05/11/2009

Pure indulgence

If one asks what my biggest indulgence is I'd have to say shopping, however sometimes I also love to give in to my sweet tooth. The trick is to keep this to a rare occasion so it remains a treat and I don't transform myself into a Michelin man. And for that, I know just the three places where to go!

Up first, Ladurée and their magical macaroons. Created in 1862 Rue Royale, this was initially a Bakery - Patisserie which has evolved into a magical eulogy of french style tea time. Who can forget the scenes in Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, where, aside from Kirsten Dunst, the big stars where the Ladurée cakes? In London, Ladurée has a salon de thé in Harrods, wich a nice terrace overlooking Hans Place, as well as a smaller boutique in Piccadilly. The Harrods shop is my point of call for little boxes of macaroons; they are tremendously popular gifts to take to dinner parties just to take home and indulge with some Mariage Frères tea. Not only are the little cakes incredibly tasty and sweet, the boxes are gorgeous and make great ornaments on the tea table. My favourite flavours of all times: Rose, Pistache, Vanilla, and Almond (Almond is only available in the summer). I'm looking forward to trying the new Mango Jasmin flavour, it sounds divine!
Ladurée at Harrods
Brompton Road
0 203 155 0111

For the days when I feel less sophisticated, the place I run to is the Hummingbird Bakery. This is the place to go to when in London when you need scrumptious cupcakes, brownies, and glorious frosted celebration cakes. Launched on Portobello Road in 2004, it has since branched out to South Kensington. The idea behind this place was to offer a scrumptious alternative to supermarket cakes and French patisserie products, and boy did they get it right. I have never passed the shop in South Ken on a saturday afternoon without seeing a queue straight out the door, and honestly it is worthwhile. When I was invited to a summer picnic and ball at the Hurlingham earlier this year, I brought a couple of boxes of cupcakes and I have to say, they were quite quick to disappear at pudding time. My favourite? Easy: met-in-the-mouth Red Velvet. It drives me crazy, way before the sugar high hits. They come in normal and mini size, which is practical for parties or if you're just pretending to eat real food. You can also place an order on the phone and pick up later.
The Hummingbird Bakery
47 Old Brompton Road
0 207 584 0055
133 Portobello Road
0 207 229 6446

Finally, for those days when I feel like indulging my inner sweet monster without piling on the calories, I get myself a Snog. Don't worry, we are still talking about sweets! Snog is the London name for frozen yogurt! It is healthy, made of 0% fat yogurt, however with an amazing array of toppings to choose from the calories can add up. The base yogurt is either Natural, Chocolate flavoured or Green Tea flavoured, and toppings include fruits, Oreo cookies, chocolate brownie, and Mochi!! I love how you can pile on the goodies by selecting a Green Tea snogg with berries, whilst still having a treat! There are 3 Snogs in London: my local is Thurloe Street in South Kensington, then there is Westfield Shopping Centre, and finally Brewer Street in Soho.
Snog South Kensington
32 Thurloe Place

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