At Team Mermaids one of our favourite things is cake (hence the cupcake in our logo!). We think it has almost magical properties in helping prepare for and recover from swimming feats. In support of A Lotus Rises and her Swim Cake Studies project we thought we would let you know our top 10 places to get cake.
Number 10 – Flour Patisserie – London
A family friend of mine (Manda) who studied Patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu has set up her own company (no shop at the moment). I have been able to try Kirstie’s red velvet, which was absolutely scrumptious. Currently Katie and I are thinking of something to celebrate so we can justify a large cake… Katie’s suggestion was celebrating it is Tuesday. Sounds valid to me.
Number 9 – Crumbs and Dollies – London (Wandsworth, Soho and Kings Road)
We got recommended this bakery by a friend and soon realised that they are actually local to Wandsworth. So we are planning a testing session of the cupcakes from our SW London neighbours that include the Team Mermaids favourites of “Raspberry and Coconut” and “Lemon Mess”.
Number 8 – Fee and Brown
Fee and Brown is a café that is just a short walk (albeit up a
hill mountain) from our typical weekend hangout, Crystal Palace National Sports Centre. It is very popular with cyclists as it is located within the 2 Cadence Cycling Performance Centre. We have sampled the orange and chocolate polenta loaf and the lemon and poppy seed loaf and both get the mermaid seal of approval and improved recovery post swim…we think 😉
Number 7 – Cakes by Robin
Cakes by Robin is based in Southfields and they do bespoke cakes for all occasions. We had a fun afternoon there shortly after getting back from swimming Lake Zurich doing wedding cake tasting!
Number 6 – Bibi’s Bakery in Edinburgh
Now we haven’t been to this place as it is in Edinburgh but the cakes sound absolutely amazing. Monthly specials include “The White Rabbit” carrot cake with a white chocolate ganache centre topped with orange flavoured cream cheese icing, “The Smasher” chocolate sponge with cream egg centre, chocolate icing and drizzled with cream egg fondant and Spring Fever lemon and lime sponge, with lemon curd centre and coconut and mascarpone icing. Maybe worth a special trip?!
Number 5 – Jack’s in Cirencester
Jack café in Cirencester do the most amazing cakes. The chocolate cake especially is divine. They also serve totally epic portions. My (Katie) friend Helen lives near there and I always make her take me when I go to stay with her. If you are ever in Cirencester we would very much recommend a visit.
Number 4 – Homemade
As Mary Berry says homemade is always the best. My (Katie) favourite things to bake at home are my coconut cupcakes. I scoop out the middle and fill it with vanilla buttercream and raspberry jam and ice it with fondant icing. I always make a batch of 24 of these before Christmas and they don’t last long!
I also love homemade Bakewell Tart. Manda doesn’t like Bakewell tart though – oh well all the more for me!
Number 3 – Konditor and Cook
Their central London locations mean that it is very easy to nip there on a Friday afternoon to ensure we have something tasty to snack on after a hard swimming session on a Saturday. It is hard to pick a favourite but the Lemon Chiffon and Curley Whirly cakes have to be up there.
Number 2 – Penelope’s in NYC
Now we know this is a long way for most of our readers to travel but the sheer amazingness of their red velvet cake means that they are a must for the list. We sampled plenty of it (including at 10 in the morning) before we did our round Manhattan Island Relay race in 2012.
Number 1 – Hummingbird Bakery
The top of our list has to be Hummingbird Bakery if only for the sheer quantity of cakes we have consumed from their stores over the years. Hummingbird has been steadily expanding in London over the last few years and now has six bakeries including one in Richmond which means a trip after Parkrun is always needed. They also do deliveries which makes a great gift on any occasion.
Our favourite of the regular menu is the red velvet cupcakes and the lemon and raspberry cake but it is the monthly specials where Hummingbird really stands out. We are campaigning to have both the lemon curd special from a few years back and the recent Bounty special to be put on to the regular menu.
Enjoy your swim cake research everyone!