the hours after they’ve gone to sleep, when usually we’ll be tidying up and creeping round the house, too tired to communicate. It’s safe to say these years with very little ones have been tough, so when we do get a break – we REALLY appreciate it and try to do something special. We both love Afternoon Tea so Fizzbox sent us on the Brighton Regency Routemaster and it was the perfect experience to let our hair down, whilst still being able to get home in time for dinner, bath and bedtime (oh, the glamour never stops!)

The Afternoon Tea bus is a renovated 1965 Routemaster that was in service in the London/Surrey area from 1965 until 2005 when it was finally withdrawn from service. Since then it’s been used in various guises, a beauty salon and office space before finding it’s forever home as the Brighton Regency Routemaster, serving tea, cakes and gin cocktails which if you ask me sounds like a great way to spend your golden years!

Not that this bus shows any time of stopping soon – with a full engine refurbishment, plus an interior and external refurbishment completed in 2017, the Regency Routemaster is truly glamorous and like stepping back in time from the moment you board.

Our journey set off from Pool Valley in Brighton, where we spotted the bus instantly. The team are so friendly and welcoming, we boarded and found our seats, stopping for a few snaps on the way – of course!

On board, we looked through the menu and found an extensive range of teas, iced teas, plus gin cocktails (made with Brighton Gin) and prosecco too. I did wonder how we were going to keep all our drinks from spilling, but the tables have handy cupholders built in and all hot drinks are served in closed, reusable mugs – genius!

As we set off on our journey there was a real buzz of excitement, the driver popped up to give a little talk about the history of the bus and then we were issued our ticket from the ‘conductor’ who used an old fashioned ticket machine as would be used back in the day. These little touches really added to the experience. Everyone on board was in high spirits with various tables celebrating birthdays so there was a real atmosphere of fun and excitement as we left the bus stop.

As we journeyed along Brighton’s iconic seafront taking in some of the most popular sights like the West Pier, we had a full commentary along the way. I felt like a tourist in my own city, learning facts about Brighton’s history I didn’t even know! It’s funny how when you stop and look at your own city, there is so much you haven’t even realised that is right in front of your eyes.

As we went along, our drinks and food were served. They cater for most dietary requirements (with notice) such as vegetarian/vegan/gluten free etc, so we booked ourselves as vegetarian at the time of booking our tickets. We were super impressed with the choice of sandwiches and cakes as sometimes vegetarian afternoon tea can be a little lacklustre, but this was just perfect. Excellent quality, fresh and utterly delicious! I wasn’t sure if we’d feel a bit sick bumping around on the top of a bus (some parts were a bit bumpy!) but it just added to the fun and as it goes along relatively slowly through the Brighton traffic you hardly notice really! 

The route took us all the way out to Saltdean Lido where the bus makes a stop for a loo break (needed after all those drinks!) before a scenic journey along the coast road back into Brighton centre.

We had a fabulous time on the Brighton Afternoon Tea Bus – it was such a great opportunity to do something different whilst relaxing, enjoying some great food and catching up without the children!

It would be the ideal treat also for a birthday, a hen party or if you were visiting Brighton and wanted to learn some of the history over tea and cake!

For group bookings, check out Fizzbox who offer great deals on group bookings over 8 or more.

We were kindly gifted tickets from Fizzbox in return for an honest review of this experience

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