I recently went into London to take a look at what the bakeries, patisseries and cafes had on offer as I am still interested in one day owning a cafe. However, I was also just interested in what people are making and eating for lunch currently, as it is all too easy to get stuck in a rut of ham/cheese/tuna sandwiches. These are a few of the places I either ate at or found interesting:
My first stop was Herman ze German, which is near Charing Cross Station, they had a really interesting range of pretzels and cakes that are freshly made each day. I tried the crumble swirl which was a lovely sweet dense sponge with a crumble and icing topping (shown on the left of the bottom shelf). Next time I go there I will definatley be trying the chocolate twist pretzel (pictured next to the chocolate dipped crossiant) as this looked delicious. For lunch they also offered a range of rolls, which had many typical German fillings, such as a salami, cheese, boiled egg and salad roll. It is very common in Germany for many different fillings to have egg included with them. Their range of drinks was also very interesting, all of them were German and they included flavours such as: apple and rhubarb, apple and beetroot and a very high caffeine cola.
I then came across MD’s yummin’ it up in Covent Garden, I didn’t try anything here but their food looked amazing! The window display showed a range of different small pieces of bread that formed an open sandwich. There was a huge range of toppings from roast beef and tomato to caviar, boiled egg and tomato. All of the toppings were very neatly placed onto the bread, with some of the spreads being piped on, which made them look lovely. Next time I am in the area at lunchtime I will, try them out and see if they taste as good as they look.
For lunch I stopped at Leon in old compton street, after reading one of their cookbooks I was intrigued as to what their food would be like. I ordered the chicken club wrap with the slaw and fresh home-made lemonade; the wrap was nice with big chunks of meat however, it would have been a lot better had they not smothered it in a very spicy chilli sauce. Someone I was with ordered the meatballs and they looked lovely and apparently were delicious, so I would be more inclined to recommend them and will be trying them next time I am in the area.
I also visited the Soho Hummingbird bakery and I found this very disappointing, I had wanted to visit for a long time and was excited to finally get the chance. While the cupcakes looked pretty they didn’t appear to be worth the £3.55 price tag! I also thought it odd that they put no descriptions next to any of the cakes as many of the names are not in the slightest descriptive e.g. red velvet, black bottom cupcake etc. and while there were staff available they seemed to just be pushing the ‘cupcake of the day’ but even then the description only went as far as ‘delicious’. I tried the red velvet cupcake as it was one I had remembered hearing many good things about, the sponge was lovely and light but the cream cheese frosting was a bit too cheesy for me, I am used to them being sweeter.
I also saw bakeries that had lovely rustic looking rolls, tarts and quiches, as well as amazing looking cakes; there were soo many places that offered beautiful looking food. One of the things I found from looking at these places is that if ever I owned a cafe/bakery I would ensure that for lunches the bread and rolls I used were of a high quality and looked good. As when I was walking around I found it was the look of the bread used that made me want to try things before I even looked at what was within them.