Monday, 19 May 2014

Sight Seeing And Face Scoffing

The day I decided to start blogging!!
My good friend Kat and I share a passion for all things food but in particular sweet treats! After doing a bit of research and reading several blogs we decided to embark on a day of exploring London's finest bakeries. It was after this sunny Saturday in August that I thought about blogging and sharing my love for food and crafts.

Now I will hand over to Kat to share with you the tales of this incredible day. 

In the quest for the perfect cupcakes, luscious chocolates, and mouth-watering macaroons, Mel and I ventured to several sites throughout London one Saturday. Our adventure took us to both well- and lesser-known establishments.

In preparation, I trawled the internet for inspiration and advice on places to visit in London, and we were not let down by the suggestions. The day was jam-packed (mmmm…jam) so I will give you the highlights.

We started the day in Notting Hill to check out Portabello Market as neither of us had been before. However, we didn’t even make it to the market before catching a glimpse of our first (unplanned) stop. Jamie Oliver’s shop Recipease is located near to Notting Hill Gate station and offers gourmet treasures in the market-style store. They also offer a range of cooking classes, including parties, which are not overly expensive in relation to other London-based cooking classes I have seen. Seems like it is worth another visit.

We finally did make it through Portabello Market to our first official stop, Hummingbird Bakery (well…once we had finished ogling all the delicious-looking waffles and pancakes). 
I think it is pretty safe to say that Mel and I were expecting great things from this stop as Hummingbird is well know for their cupcakes. We decided that our strategy would be to share sweet treats throughout the day in order to allow us to try more things, which may appear overly-restrained but looking back it was a good strategy. We ate Hummingbird’s cookie cupcake, which was absolutely delicious. I clearly have a sweet tooth but I appreciate that some people are put off by too much frosting but the ratio of frosting to cake was just right!

Click here for the Hummingbird Bakery
Cookie Cupcake - Hummingbird Bakery

Our next stop took us to Cocomaya near Marble Arch. Their vast selection of chocolates in the Chocolate Lounge, pastries and jams was impressive, not to mention the amazing aroma that draws you in. I think it would be a good place to buy gifts for the foodie in your life but it is also a cafĂ© so a great place to stop. 
Click here for Cocomaya Fine Chocolatier
Cocomaya Fine Chocolatier
Our next (and favourite) stop was at Yauatcha, a Dim Sum restaurant, in Soho. The Dim Sum itself looked spectacular…but that’s not what we were there for. Their selection of desserts includes mousses, parfaits, choux pastries, macaroons and chocolates. 

Click here for Yauatcha

After much deliberation, we decided on the Raspberry Delice and the Chinese 5-Spice Macaroon. Lets start with the macaroon…the flavours and textures were amazing and unlike any macaroon I had tasted before. But the main event was the Raspberry Delice. Just remembering it makes me salivate, it was a work of art. The plating was beautiful with the rose-shaped Delice on one side and the lychee ice cream and chocolate swirl on the other. To anyone who is lucky enough to try this dessert I say, try everything together, the ice cream and all layers, it is sensational. The Delice itself is layered with chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse, a raspberry coulis running through the middle and finished off with sprayed red cocoa butter. The flavours all complement each other beautifully and the mix of textures left us in awe of this masterpiece. In conclusion…you must try this!
Click here for Yauatcha

Just down the road from Yauatcha is Paul A Young’s chocolate shop, which is beautiful in terms of the look, smell, and of course taste. Mel and I agree that Paul is a rockstar in our eyes. This is another establishment that offers first rate classes. While they are a bit pricey they are longer than your average cookery class, so the price per hour isn’t too bad (well that’s what we are telling ourselves). The chocolate in the shop is delicious and of excellent quality, plus it is all hand-made by the staff in the shop. The award-winning collection is extensive and includes favourites, such as the Salted Caramel Truffles, as well as slightly more obscure offerings like the Marmite chocolate (which Mel and I disagree on!). If you have the chance to visit the shop, attend a workshop, or see Paul himself at a show then do it!

At this point we had definitely reached the peak of the day, although more sweet treats did follow. My recommendations from these would be the Oreo Cupcake at Sweet Couture, and the Rhubarb Macaroon from Fortnum and Manson. Both are scrumptious. 
Unfortunately Mel has since discovered that they no longer stock these macaroons but watch this space for her take on a Rhubarb Macaroon.

Click here for Fortnum and MasonClick here for Sweet Couture

The winner of the day was undoubtedly the Raspberry Delice from Yauatcha, which I would rate as five macaroons (out of five), it is truly superb.

But don’t just take our word for it…try it for yourself! Let us know how you get on.

Kat & Mel xoxo

Here is a full list of places we visited:

Cupcake Bakehouse - 
Hummingbird Bakery -
Fortnum and Mason -
Cocomaya Fine Chocolatier -

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