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Dessert buffet?

fatfacedcat Mar 2, 2010 12:26 AM

I know that the buffet is not the favoured option over here, but it's the husbands birthday wish- so does anybody know of a nice cake and dessert buffet in London? Maybe in a Hotel? I just can't seem to find anything except for cheap buffet Chinese places. If not, can anyone recommend a place with good but not too pricey desserts?
Thanks! Daniela

  1. Dave MP Mar 4, 2010 02:22 AM

    I unfortunately don't know of any dessert buffets in London.

    But I wanted to mention that it's not buffets per se that are not favoured on chowhound. In my opinion, the quality of a buffet completely depends on what is offered. A dessert buffet sounds fantastic - assuming there is enough turnover in a day, cakes, tarts, fruit salads, chocolate sauces, ice cream, etc and the like won't have any problem sitting around for hours. I have had amazing dessert buffets (or at least portions of the buffet dedicated to dessert) in Brazil.

    So this is very different than Chinese buffets, which often consist of deep fried food and stir fry dishes - being fresh from the wok or deep fryer (and eaten within minutes) is a key element in the quality of these foods, so the buffet system doesn't really work. Similarly, I would probably not want to buy fish and chips from a shop where the fish was fried 30 minutes earlier, and has been sitting on the counter ever since. I would want freshly fried fish.

    But anyway, I for one would love it if there was a good dessert buffet in London! I hope somebody knows of something

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dave MP
      zuriga1 Mar 4, 2010 03:08 AM

      I've never heard of a dessert buffet in London, but the great cakes and sandwiches served at some of the better tea places could do in a pinch, although they are fairly expensive.

      Among the best buffets I ever had were the kind served in Scandanavian places in NYC. Those were fantastic, but the food lends itself to that sort of thing. I wonder if there is one in London.

      1. re: zuriga1
        Harters Mar 4, 2010 06:03 AM

        I've very fond memories of the Danish Food Centre in Manchester. Great smogasbord. Unfortunately it closed 20+ years when the family decided there was more money in running bars (which they still do)

    2. abby d Mar 4, 2010 03:43 AM

      i can't help you with a london option but the pudding club might be worth a trip to the cotswolds


      1. PhilD Mar 4, 2010 10:20 AM

        I remember the big dessert buffets in Hong Kong hotels. Lots of cakes, bowls of chocolate mouse, tiramasu, bread and butter pudding, interesting jellies and creams etc etc. They were very popular, thus busy with a high turnover of food.

        But I wonder if they are an Asian tradition that hasn't travelled?

        In the UK the tradition is for formal afternoon tea grandly served in a big hotel. The good ones would have a selection of sandwiches, scones and cakes all bought to the table. As others have suggested this may be the way to go.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PhilD
          Harters Mar 4, 2010 12:45 PM

          Afternoon tea at one of the grand hotels is a joy. I've been taken for a birthday treat and loved the elegance (and decadance) or it.


        2. limster Mar 4, 2010 01:24 PM

          Is sporadic, but try the cake committee:
          According to their website their next event is March 21.

          5 Replies
          1. re: limster
            helen b Mar 4, 2010 01:32 PM

            This thread has got me thinking about buffets that would work...can someone please PLEASE instigate a cheese buffet. I would live there.

            1. re: helen b
              limster Mar 4, 2010 01:36 PM

              I remember getting so many tastes of cheese at Neal's Yard (Borough Market) that it might as well be a cheese buffet. :)

              The cheese room at Vivat Bacchus (London Bridge) is also great. Had a wonderfully conditioned French Vacherin du Mont d'Or amongst other cheeses there recently.

              1. re: limster
                helen b Mar 4, 2010 01:51 PM

                Yes, but you feel greedy in the shops, no matter how obliging they are...if it was just all laid out with knives and crackers and quince and grapes and celery and stuff...lumminy. Thinking about it though, I could easily put them out of business...

                1. re: helen b
                  limster Mar 4, 2010 02:34 PM

                  What I did was sort of run a tab by asking for the smallest possible pieces they would sell me of various cheeses. On quiet (non-market) days, they can be very obliging -- wonderful people.

              2. re: helen b
                Harters Mar 4, 2010 03:03 PM

                Used to be a reasonable restaurant near me that did the cheese course buffet style. Everything else was served to you at the table in the usual way - but cheese, you went and helped yourself. It's gone very cheap and nasty in recent years - but they still do the cheese thing at lunch apparently.

            2. limster Mar 4, 2010 01:45 PM

              Also worth considering:

              Cocomaya, a fantastic bakery, but more for cakes and sweet pastries (and next door for chocolates and hot chocolates). Wonderful honey cake.

              William Curley, excellent patisserie and of course chocolate. They were aiming to start doing multi course desserts again, but not sure when.

              Had the afternoon tea at Espelette (at the Connaught) recently. Somewhat pricey, but very elegant little french cakes and sweets, and very smooth filling in the galette du roi. Only weakness were the scones. Will post details when I get a chance.

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