Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A Smart Box Sandwich

Spianata have classy boxes for their Roman flat bread sandwiches

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The Best Brownies in London

Paul A Young has a flagship 'chocolaterie' in Wardour Street where he sells his £3.75 chocolate brownies - Time Out rates them the best in London. Tasted good!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Beetroot, Apple & Ginger

EAT's new summer drink - Beetroot, Apple & Ginger. The competition amongst the chains drives real innovation.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Puzzle Cake

Chocolate and Vanilla Puzzle Cake by Ion Patisserie at their Exmouth Market street stall.

I have never met Georgeta Decuseara, the owner and have no shares in the company but they may be worth watching out for.
Contact 07749 475478.

Cheesecake in filo pastry

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Babies Welcome

It's really not that difficult to woo the mother & baby market - a table plus microwave to heat the bottled milk plus a large sign to show how much you care. Disposable bibs and spoons are a nice touch from Welcome Break.

Friday, 26 August 2011

In Your Face Drinks

PAUL don't have multideck chiller units where customers can serve themselves - it presumably allows more counter display space for their great patisserie. How do you keep cold drink sales up? 'Buy with your eyes' rack of their main cold drink selection at eye level.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Tea Pot Spouts & Strainers

St John Bread & Wine in Spitalfields has some interesting tea strainers inserted in their tea pot spouts. They work.

Their eccles cakes, made fresh every day, are still the best going.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Butter like Home

No measly, hard-to-open, wasteful, plastic butter pats.

No pretentious curls or fancy French portions here.  Conran just gets it right time after time.  He truly is a caff (and restaurant) hero.  At the Albion Caff where we almost always start our London Cafe Tours.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Sponge Cake

Byfords in Holt, North Norfolk have such a following with their cafe and deli that they have set up their own branded range of cakes - SPONGE.
Love it.
The modern packaging and old-fashioned signage are tops.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Ottolenghi's salad display - as good as their pastry presentation. Big, bold platters of glistening innovative salads at differing heights just selling themselves. Buy his books to get inspiration. Our clients are increasingly doing so and saying Ottolenghi is their benchmark. We agree.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Book and Cake

The London Review Cake Shop in Holborn is "connected to the bookshop by a passage in the History section".

No kitchen but good presentation of bought-in, made-for-them cakes.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Mini Cakes

Starbucks yet again leading the big guys cake innovation stakes with a range of three mini cakes as part of their Petites range.


Friday, 19 August 2011

Tea Deals on the Motorway

The cynical might say it indicates the profit margin on flavoured water and flour but at least the motorway operators are reflecting customers love for a deal - even at teatime. Plus we note that the scones are baked fresh every day. Quality plus a deal?!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Cafe, Deli (& Posh B&B)

Byfords at Holt in north Norfolk - brilliant. You enter the cafe through the deli where pasties and pastries are being made. The 'Take & Bake' unit is right to hand. Their tag line of "A Higgledy-Piggledy World of Pleasure" is spot on.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Toasters on the Table - Part 2

Bishopsgate Kitchen by Benugo and customers were making their own toast.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Life by Chocolate Mousse

"Belgian Chocolate Mousse with a hint of orange blossom water and a shot of espresso.  A low GI pick-me-up".   Amazing how you can up the ante with such a humble dessert.  Good for Leon.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Great Cafes Food Heroes


Really great fresh food at The Old Smithy Cafe tucked away in Beeley in the Peak District - just down the road from Chatsworth.  The trays of cooling bakery items greet you at the door and the food is worth the wait.  Smoked haddock rarebit, cake still warm from the oven and a stupendous take-away steak pie.  The owners - Neil & Sue Chatterton - deserve a medal.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Six Sorts of Scones

  1. Cheddar, Sage & Onion Scone
  2. Blue Cheese, Walnut & Sultana Scone
  3. Plain
  4. Cherry & Dark Chocolate
  5. Sultana
  6. Strawberry & White Chocolate
Gail's is good, nay excellent.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Organic Ice Cream-on-Sea

Pete's organic ice cream van at Wells-next-the-Sea has taken some inspiration from a certain smoothie company to make its mark.

In the British Museum courtyard it is the genuinely vintage ice cream van that takes the money.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Not Lemonade

Leon's variation on lemonade - Strawberryade. Simple, seasonal, well marketed and just a great idea.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Window Shopping for Pastries

Napket in Piccadilly

 Sweet in Exmouth Market

Hummingbird Bakery in Wardour Street

and not a chiller or plastic dome in sight.  Bravo.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Retro Table Setting

Let's start with the tables (at Bishopsgate Kitchen) - made of off cuts and deliberately not finished.

Glass mugs, not fancy glasses.

Kitchen cloths; not serviettes

Bone handled knives - the ones we all threw away as they looked old and couldn't cope with the dishwasher

Monday, 8 August 2011

Lampshade of Ingredients

Leon has large tins of gherkins on display and some empty ones hanging upside down - inexpensive and fun.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Great Simple Display

Konditor & Cook's Almond St. Clement Cakes - beautifully presented.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Make Believe Baking

The conspicuous Anolon muffin tins (endorsed by Raymond Blanc, no less) used by Costa to display their muffins are great theatre and suggest on-site baking.

I cannot decide whether it's inspired display or a suggestive con.

Friday, 5 August 2011

How the world has changed .......for the better

Remember when we always used matches to publicise our bars and restaurants.  Now it's book seeds, not book matches.  Plants, not ciggies.  
Benugo's Bishopsgate Kitchen " We don't take bookings, but we do like herbs" book of parsley, thyme, basil & sage seeds.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Jelly & Cherries

EAT's pots of summer jelly (berry and elderflower) and British bags of cherries - seasonal, fresh, healthy and different.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Guilt Free Coffee

Costa are offering a less than 80 calorie coffee - "All the Love; Less of the Handles".
The milky, foamy coffee uses skimmed milk, less than a full shot of coffee and is offered with sugar-free syrup.
Not much taste as far as I was concerned but less calories has its appeal.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Sit Back at Spianata & Co

Decorative external seating at Spianata & Co in Spitalfields