HFL's Restaurant Hot List: February
It is almost Valentine's Day and I have a major sweet tooth for some pastries, doughnuts and yep even gelato. Here are the "Top 5 Restaurants I'm Dying to Try" this month!
Love is in the air but so is the smell of sugar, chocolate and freshly baked dough. For February, my restaurant list ranges from uber casual bakeries to an elegant dessert experience, but the common denominator between them all is pure indulgence. I swear just this week I said to Kalo, "Babe can we go out for only dessert like we would dinner?" He looked at me like I was crazy but that conversation inspired this post. So now let me tell you more about my Top 5 because I can hear the decadence calling.
1) Maitre Choux
I can't get over the rows of colourful, cream-filled perfection that Maitre Choux proudly presents in their windows. It's the first and only choux pastry specialist patisserie in the world. And no wonder they are so successful because they have a three Michelin star-experienced chef running things in the kitchen. I'd love to go for the Sweet Pink Afternoon Tea, complete with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, or I could grab a box of éclairs and head for a bench in the park. I'd fill that box with the salted butter with homemade caramel éclair, hazelnut and milk chocolate treasure and blackberry cheesecake éclair (or hell maybe I'll take one of each flavour in the display case). Mmm my mouth is watering.
60 Dean St, Soho, London W1D 6AW
2) Doughnut Time
Not only are Doughnut Time's doughnuts beautiful to look at but the names of each are hilarious from clever sayings to pop stars. Their menu changes weekly which is exciting and for any vegans tuning into this blog Doughnut Time has some amazing offerings like the Ice Ice Bae Bae or Sia Later. I'm devastated that they don't deliver to my area because this would be a weekend staple or perfect for when we have guests staying over. Regardless, I'm determined to pick up a box soon. I also learned that Doughnut Time offers baking classes so you can bet Kalo and I will be signing up.
96 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5ED
3) Bread Ahead
I have this notion that baking breads at home is intimidating so I'm very happy to see that Bread Ahead offers courses as well. The class schedule includes sweet doughs, puff pastry and patisserie, oh my! This Borough Market staple opened it's doors in 2013, it's baking school in 2014 and several more locations in 2019. Their mission is to bring quality baking to the masses and I'm dying to be transformed by their freshly baked goods. I'm also thinking I need to buy their "Baking School" cookbook to add to my embarrassingly large collection.
21 Beak St, Soho, London W1F 9RR
I know what you're thinking..."ice cream in winter?" My answer is yaaasss! Gelupo claims to make "the finest gelato in the heart of London," and I simply can't wait for spring or summer to figure out if this is true. Churned to milky, smooth perfection, Gelupo makes hand fresh gelato with the finest ingredients every day and run out of menu items faster than I don't know what. I'm sad to see that my favourite stracciatella is not on the menu but I could easily step out of my comfort zone for dark chocolate, earl grey and biscuit or ricotta sour cherry. Believe it or not Gelupo also offers cannabis and cigar flavoured gelato but I'm not so sure how delicious that could be ... I'll let ya know ;)
7 Archer St, Soho, London W1D 7AU
5) Cakes & Bubbles
If any of you are as obsessed with Chef's Table on Netflix as I am then you'll recognise famed chef Albert Adrià. Quick confession! You see some people turn into mush when they meet celebrities or musicians ... I, on the other hand, am a total fan girl for Michelin star-experienced chefs (not that I have much experience with star-awarded restaurants). Cakes & Bubbles as the name suggests is a dessert and champagne experience. It marks Albert's first permanent establishment outside of his native Spain and is now one of the hottest reservations in London. I doubt I'll get a table anytime soon but can you imagine how luxurious it would be.
70 Regent St, Soho, London W1B 4DY
I hope you enjoyed reading through my "all things sweet" February Hot List. Now promise me that when you're on your Valentine's Day dates and the waiter asks if you'd like to see the dessert menu you'll say ABSOLUTELY!