Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cake Hole

Daylesford Organic's pop-up cafe and crazy golf on the roof at Selfridge's. 
 Fun wall designs of ceramic strawberries, golf balls and china tea cups
69 miles to their Gloucestershire farm
The prices - cake at £6.25 plus 10% service charge - are as high as the location

Monday, 30 July 2012

Fresh Fruit

Nice variation on fresh fruit at Cafe Brera at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Olympics Bravo

Guest Spot
An enterprising cup cake company and Norfolk cafe probably shouldn't be using any Olympic imagery but as Danny Boyle's great opening ceremony showed (or confused) the world, us Brits are quirky and creative. Thanks Alan for the photo.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Green Tea

Green Tea Brownies at Salt in Great Queen Street
Green Tea Melon Bread pastry at the Japan Centre

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Cake Tables

Cake table at the Courtauld Gallery Cafe

Salvation Jane cafe in the City

Wholefoods store and cafe in the recently reopened Regent Palace building at Piccadilly

Long-established Absolutely Starving in Tooley Street

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Tables with a Difference

Table at POD

'Tables and chairs' outside MADD mango restaurant in Rupert Street, Soho

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Purple Pickle & Kelp Noodles

POD is inventive - halves of free range egg and bowls of purple pickle and kelp noodles as savoury snacks

Monday, 23 July 2012

Kiwi Veggie Sanga

Ozone's Veggie Sanga (Australian slang for a sarnie) just shows how strong the Kiwi and Aussie cafe influence is - see Afghan biscuits post http://greatcafes.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/afghan-biscuit.html - and how original a sandwich can be: avocado, mushroom, green apple, honey and sultana.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Get out of the office enough?

A short video of our acclaimed London Cafe Tour - see what our clients say at http://greatcafes.blogspot.co.uk/p/london-cafe-tour-benefits.html

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Lighthouse Keepers Only

Guest Spot
See powerpoint slides at:


Anita Goodwin from the National Trust reports on their project at South Foreland Lighthouse, Kent:

"The team onsite with the support of curator and buildings consultant, embraced the eye for detail and the notion of everything can say something, and continued this through into the redevelopment of Mrs Knott's Tearoom. Note the choice of china, cutlery, and associated reading material; the team brought in photos of themselves and their families and reframed them too.  This site currently scores top of the region in terms of its ‘very enjoyable’ score."

Friday, 20 July 2012

Sin & Obesity

POD sell Sin gluten free chocolate brownies and other sweet delights - "sin" from Spanish, meaning 'without'.

Cafes like to think they offer occasional treats but we also have to admit to being purveyors of sin in terms of gluttony/obesity.  That's why fresh fruit and healthy items need to be on the menu (POD does this well) and why good presentation is key to sales of something that none of us needs.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Gluten Free Gems

Gluten free is big and the best are more innovative than most
Tom's Deli Almond Gluten Free Sticks

Ozone's Gluten Free Macaroons and Brownies

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

WiFi Humour

This yacht club's wifi password, posted prominently in the bar, raised a chuckle.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Bouncing Balls

Spotted in Planet Organic's store and they are not cheap at £1.95 each.  A possible cafe item?

Monday, 16 July 2012

Blenheim Local

Searcys are to be congratulated for their local sourcing at Blenheim Palace - no central purchasing diktat here.  Oxford Sauce, Cotswold Gold rapeseed oil,
Samuelsons of Witney sparkling Blackberry, Virgin Mojita, Super Strong Lemonade,
Manor Farm herbs,
backed up by story boards.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Cream Tea

Guest Spot
 Alan Miller at the Beach Cafe, Wells-next-the-Sea has sent in his great scone, preserve and cream display

Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Very Special Birthday

Guest Spot
The Signorini family traditional birthday torta as made by my Aussie cousin Meredith Clark and as taught to her by her partner Dario's mum Teresa.
The top layer is coffee, followed by creme, crushed baked almonds, with grated dark chocolate (the filling), then the next layer is Amaretto liquor, followed by the filling, then Creme de Menthe, followed by filling, then Cherry Liquor, followed by filling, then coffee, followed by filling, with the last and bottom layer with all the dregs of the alcohol as it's seeped through the layers...
Mel reports that "it's time consuming layering the cake and expensive with all the alcohol!!!"

Friday, 13 July 2012

The Brownie Bar

Konditor & Cook's Brownie Bar is fun - any 3 for £5

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Vitamin C & Cheeky Pastry

Fruit display at Green & Fortune's cafe in Kings Place alongside Kings Cross station, balanced by temptation.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Crack Cake & Hello Dolly

Salvation Jane's Crack Cake has pineapple and nuts in and just begs a conversation - the name might be a little close to the bone given its City location.

Hello Dolly is a confection of condensed milk and almonds; there are plenty of recipes on the internet for a cake that I had never heard of.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Billionaires Shortbread

Paul A Young, the chocolate shop, has made the ultimate 'billionaires' shortbread - 70% chocolate topping, sea salted caramel, a light chocolate mousse and chocolate shortbread.  It was good.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Top Tea by Top Chef

Smart Hospitality's afternoon tea box presentation by top chef Angela Hartnett.  Angela is not one of these 'add name but never appear' chefs; she actually turns up service after service to ensure high standards.  Impressive.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Keeping up with what's new?

A short video of our acclaimed London Cafe Tour - see what our clients say at http://greatcafes.blogspot.co.uk/p/london-cafe-tour-benefits.html

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Anything for the Weekend?

For regular followers of this blog you will have noticed that we have started taking the weekends off (after 460 consecutive days posts) but there is no rest for the dedicated cafe professional.  Weekend slots will be reserved for guest contributions and re-runs of our very own London Cafe Tour video.  Send us your latest discoveries.
Guest Spot
Thank-you to Ben Duffy for his notes and photos following a visit to Teacup on Thomas Street in Manchester.  Ben was impressed with "a large unit and rammed at 10.30 Saturday morning".

Friday, 6 July 2012

Wimbledon Cupcakes

Hummingbird have kept the quality of their cupcakes and bakery stores.  Check out their three-layer cakes, whoopie pies and famous red velvet cupcakes.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Sweet & Petite

The mini/petite pastry at a high price point is becoming more prevalent - perhaps this will be the way we keep the weight off and indulge our sweet tooth.  It will certainly help our food cost.  Konditor & Cook's £1 Mini Tart special offer and Starbucks' £1.55 eat in Petites.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Game, Set & Strawberries

Talkington Bates, the business and industry caterer, offers complimentary strawberries and cream with every main meal dish purchased

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Fame in Falmouth

We visited the excellent Stones bakery in Falmouth, having visited a year ago, and they are just about to add a cafe section.  Good strawberry tarts plus they asked if I was the Great Cafes blogger - fame at last.