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Crouch End Tiger, Hidden Cake…

10 Nov

Yup, I’ve been out and about, cake-stalking again.

This time I visited my favourite Crouch End cafe and bakery (as its name obviously implies)- Coffee Cake.

I feel Coffee Cake is special, not only because of their lovely baked goodies, homemade smoothies and fresh salads (oh, and they sure do sell a good cup o’ coffee), but because every time I go there the atmosphere is lovely. It seems that in the land of Coffee Cake, everybody is friendly and at peace, and; unless you visit at the peak time of lunch, when everything is crazy and manic- a testament to their popularity really; you’re free to relax and have a calming intermission from your busy life outdoors.

During this visit, I bought a walnut and carrot cake, which tasted interestingly herby, whilst my friend had this miniature victoria sponge.

Anyway, all of this is not to say that there aren’t any other nice cafes/bakeries in Crouch End, because believe me, if anything there is a serious over-population of them…

No, I have visited others in the area, but some haven’t honestly been able to match up against the wonderful-ness of this one ( *ahem* The Haberdashery, I’m looking at you! NB: your popular selling point of serving tea in vintage teaware only works if they’re clean and not chipped! Also, quit serving me hugely overpriced muffins in bloody plant pots! Yes, I get it Haberdashery- you’re arty and alternative, but that doesn’t allow you leeway on cleanliness, thank you very much).

Finally, I only have one thing to say against Coffee Cake. Seeing as I like it so much, last year I actually applied for a job to work there (imagine the free cakes and cups o’ coffee!), but after handing in my CV they never actually got back to me!

Oh the shame! Coffee Cake– it could have been the start of a beautiful friendship, but alas you let me down! Needless to say, it genuinely hasn’t put me off…

Night all!

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Fancy a Cuppa?

7 Nov

Not one to break the British stereotype, I confess I love tea.

I may be alone in this, but as I passed this tea house in Covent Garden I was absolutely captivated. And I guarantee you, when I entered I wasn’t disappointed…

I’m not talking a few boxes of PG Tips here and there, oh hell no (and let’s not joke about PG Tips either… the topic of ‘tea bag’ is a serious one). No, the inside of The Tea House is a haven of all tea-related business; with an array of original and unique tea blends on sale, and also a wonderful selection of teapots and other important tea equipment (yes= tea is important, no= any person caught drinking my tea will not live). 

I also came across a selection of miniature, intricately patterned Gaiwans, which are basically handleless tea cups/pots- so cute. Believe me, I would’ve been on that, except I’m very old-fashioned when it comes to my tea- drinking, and prefer my tea cups (or mugs- let’s be honest, I don’t have the time to sip tea daintily every day daarling), or pots to have handles.

This shop was a treasure trove to behold, and epitomises everything tea-loving. Thank you Tea House, for reminding me why I love tea so much, and for bringing tea to the people!

Spoiler Alert! In true Brit and tea-obsessive style, my next ‘5 Things’ post is going to be tea inspired, so watch this space! And no, I’m not going to just photograph a bunch of tea bags! Well, not really…

Goin’ Down to Chinatown

6 Nov

 Visiting Chinatown is an amazing cultural experience… I don’t get to go there often, but when I do I relish it! It’s mainly the endless streets of food shops, restaurants and bakeries that keep me coming back (I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the strung-up chicken window displays within many a Chinatown restaurant, however alls I knows is it can never put me off!).

First on my travels, I visited the fantastic sweet shop in Chinatown, selling all sorts of bizarre and interesting treats, and picked up some of these chewy White Rabbit Cream Candy sweets. After opening the first wrapper of the candy, there’s actually another thin layer of rice paper around the sweet, which just dissolves in your mouth! The White Rabbit itself has a creamy, almost milky taste and is scarily addictive!

Next, my friends and I went to eat at the Royal Dragon, a restaurant we hadn’t yet visited, and my friend ordered this monster of a drink…

I know right? What the hell is that?! Well, it’s actually a melon and honey smoothie, with coconut juice and some weird little jelly raisin things floating around. For the record, the smoothie had a really strong taste of melon and was lovely. I can’t speak for those floaty fruit whatsits though… I didn’t have the guts to try them!

After a delicious lunch, we went walkabout and came across one of Chinatown’s many awe-inspiring cake shops. The cakes were huge, and the decoration and detail of each one made them very appealing and tempting, I can tell you! Oh Lordy, just look

 

 

I myself bought a slice of a gargantuan- seeming chocolate gateaux, and believe me, it looked to die for!

 

 

 With cake and sweets in tow, we found ourselves de-toring from Piccadilly Circus, and instead took a trip to Brick Lane. It was immense. I’ve never been to Brick Lane before but the boho vibe hit us on the way in. I absolutely loved it. There was a warehouse sale on at American Apparel, so we queued (all the way along the side of the street!), and eventually got in.

All I have to say is: not impressed. At all. Since when is an “up to 90% off” sale such a scam?! And to be honest, I’ve never been particularly enthused by AA’s clothes so it was pretty boring. My friends and I got split up in all the commotion, and so after trailing around the rails for about 20 minutes, my (thankfully sane) friend and I escaped from the stuffy, pretentious warehouse and instead waited outside for the others.

Sitting on the kerb opposite the exit door like tramps (because we are), we opened our cake boxes and cheered ourselves up with the frankly glorious– looking cakes we had bought in Chinatown earlier. However, as much as it pains me to say this (and I hate to drop a bombshell), my cake really wasn’t that nice! For all of its hypnotizing appearance, it lost out on taste and just wasn’t very special; unfortunately leaving something to be desired. I couldn’t believe it!

Subsequently we reunited with the others, so picking myself up from the grief of cake-gate, we moved on to Spitalfields. Sadly, the market wasn’t around as it was quite late by that point, but I have to say- again a first time visitor- I loved it. The shops were great, and I even passed a Las Iguanas- a restaurant where (on an occassion prior to this) I have eaten the best Latin and Mexican food of my life, and have been served a Long Island Ice Tea cocktail without it being realised I was underage… Home.

We also passed a fun novelty costume and joke shop where I found this…

Great stuff!

On the way back to the tube station, this hilariously-named bar caught my eye (the shakiness and blurriness of the photo reflects the amount of uncontrollable laughter I had as I was taking it).

Awesome day.

 

Happy blogging y’all!