Almond croissants, sugar-glazed pretzels, fruit tarts, the choices go on. Maison Bertaux, London’s oldest French patisserie has been around since 1871. That’s 143 years! They were even behind the bespoke masterpiece that was Lily Allen’s wedding cake. Cakes, pastries and the rest are all baked above the shop and tearoom. Decorated with pink bunting, fairy lights, child-like scribbles on the mirrors and an assortment of things on the piano, it is a charming little oddity in the midst of rowdy Soho pubs. Things may get a little busy in the evenings but at half past 9am on a weekday, the quaint patisserie was endearingly quiet save for the barely audible discussion about Wimbledon between two elderly men.
£9 (2 persons)
28 Greek Street, London W1D 5DQ
Not lacking in service and style, afternoon tea at The Ritz is complete with high ceilings, gleaming mirrors, intricate embellishments and skilled classical musicians, creating quite the spectacular ambience. After confirming our reservation with the man on an iPad (even the 108 year old hotel has gone tech), we were seated in the sunlight-tinted Palm Court. The finger sandwiches were classic, nothing extraordinarily fancy. The assortment of British afternoon tea pastries and cakes comprised of mille feuille, macaroon, chocolate cake, and white chocolate mousse coated passion fruit. These were pretty good, as were the sticky toffee cake and lemon drizzled cake that came round on the cake trolley. But the scones! The scones, to our delight, were not the least bit overrated. In fact, they might very well have been the best I have ever tasted. Freshly baked raisin and plain scones served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve. Not too moist, not too dry, not too flaky, not too sweet. Light, compact and with an almost pillow-like texture, even Goldilocks should find it hard to disagree.
£100 (2 people)
150 Piccadilly, London W1J 9BR
Wagamama is a Japanese chain serving fresh, healthy and. Some colleagues and I went during our lunch break and all three ordered the chicken katsu curry which was pretty good and surprisingly decent portion sizes. Service was fast and the decor is nice and simple with everything you need available at the table. It’s also reassuring when a restaurant opens the kitchen to customers. Price wasn’t exorbitant (but, then again, we didn’t order alcohol) and location is amazing with the millenium dome (now called the o2 arena) visible from your table. Only downside was the atmosphere, which was slightly dead but I feel that this could just be because of the branch. You can check out the menu HERE for yourself.