I love Portobello Road. I’m a complete sucker for cute little independent cafes serving homemade food and good coffee, quirky little stores selling the most random items and a big food market and it has all of those things. I find it fascinating how different people can be and every time I go to markets I see items which I would personally never even consider buying, yet I see others being so interested in those same items. They look as though spend hours browsing through trinkets and antiques where I would get bored in minutes!
They probably think the same of me when they watch me making my way through all of the food stalls, eyeing up the bacon cheeseburgers, salivating over the salted caramel brownies and desperately trying to pick the biggest donut when they’re just not interested. It makes me wonder where I got my love of food from and what my interests would be if I hadn’t found such a huge passion for food!
My idea of a perfect weekend is wandering around in the sunshine sampling everything that takes my fancy from food stalls, venturing into independent cafes and sipping coffee in the sun. We’d stumbled across this place after brunching at Snaps + Rye and I’d also spotted Bluebelles which looked incredible – I’ve added it to my brunch list and I’ll be back to try it soon!
I’d heard of Pearl and Groove before, and seen their cakes at Selfridges, St Pancras station and a few other random places but I’d never tried one, and to be honest they’d never stood out enough for me to be that bothered. But seeing the enticing window display and the huge array of flavours made me want to try one. They’re also gluten free (and some are dairy free) for anyone who has intolerances, and for someone who doesn’t, I honestly could not tell the difference!
They were soft, beautifully decorated and perfectly flavoured. I opted for coconut and there were coconut flakes both on top and throughout the sponge.. it was incredibly moist (sorry!) and soft – almost deceivingly so. Since I’m not a huge fan of frosting, I chose one without and it was still incredibly good. With no frosting there was no hiding – it was just cake.. and if it was dry or lacking in flavour in any way it would have been immediately obvious.
I won’t lie, when I’ve seen them out they don’t always look like the most appealing cakes. I’d even go so far as to say they look dry when I’ve seen them sitting out in Sourced Market or Selfridges but trust me they are good! The little seating area inside is perfect too, with huge sofas, a communal table and a colouring book – yes, we coloured in like big kids 🙂 I’m trying to get better at taking time to relax and not always feel like I have to be doing something productive and I found that colouring is such a good way to zone out. I do have a mindfulness colouring book at home but I have never actually used it.. which says something about my efforts so far!
The tea was good tea and it was served in a huge builders mug, exactly how tea should be served in my opinion! No fancy tiny tea cups, just a great big mug. They had various teas on offer but to me nothing beats the trusty English breakfast with cake! They also make huge cakes to order, and they cater for various dietary requirements without compromising on either taste or looks.
Since they’re a small place they didn’t have a customer toilet but they let me use theirs which was through the kitchen and the smell was insane! Freshly baked cakes and buttery sugary goodness was literally everywhere. I had to resist the urge to stick my face into the huge trays of freshly baked cakes! But I refrained.. and then we went to the food market to drool over the grilled cheese, time-out famous chip cones and falafel! 😀
Would I recommend it? Yes
Worth going out of your way for? Probably not.. but there are plenty of other lovely places to eat and things to do in the area so make an afternoon of it! 🙂
Would I go back? I’m not sure.. there are a lot of cake places on my list!