Posts Tagged ‘london bakers’

London — By Andrea Kirkby on January 31, 2010 at 4:04 pm
Filed under: best of week, chocolate, cupcakes, london bakers, pastyshops, valentine's day

Coming up: Valentine’s Day ideas

You don’t need to be told it’s Valentine’s Day coming up. I’m sure you don’t need to be told how to be romantic. But you might want to know where to get the best cakes and chocolates in London – particularly if like me, you’ve been ever so good at keeping your New Year’s resolution and so you’ve had a miserably alcohol-free, low-fat, high-GI, fibre-rich 2010 so far!

Konditor & Cook's special message

I usually avoid pastry shops and cake shops, but not for Valentine’s Day. Here are a few of the best:

  • Konditor & Cook – several branches across London, so check the web site – will be making Valentine’s cookies and cakes.  Pastry chef (and business owner) Gerhard has even designed little gingerbread women in basques, and gingerbread men in pink Y-fronts and boxers! And there’s lots for under a tenner – so if you’re romancing on a budget, K&C is for you.
  • Patisserie Valerie, Old Compton Street [map], has more old-style French pastries (it was actually founded by a Belgian, back in 1926).  I don’t know if they’re doing anything extra-special for Valentine’s Day, but their regular cakes are just superb – or you could kick the day off by dropping in for a coffee and a pain chocolat (at £1.40, cheaper by a mile than the ones you can get at the railway station!) And there are a number of other branches around London, including the latest in Sicilian Avenue, just off Holborn – check the web site to find more.
  • Get red velvet cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery – better than red roses if your beloved has a sweet tooth!
  • If you really love your cupcakes, then don’t just get a cake – learn to bake them! Peggy’s Cupcakes runs baking and cupcake decorating classes in Forest Hill, South London – and you can learn how to make sugar flowers, too. How romantic!

And chocolate. Just to warn you, some women think it’s better than sex, apparently, so you may end up with no girlfriend and and empty box…

  • Rococo Chocolates has all kinds of lovely things for Valentine’s Day, from hand-painted ch0colate hearts to ‘hot lips’ – bright red lips made out of chilli chocolate for those who like it hot! I really like Rococo’s imaginative approach – these are chocolates way out of the ordinary; anyone you give them to will remember them, I can promise. Branches in Chelsea, Belgravia and Marylebone. You can also take a chocolate class – and these look pretty high powered, with subjects such as tempering chocolate (if you don’t get the temperature precisely right, it will look all wrong) and making the perfect truffle.
  • Demarquette, in Fulham Road [map], has strawberry caramel hearts which look just delightful – for added bling it will pack them in a chocolate ‘ruby’ or ‘emerald’. Or if you fancy a romantic evening in, you could pick up a sweet chocolate fondue set decorated with little hearts and the ingredients for a wicked dessert.

Or you could try some traditional British sweeties. Haute cuisine it isn’t, but if like me you miss the confectionery of your childhood – toffee bonbons, milk bottles, coconut teacakes, peanut brittle – you could try one of our old style sweet shops to spend your ‘tuck money’:

  • Mrs Kibble’s, at 57a Brewer Street [map] has even got flying saucers! Cola cubes, chocolate mice, the lot. It even looks like a proper sweet shop. But no web site, as far as I can find, which is sad.
  • Hope & Greenwood [map] bill themselves as ‘purveyors of splendid confectionery’ and there is a bit of Boy’s Own or Ripping Yarns about them which I find rather endearing. There are stores in Covent Garden [map] and Dulwich, or you can order off the website if you’re (a) lazy and (b) don’t want to visit one of the most fun emporia in London. And for Valentine’s Day, they have Love Hearts. Aaah!

Photo courtesy of Konditor & Cook

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  1. In our havens of self-indulgence, you will discover hand-made cakes and
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