Monday, August 31, 2009

Mission Cupcake

Recently, I accepted the mission of researching the cupcake bakeries within walking distance of my London house. I knew it would be a delicious assignment, so I carefully devised a strategy and made my plan of attack.

Cupcake shops are popping up everywhere in the city, as is evidenced in this little shop that appeared on Kings Road last spring. Can you imagine the excitement I felt to discover that the drab storefront that I often passed by while walking through the neighborhood could be transformed into such a cute shop while I was home on a two week visit to the US? LOVE is just a tiny hole in the wall, but inside there are great surprises.

I imagine that passengers on the double-decker buses passing by must hurriedly search for paper and pen to jot down the address so they can make a return visit.

Inside you'll find some of the prettiest cupcakes I've seen since starting my search

And flavors galore to choose from. Don't come too late, as I did once, because if they sell "out," then you're "out" of luck.

My "cupcake du jour" was a red velvet. Yum!

Moving further down Kings Road, you'll find the newest of the cupcake cafes I reviewed--the Chelsea Teapot. Wouldn't you love to pull up a chair here on the sidewalk with a pot of tea and a cupcake, or "fairy" cake as they are sometimes called?

The patron here has a collection of teapots and a varied menu including lunch from which to make your selection.

Don't fill up too much on lunch though, because you must save room for one of their chocolate cupcakes.

Closest to the South Kensington tube station that I use, is the ever popular Hummingbird cupcake cafe. With tables inside and out, many enjoy eating their cupcakes on the spot.

So many to choose from, it makes selecting difficult.

So when some Chicago friends were in town for a visit, we bought a lime-poppyseed, a vanilla, a red velvet and a chocolate cupcake to sample. Cutting each one into fourths, we had a cupcake smorgasbord that night with each of us getting a bite of each. All in the name of research. The lime-poppyseed was a big hit.

When our daughters-in-law were in town, Hummingbird got our vote for dessert that night.

Finally, I made the trek one day to the Buttercup bakery near High Street Kensington.

It was fun seeing their selection of flavors: mocha, Oreo cookie (hey, where did they find Oreos in London?) banana, banoffee (popular banana and toffee), coconut, vanilla with strawberry sprinkles

As well as carrot, white-n-black, vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, peanut butter

and for their American fans, the Limited Edition Elvis Presley cupcake: banana cake with peanut butter icing, just like he used to like it! Don't expect to see my cupcake purchase from here--it was such a long walk that I ate it on the spot, and then hopefully walked off the calories on the journey home.

Of course, the best cupcakes are those shared with friends

and family. So, what would be your choice if I delivered one to your door?


  1. Oh my ... this post makes me want to visit you in London more than any other! Great pics! I could almost taste some of those cupcakes. If I get over to visit you, we might have to do some more cupcake research, okay?

  2. What are you doing next week...The Chelsea Teapot is calling our names!

  3. That looks like my kind of research. I'll take one of each.

  4. I'm new to your blog but love the cupcakes...mmm it all looks so yummy! Great photos.

  5. The lime poppyseed has my name on it. Yummmo! What a life...Thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. YES! I did it! I actally posted a comment on your blog...thanks to you and Lori, my computer gurus!

  7. Hi: I serendipitously happened on your blog. Great engaging photos - and the cupcakes....well~. And for me timely as I will be traveling to London at the end of this month. It’s the first time there for an extended period of time instead of just a layover. So I will be reading your blog with interest. Visiting London and my niece in Surrey...menehune

  8. Flygirl...
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Let me know if you have any questions about London. I may not have all the answers, but I have a few up my sleeve. Happy travels.


  9. OMGoodness..."fairy" cakes? What a cute name! From this moment on, that is what I shall call them, especially when my granddaughter's around.

    Cute, cute, cute~
    Teri @ GirlMeetsParis

  10. Mmmm! Sounds like a fun mission to me. I'll take anything chocolate! Now I may just have to take myself down to our own local bakery that makes excellent cupcakes too. You have given me a craving.

    Mindy S.

  11. Lucky you! What a wonderful assignment!

    Nicolette @ Simply Colette

  12. Almost too pretty to eat...almost... :)

  13. Debi, your barstool/chair in the picture with Cristen feeding Jason looks almost identical to the ones we have at our bar! I doubt they are from the same place since you probably purchased yours in London. (Ours are from Chairs & Tables off of Richmond.) Love your blog, by the way!!

    -Amy Johnston

  14. This report is excellent Debi, I love the pictures too, they are so colourful -what a fun topic to research. I look forward to seeing you in print and on TV as a roving reporter as your articles are way more professional and interesting than a lot of the programmes we get on TV here! Keep writing
    - Carol Grenz

  15. Hi Debi...

    I just got your blog link via my friend, Anne from Oxfordshire and I'm a BIG fan of London now after visiting for the first time last April/May! My hubby and I are going in Aug for 5 days and I can't WAIT!! I'll be checking out your blog some more but I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this post!!

    Cheers, Leesa