This place is one of my favourite places to visit in St Albans – and if you’re ever in the area (or even close.. it’s worth the detour!) I can’t recommend it enough! It’s a tiny place with all of the charm and quality of an independent cafe. Every time we go in there it’s busy – and with good reason. They only do puddings, and they do them seriously well..
They sell home made ice cream in a range of flavours and they have an enticing array of treats at the front of the store which varies each day. Examples of things I’ve seen include carrot cake, brownies, blondies, shortbread cookies, biscotti, donuts, pecan pie, treacle tart and little egg custard tarts! There’s a small area to sit outside which is perfect on a summer evening and communal benches inside for when it’s colder.
They have a range of staple puddings and they usually have a special or two. I think I’ve tried every pudding on their standard menu and I’ve never once been disappointed. Think soft steamed maple and pecan sponge pudding with smooth and creamy banana ice cream. Or an incredible Bakewell tart, warmed so the jam is oozing out, served with a big scoop of salted caramel ice cream. Their specials have included ice cream sundaes and even a chocolate praline waffle sandwich! Even their custard is incredible – I’m not usually the biggest custard fan, but theirs is homemade, and is neither artificially sweetened nor coloured, with the perfect amount of sweetness and a hint of real vanilla.
Their coffee, although served in small glasses, is amazing too (I think they use Monmouth beans!). They also stock a huge range of fresh leaf teas and they’re more than happy to top up the teapot as many times as you’d like. They have an afternoon menu which features the most incredibly soft madeleines served with warm chocolate and salted caramel sauces. They used to do a giant scone with clotted cream and jam which was another favourite of mine – it’s recently disappeared but I live in hope that it will be back!
They’ve recently extended their menu as well, so they also do brunch. It’s a short and simple menu, but done very well. Soft fluffy buttermilk pancakes with berries and crispy bacon or banana bread french toast are my favourites.
They are also open until pretty late at night, which is perfect for either popping out for a takeaway, or just going out for a pudding after dinner! They also have an extensive range of beers and wines, with each pudding on their menu coming with an accompanying alcoholic recommendation. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve had dessert at a restaurant in St Albans – as we’ve come to the conclusion that no restaurant dessert can compare to pudding stop! We usually just order starters and mains and then head to the pudding stop.. plus during the week if you take a dinner receipt from another restaurant they give you 25% off!
Would I recommend it? Yes, yes, 100% yes
Worth going out of your way for? Absolutely!
Would I go back? I think the large selection of pictures answers that question..!
Link to their website: http://www.thepuddingstop.com/#thepudstop .. go and check them out! You won’t regret it 🙂