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London for Sugar Addicts

In this guest article, former pastry chef Andrea Duty takes us on a mouthwatering tour of the best deserts and sweet stuff in London – heaven for sugar addicts!

The torrid reputation of English food is infamous. Time and time again, foodie travelers pass on the UK’s bland traditions in favor of Vietnamese spice or French indulgence. And while it’s true that the culinary scene in London had an exceedingly long awkward phase, it’s since grown into a modern, dynamic contender as one of the best food cities in the world. I could talk for pages about the various curry houses, chippers, chaat shops and pubs throughout the city, but as a former pastry chef, I feel it my duty to bring you all things sugar, from the traditional to the internationally influenced. Thus, my list of absolute favorite desserts in London. Nothing bland about it.

Kouign amann from Parisian chef Philippe Conticini Photo: Andrea Duty

Kouign amann from Parisian chef Philippe Conticini

Kouign Amann

Renowned Parisian chef Philippe Conticini brings the signature bell jars display cases and geometric packaging of La Pâtisserie des Rêves to Marylebone, filling them with manicured renditions of French classics and updated British favorites. His kouign amann – a baton of caramelized croissant dough – negates the need for a trip to Paris on the Eurostar while his carrot cake has forever ruined me to my homemade version.

Merveilleux

Hot on Conticini’s heels is Frédéric Vaucamps, the master of meringues whose Aux Merveilleux de Fred just debuted South Kensington. His dainty “cakes” of crisped egg white, whipped cream and assorted toppings look like the dense cake balls du jour but wow with a cloud-like consistency. Flavors such as speculoos, praline and coffee compete as top sellers…and for space in my stomach.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred in South Kensington Photo: Andrea Duty

Aux Merveilleux de Fred in South Kensington

Sticky Toffee Pudding

All those who visit me in London are treated to a Sunday roast at The Spaniards Inn, a 16th century pub reportedly frequented by the likes of Dickens and Keats. My guests may think the aim here is to show them a bit of British history or give them a little culture, but my real motive is a slice of sticky toffee pudding. The version at The Spaniards is wickedly rich and is pushed over the edge with a dollop of clotted cream. Nab a seat by the fireplace and it’s pure heaven.

Sticky toffee pudding at the Spaniard's Inn in London Photo: Andrea Duty

Sticky toffee pudding at the Spaniard’s Inn in London

Bakewell Tart

Take a buttery tart shell, schmear it with jam, top with dense almond cake and you’ve got a classic Bakewell Tart. There are as many variations of this dessert as there are bakers in England, but my favorite slice so far is at Le Comptoir Gourmand. It may be commercially made, but it’s so rich and homey that I swear someone’s grandma must be running that kitchen.

Bakewell tart at Le Comptoir Gourmand Photo: Andrea Duty

Bakewell tart at Le Comptoir Gourmand

Pistachio/Ricotta & Sour Cherry Gelato

I recently spent two weeks in Italy where I consumed as much gelato as is humanly possible, but BUT (and I feel sacrilege even saying this) none of it was as good as the scoops at Gelupo. Here the flavors are spot on: fresh, not too rich, and not too sweet. They are just…perfect. Plus, there’s a dessert case full of frozen cupcakes, chocolate-dipped cones and a rotation of seasonal treats. Even when we are in the depths of winter, you can bet on finding me here.

Gelupo Gelateria in London Photo: Andrea Duty

Gelupo Gelateria in London

Andrea Duty is a former pastry chef from Austin, Texas living in London, England. She eats her way through other countries in attempt to discover cultural insight from cake and historical relevance through cookies…or something like that. You can follow her travels at This New View.

 

More London dining experiences:

Fine dining favourites at the top London Hotels
Five of the best kept secret eateries in London
An artistic lunch at the V & A – in London

This article is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Hels
    November 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm

    I do not have a sweet tooth, so I like dessert to be fresh and ever so slightly tart. Ricotta & Sour Cherry Gelato sounds blissful.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      November 18, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      @Hels Mmmm – I have a sweeter tooth than you and sticky toffee pudding is heaven for me even if I feel sick afterwards

  • Reply
    Cecil M. Walker
    November 19, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I have a sweet tooth too and these pictures makes me drool. I’d love to taste them someday! 😀

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      November 19, 2014 at 8:01 am

      @Cecil me too I’m keeping them for a virtual treat

  • Reply
    Andrea Bearce
    December 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I wish I could send you all some care packages from London! Hopefully you get to visit these places for yourselves someday.

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    December 7, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    I will definitely be trying these out but to date my favourite sweet treat in London has to be the salted caramel and chocolate brownie at The Attendant, a vintage gentlemen’s toilet now converted into a quirky café.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      December 8, 2014 at 9:04 am

      @Kathryn – sounds delicious, so long as you can overlook the toilet angle

  • Reply
    Jaspreet Singh
    August 23, 2016 at 11:37 am

    “Sticky Toffee Pudding” Really delicious and easy recipe.

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      August 31, 2016 at 9:53 am

      @Jaspreet Stickt Toffee Pudding is quite irresistable

  • Reply
    Rehaan
    August 28, 2017 at 7:05 am

    I want to taste it.
    Looks really delicious.

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