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Crumpets

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I've read a lot about them but never tasted one. Next week we'll be in London, where would be a good place to try them? Preferably not as part of breakfast, I've tried the FEB and found it an interesting experience but not one I'd like to repeat.

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  1. You'll be in luck - crumpets are not usually part of our breakfasts.

    Fairly common item in decent cafes (not greasy spoons) as an afternoon snack. I'm not from London so can't offer any specifics but you should easily come across them - no need to go to any of the fancy "afternoon tea" places.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harters

      I stand corrected. Actually, I should have guessed, 'tea and crumpets' always seem to go together. Now to track down a decent cafe.

    2. You can buy crumpets in almost any supermarket. And Marks & Spencer's has especially nice ones in their food shops. To me (an American), they are very much like what we call 'English muffins.' They have to be toasted so it's difficult for a traveller to really get the full effect in a hotel room. :-)

      19 Replies
      1. re: zuriga1

        June

        The secret to a good home toasted crumpet is lashings of the finest unsalted butter, topped by lashings of the finest quality strawberry jam you can. Farmers market jam is likely to be a good bet - but if you have to go for commercial, probably the best of our brands will be Tiptree (although I've just brought loads of Bonne Maman back from Carrefour at Calais - some folks buy booze, me it's jam.)

        John

        1. re: Harters

          John,

          Is the reason for buying Bonne Maman in Calais due to price? I know it's in all my local supermarkets, and I like it, too. I used it all the time in the States and buy the blueberry here.
          Actually, I fly back tonight. Get to Philadelphia... what a great restaurant scene it's become!
          We had the best meal of our trip last night.

          June (missing crumpets)

          1. re: zuriga1

            Sainsbury's does them 2 for £3 once in awhile and I stock up then. When I was in Calis recently, I didn't think the price was any better than this (perhaps even more expensive) given the exchange rate. The normal sized jars were well over 2 Euros each.

            1. re: zuriga1

              June

              No - the range is more extensive than in Sainsbury. I particularly like the "myrtilles sauvage" which seems to have a better taste than the ordinary blueberry.

              Nanette is right - the sterling.euro exhange rate is a killer at present (but then so's the sterling/dollar rate). Mrs H saved a few quid stocking up on wine boxes (from the Tesco at Calais) but we mainly bought stuff that's not easy to get here - like really good quality crab soup in jars..

              1. re: Harters

                John,

                Ah, I see the range is broader - good reason to stock up in Calais then. I'll remember that. I was going to buy so many things to bring home from NY but never got around to bothering except for some low-fat Dr. Oetker mousse mix that I've never seen over here. My days of missing a lot of American products seem over now, which must mean something. :-)

                June

            2. re: Harters

              I prefer my crumpets with butter and salt. They make great mini pizzas too, with tomato paste, anchovies and cheese.

            3. re: zuriga1

              But I could buy them and toast them when I get home - unless they don't travel well?
              That's why I was hoping to find them on a menu somewhere.

              1. re: afds

                I assume from your OP that "home" might be some distance away. Crumpets arent what I'd immediately think of as a reminder of your trip. Take some good jam instead

                1. re: Harters

                  Nope, "home" is Italy, just a hop, skip and jump away so it's doable. I'll keep a look out for M&S and Kingsmill. On jams, my favourite is Bonne Maman which I find here. Now clotted cream is another story, but I hope to find that at M&S as well.

                  1. re: afds

                    Mrs Harters (who is the crumpet supremo in the house) recommends Warburtons as her product of choice,. Certainly availble in Sainsbury, but won't be in M&S.

                    1. re: Harters

                      Thank you! Does Mrs H have a scone suggestion?

                      1. re: afds

                        I'm actually the scone supremo. That's scone pronounced skon, not scown, by the way :-)

                        The issue divides Mrs H and I, almost like no other food issue (except perhaps goats cheese). I am a "with fruit" person. She is "plain". I am right, unquestionably!

                        Unfortunately no real commercial recommendation. There are a couple of stalls at our nearby farmers' market which sell them and I stock up there and freeze them. One stall does "Fat Rascals", which is a very large scone, from Yorkshire. And I mean VERY large. A thing of joy, mind you. I'd look in M& S and pick something that takes your fancy.

                        1. re: Harters

                          I agree, fruit scones have a certain je ne sais quoi...

                          1. re: afds

                            I really like cheese scones, too. It's probably safe to say I've never met a scone I didn't like.

                            1. re: zuriga1

                              In that case, June, I must direct you towards the Sainsbury cheese muffin. Like an American "English muffin" , if you see what I mean. Split, toast, add butter, let it melt in; add even more butter; eat for breakfast; call ambulance as fat-induced heart attack anticipated.

                              A Mrs Harters special - she is the breakfast carb fiend.

                              1. re: Harters

                                John, too bad I saw this (or maybe lucky I just saw it) before my trip to Sainsbury's today. How could the cheese muffin have escaped my eye all these years? I shall search next visit. I don't think I'd mix the cheese with butter... but I'll have to think of a replacement.

                2. re: afds

                  I've taken crumpets to America. Kingsmill (available at the supermarkets that aren't Marks & Spencer) make a very nice crumpet in a good bit of durable packaging.

                  1. re: afds

                    They're on the breakfast menu at the Wolseley and St John Bread & Wine - hardly cheap eats, but both nice places for a breakfast splurge. Perhaps Canteen, The Breakfast Club in Soho or Boiled Eggs and Soldiers in Clapham maybe? You can buy them in most supermarkets, and they should travel fine - just like any other bread/muffin - providing US Customs don't confiscate them. Would pack in your hold baggage just in case!

                    1. re: babybat

                      And make sure you get some Marmite for them!

                3. I live in the US but am from the UK and do miss crumpets. I have seen them in my supermarket (Publix) but they don't taste like British crumpets, American breads are slightly sweater and more cloying in the mouth than UK breads.

                  OP you gotta have them well toasted, lots of butter and strawberry jam.

                  1. I'm from London and I've never had crumpets anywhere other than at home. I doubt very many breakfast places serve them, but some might. My suggestion is that you find a place you like while you're there, and tell them that you'd like to come back the next day and would they mind getting some crumpets for you to try, or ask if you could bring a pack. Seems weird, I know, but it's probably your best option.

                    1. If you go to Duke's Hotel in St James's and have the afternoon tea, you'll get crumpets as part of the set menu.