Saturday, 31 July 2010

london review of books cake shop

Firstly, I must apologise for the lack of a 'fancy friday' this week. I have been quite ill with a stomach bug kind of thing, however I was feeling much more myself by Saturday, and pretty much back to normal by Sunday. With that in mind I met my lovely friend Micheal for a quick lunch on Sunday.

We went to the London Review of Books cake shop. As you might have guessed, the inspiration for the title of the blog came about as a tongue in cheek tribute to the rather serious literary journal which is the London Review of Books, so it was natural, that when I learnt they had a cafe that I gave it a try. It also gave me the opportunity to give my new camera a whirl - I'm not loving the results I can get from the kit lens so far but I'll continue to persevere.

The cafe is on Bury Place in Bloomsbury, just off New Oxford Street and very close to the British Museum. I arrived a little early so I could take the chance to shoot some of the strange little tourist shops in the area first.
The cafe itself is small but light and airy - with windows either side of the room. The counter display was amazing - sumptuous colours, gorgeous handwritten tags on the cakes, a blackboard showing the days specials.

We both opted for sweet potato and feta cheese quiche with an orzo pasta salad; tried the victoria sponge and a vanilla slice and sampled a Luscombe's strawberry lemonade and a Jing white tea.
The quiche was amazing, I would have never thought to combine the sweet potato into a quiche but it was soft and sweet and worked perfectly with the rich feta. The light salad with Orzo pasta (a little like rice, but made of pasta instead) had broad beans and peas and was offset with a balsamic.

The victoria sponge was a delight - soft and light sponge, with thick fresh whipped cream and a raspberry compote with plenty of whole fresh raspberries thrown in and a generous layer of icing sugar sprinkled on top. It had a firm crust which yielded to a light interior and I enjoyed it immensely.
I didn't try the vanilla slice myself, as it was Micheal's option but he reliably informed me that it was quite vanilla-y but a delight in simplicity nontheless. He also enjoyed a Jing white tea which came in an interesting selection of little transparent glass pots - although I'm not really a fan of hot drinks I love the ceremony of 'taking' tea, of preparing it and drinking it from a delicate little cup.

The lunch for two came to around £26.00 - considering we only drank soft drinks and the serving of quiche wasn't huge I feel this was a little pricey, even though it was delicious. The staff, although friendly, were a little dippy and made a mistake when bringing our order initially although were quick to correct it. The cafe was also extremely quiet - although full the room could have done with a complementary light sprinkling of jazz from the wireless to enhance the literary atmosphere, or something, anything to lighten the slightly sombre mood.

Papers and fruit were provided, and it feels light years away from the tourist traps that surround the BM and the hustle and bustle of Oxford street. Overall, a great place for a little lunchtime snackaroo.

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