English desserts in London
I'm planning an early February trip to London and have a quite specific request.
I'm obsessed with English desserts, especially steamed puddings, custard and other "school food"-style sweets. It doesn't matter whether the presentation of the food and the ambiance are very casual or very fancy - I'm more concerned about quality and the variety of options. (For reference, I've enjoyed the desserts at the Rivington Grill in the past.) Is there somewhere you can think of - maybe a bakery or dessert cafe - that does a fairly wide range of these? I don't know if it might be a better idea to buy a large assortment from a nice food hall and coax our hotel to (gasp!) heat them up for us so we can have a dessert-only picnic in our hotel room.
Also, how about a rec for a bakery that does English baked goods of the more breakfast-y variety (hot cross buns?)? The pastry shop recs I've seen on the board are all French.
Thanks in advance!
P.S. An aside: The February Gourmet mentions a new place called St. Alban that's owned by the same people as the Ivy and the Wolseley. Has anyone been and is it worth a visit?
that's HORRIBLE news. i never bought anything at the shop but ate at the cafe frequently. for my money, they had one of the best burgers in london and really, some of the best casual food in that area. i haven't been since last march and was really looking forward to a visit when i'm back in june... ah well.
there's a cafe underneath the smallfish record shop in old street that does amazing desserts, usually with organic ingredients - various kinds of fruit crumble, flapjacks, bread puddings, ginger cake, banana loaves, etc etc. i really miss it (waistline is smaller, though).
Thank you all for the suggestions. Simon, your experience is enough to keep us away from St. Alban - there are plenty more solid options on our list. Sweetings sounds like exactly my kind of place, though it will be somewhat difficult to schedule a lunchtime visit. Couldn't find a menu online but the traditional-sounding ambiance and mnosyne's rec makes it sound promising. Do they do a good fish and chips? Is St. John Bread and Wine owned by the same people who have St. John, the restaurant? I had a terrible experience at the restaurant...my worst meal over the course of several trips to the city. It does sound like they have the right kind of desserts.
My brother quite liked it liked it
I did not. Not at all
St John Bread & Wine is a good place to pick up a few British things ( the Eccles cake is, of course, the stuff of legend)
The more gastro pubby type places could be the place to try. The Fox ( close to The Rivington) have things like crumble etc on the menu.