As you pace down Platform 1 of Paddington Station, you find the charming bronze statue of Paddington Bear, the children’s book character we lovingly associate with adventure—and delicious marmalade sandwiches. For high tea or breakfast, Paddington knew, this sweet and citrus preserve makes for the most delicious of treats. Enjoy with a cup of freshly brewed tea and you have a quintessentially British teatime. Here are some of London’s best places where “the bear from Peru” may have enjoyed his favourite marmalade sandwiches. So put on your blue duffle coat and your red boots and hat, and enjoy London as Paddington would.
Down from the cobbled lanes of Covent Garden, the bold red awnings of Balthazar welcome you into an Art Deco-inspired brasserie and a warm setting for breakfast or high tea. A dapper waiter pours you a steaming cup of English breakfast tea and you choose le panier to start the day. This basket of freshly baked bread would make Paddington Bear’s mouth water and it arrives with pots of home-made preserves, including a bright orange marmalade! It’s fragrant, fruity, and packed with flavour. Some say it’s the best in London, and you can certainly see why.
Being a traveller like Paddington Bear can be exhausting. So before you board your train, you need a pit stop for high tea. You head upstairs, to the upper mezzanine of this famous railway station and find the informal but superb café, Patisserie Valerie, part of a group of cafés known for some of the best high tea in London. Their continental breakfast menu is filled with treats that Paddington Bear would adore. A cup of their breakfast blend tea and two slices of toasted granary bread with portions of orange marmalade are just what the doctor ordered. You’d like to stay a bit longer for one of their jam doughnuts or éclairs but you hear the last call for your train. You make a dash, feeling much better. The delightfully sweet marmalade has hit the spot.
Honey & Co.
Despite this café’s reference to another preserve, Honey & Co. is renowned for its marmalade offerings, so you head down there on a Saturday morning with a marmalade sandwich-loving friend. You pick up an unmistakable Middle Eastern vibe in this chintzy neighbourhood café. But the cakes in the window and shelves of marmalade, honey and jam prove that it’s also home to high tea, and preserves a certain bear would salivate over. It’s before noon so you order a toasted fig, and a walnut and orange loaf, which you spread a generous layer of butter and marmalade over. Honey & Co. specialises in the most wonderful marmalade infused with fresh thyme and cardamom and you can’t help but notice how incredibly sweet and fragrant it is. You might be having breakfast right now, but you feel like you could eat a sandwich filled with this sumptuous preserve at any time of day. Especially with a good cup of British tea, like our furry, wellington-wearing friend.