When it comes to cake, there’s no denying that we Londoners are spoilt to pieces! From the absolutely stunning (but slightly overhyped!) cupcakes and layer cakes served up amongst flawless pink and floral décor at some of London’s most “Instagrammable” spots, to tiny little cafes and coffee shops offering tray bakes, loaf cakes and beautifully rustic home-style bakes, London has it all. As possibly my favourite baked item (after cookies!), I’ve probably had more cakes than any other type of food in London, but it’s rare that I walk into a small coffee shop and am truly blown away by their counter! Most coffee shops have a fairly modest offering – with pastries, simple cookies, brownies or (often very sorry looking!) loaf cakes, but to find homemade cakes this impressive is definitely something I sadly rarely ever see in coffee shops around London.
I love doing nice things for people and surprising people. I don’t do it to get anything in return – it genuinely makes me so happy to put a smile on someone’s face, and much as I joke that I have zero will power when it comes to treats, if I’ve bought a cake, chocolate or any other delicious gift for someone I will never, ever eat it – in fact, if I got (for example) a delicious cake that I know my mum would love, it’d make me happier to save it for her than to eat it myself!
Hayman’s of London date all the way back to 1863, with five generations of their family acting as custodians of the True English Gin style – providing an unbroken lineage dating back to the original gin boom. Over the 150 years to the present day, they have remained true to their roots, still using family techniques and processes handed down through the generations.
Murger HanHan is the Mayfair branch of Euston’s Murger Han and the pair of restaurants are specialists in regional Chinese cuisine from Xi’an City in the Shan Xi Province – the home of the legendary Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty. Along with various other unique aspects, they’re apparently the only restaurant in Europe to serve traditional drinks from Xi’an City such as Ice Peak Orange and Xi’an rice wine.
Us city workers are absolutely coffee obsessed, and with 30,000 people commuting to the square mile every single day, it’s possibly also the area of London most densely populated with coffee shops too. Yet despite the insane levels of coffee consumption, I’m shocked at the number of people who seem to go for Pret, Eat or worse.. Starbucks 😦 At least those with Pret coffees can argue its convenience (I do like their food and can see the impracticality of queuing twice) but I think I’d sooner drink coffee from our machine at work than Starbucks – it tastes so bad I simply cannot even begin to comprehend its apparent popularity. I suppose we can only hope that one day our coffee culture will even begin to start catching up with the likes of Australia..
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be offered free tickets to Taste of London. Having been away for last Summer’s festival, I’d never actually been but I’d heard wonderful things and I couldn’t wait to go!