Peggy Porschen Cakes

Peggy Porschen Cakes, possibly the most instragramed cake shop in London, has created a clever little brand. Tourists potter down a quiet street in Belgravia just to take photos of the pretty pink parlour with its cute little bicycle and floral arch framing the door. In fact, the PR all over Instagram @prettylittlelondon is how I first discovered it.

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Cupcakes and mini bottles of Moet is Peggy’s USP, with hefty slices of cake, tea and coffee served in pink cups and a range of iced fruit drinks available as an alternative. Peggy is pretty damn posh and a cupcake will set you back £5-£6. Delicious? Definitely – the cakes themselves rival Hummingbird and Primrose Bakery. Would everyone fork out that much for one? No. Luckily I had been given a generous gift voucher so enjoyed my scrumptious ‘strawberry champagne’ cupcake guilt free, but a friend of mine had previously arrived and left cake free after seeing the price tag.

The cake is light and delicious, the service pleasant and the shop itself pretty special. In terms of ambience, it is a MUST to either go on a day you can sit outside (presuming you don’t mind the eager tourists admiring the exterior) or get take out. The inside of the store is super cute but super busy and I wouldn’t find it relaxing at all to sit in there.

Recommended for those in need of a tres chic treat or a passion for all things pink!

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The Orangery: Fan Museum Greenwich

I had always heard of the Orangery at the fan museum so was delighted when an afternoon out in Greenwich turned into a whiz around the museum and even more time spent having afternoon tea.

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A  bargain £8.00 will get you a serious sugar rush with tea/coffee, victoria sponge, cream tea and a choice of lemon drizzle or salted caramel brownie – slices are generous so go with a buddy and try it all. You do need to visit the museum (£4) to get access to the tea room, I’m museum keen so this was a perk for me, but for those baffled as to how a fan museum even exists can be assured it is short and sweet.

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The Orangery itself is gorgeous. Walls painted to resemble an Italian vineyard, tiled floors and chandeliers make this little room unique and pleasant. I could sit there all day alone sipping tea and reading a book. You can also get afternoon tea with sandwiches (£15) in sittings on certain days and arrange private hire (without entry to the museum). I think an event here would be AMAZING so definitely parking that idea for a future excuse!

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Cake International

Cake International – yep, it’s a thing. To answer your first question – no, sadly it is not a day of endless tasting samples. However, head down to Ally Pally at the time of this event and you will see tables upon tables of what I can only describe as sugar sculptures. If nothing else it’s definitely up there in the list of random, bargain days out (£6 on Groupon) and would make bake-off contenders want to hide their ‘show stoppers’ in shame.
Competition is tough with each ‘class’ having a different set of rules – I was surprised to see how many amazing cakes were disqualified because not all of the decoration was edible or the internal support could be seen by the trained eye.
Categories included flowers, countries, fascinators, birthday, novelty, 3 tier wedding cakes and even ‘pushing the boundaries’ where ‘the only limit is the imagination’. Competitors are awarded a certificate of merit, bronze, silver or gold but not all make the cut – this is serious, ruthless stuff. All you need to know is that everything photographed for this post is made of sugar and cake. Well done to everyone who took part, I was certainly impressed! Here’s some of my favourites.

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World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

Last week, people all across the UK gathered to serve tea, cake and coffee in aid of Macmillan – a charity providing emotional, financial, medical and practical support for people diagnosed with cancer.

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I organised an event in my (fairly new) office and was so impressed with the number of cakes and generous donations received. In fact, I had too many treats for our small office to eat, so had to load up a trolley and sell them to other firms in the building.

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All over Facebook you could see people advertising their own events, which warranted a ‘thank you’ to all those that hosted from Macmillan in the metro this morning. It created a real sense of community – working for a good cause that touches the lives of many.

If you are thinking of hosting a coffee morning  next year I would highly recommend it. It’s so easy to do at home, work, or perhaps even at schools. Macmillan sends you a free support pack with posters, a money box, cake labels etc making the event easy, fun and above all worthwhile.

My event raised £527.91 and I can’t wait to hear of MacMillan’s grand total. THANK YOU to everyone that supported.

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The Chesterfield Hotel

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Since experiencing my favourite traditional tea to date at the Milestone Hotel, Kensington, I have been waiting to visit the Sister Hotel The Chesterfield in Mayfair.

On the day of my visit The Chesterfield had a themed tea: “Charlie and The Chesterfield”. The tea involved fun lifting fizz drinks (cranberry juice, soda and popping candy), milkshakes and wonka bars. They even had giant gobstoppers and golden tickets (offering decent discounts for your next trip as long as you don’t open beforehand) handed out by Willy Wonka himself. Great marketing, but also great fun.

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Top marks to the Chesterfield for being child-friendly with a light-hearted theme – I found the Madhatter’s Tea at the Sanderson took itself very seriously and was very much intended for adults, which suited me just fine, but the Chesterfield managed the balance better. Much like other hotels in the Red Carnation Group, the Chesterfield offered a smaller, cheaper “Oompa Loompa” tea especially designed for children.

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Did The Chesterfield top The Milestone afternoon tea? In a word, no. Whilst grand, the interior was very dark so sitting in the conservatory (as we did) seems a must. The chocolate scones were also slightly dry.

Head to the Chesterfield if you want a fun, child-friendly afternoon with a decent tea, but head to the Milestone if you want a top notch traditional experience.

Finch House Bakery

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There’s no denying that Orpington High Street is a little grim, but boy is it convenient. The good news is, they have a load of newly opened independent coffee shops to escape in if you find yourself down there running errands.

My favourite to date is Finch House Bakery – cute, modern and airy with a great selection of tea, cakes, coffee, smoothies, lunches and breakfasts. It also won the award for Best Hospitality Business in Kent in 2016.

A great Sunday pit-stop for anyone local.

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BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus

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BB Bakery Afternoon Tea Bus Tour allows you to climb on board a retro London bus and enjoy afternoon tea whilst an amusing guide gives you a tour of famous London Landmarks.  Throw in three friends and a much needed catch up and you are sure to get a whole lot of happiness out of this two hour ride. It is so much fun and a very unique experience.

This is the other end of the spectrum to a traditional tea, so perhaps not one for your Grandparents or fans of The Ritz. Nevertheless, the tea princess deep inside me accepted the lack of tea cups, channeled my “inner cool” and embraced the cute little branded flask (which you get to keep).

The food was good, but not plentiful, and we all craved a few more savoury bites. The scones come out later, so cream tea lovers should make sure they save some room.

I’d absolutely recommend the Afternoon Tea Bus for all its creative little quirks and for my love of London, but sadly not for my love of tea.

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