Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Nordic Bakery

Hello Readers!

Being British, I must commence with a comment on the weather; isn't it wonderful! All my tea dresses are out of the wardrobe and I am basking in the sunshine.

What perfect timing, then, to bring you the first Silver Whimsy Review from the Top Ten List of Cafes across London!
I arranged to meet my Floral-Shirted-Actor-Friend (FSAF) at The Nordic Bakery on the hottest day of the year so far. This was simultaneously a good and bad idea; whilst we had delightfully silky smooth coffees and carbohydrate-drenched cinnamon buns, The Nordic Bakery is more suited to a frost-bitten winter day rather than a sun-drenched April eve.

The Nordic Bakery might not immediately seem to fall into the Aesthetic of Whimsy. But, you see dear Reader, I LOVE the clean lines, the quasi-clinical atmosphere of the wood pannelled walls and as my FSAF commented, the sweating sauna like effect of the glass fronted window onto Golden Square. Oh dear, I'm not painting a good picture am I..?

Let us now move on to an explanation of why the cappuccino's from The Nordic Bakery are the best in central London (excluding Soho). It isnlt just the contents of the coffee cup that make this frothy-drink so pleasing, it is the cup itself and the sanitorium-esque tray on which it is presented.
It all ties in with the 'safe-space' aesthetic of The Nordic Bakery. There is something intensely soothing about the muted colours and the super-shiny and smooth Moomin sized coffee-cups. The contents therein do not disappoint; the ratio of coffee to froth is perfect (although this is a more Australasian and less Italian version of the cappuccino so do not expect an adrenalin-filled caffeine hit); this, then is a coffee to linger over rather than a pick-me-up-let-me-out-of-this-crazy-city-help-I'm-wearing-stilettoes-it's-rush-hour-and-I'm-going-to-be-late kind of coffee.

And then we move onto the piece de resistance du Nordic Bakery. Oh yes, their famed and much-devoured by Whimsy cinnamon buns. The bakery is housed in the basement of the cafe, so freshly baked cakes, buns and breads are constantly brought up into the cafe. The cinnamon bun is a multi-layered delicacy of thick buttery pastry drenched in cinnamon-loaded goodness. My FSAF could detect a hint of something else behind the cinnamon - an almost liqueur like flavour that he couldn't pin down - if you go please send in your thoughts about what this could have been. The best cinnamon buns are soft and squishy inside and sticky and chewy on the outer corners.
I have never ventured into tasting any of their other cakes, but the Tosca Cake sounds most tempting.

So, if you're stuck on Oxford Street and need some respite from the crazed shoppers and endless roadworks, head down Carnaby Street and wend your way t Golden Square; there a sanitorium clam awaits you.

Cinnamon and Springtime,
Silver Whimsy x

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Your New Favourite Shop; Comma

Dearest Readers,

I have managed to stop it from being a year since I last posted. This acts as a mini-triumph in my life at the moment.

However, today's long-awaited content will not feature any baking! Yes, dear reader, you heard right! Confessions of a Hampstead baker is reaching out from tales of baking and will begin to feature write-ups of Silver Whimsy's Top Ten List of Cafes across London and SilverTop Ten List of Shops across Britain!

And so to launch this new feature (if this was an app there would be bluebirds and butterflies streaming banners across the screen - please imagine them now-) I give you my Number One shop in Britain; Comma.
Comma is situated on Iffley Road in Oxford. You can reach it by taking the 4, 4a, 4b or 4c bus from just outside Oxford station and then the bus stops directly outside the shop so there's no excuse for either i) getting lost or ii) not visiting.

Inside and outside, comma is a veritable treasure trove.
It is a compendium of all the most delightful treats; the most secret of notebooks; the most delectable of curios and the most magical miscellanies. (Can miscellany be in the plural? Well, if it can't it can for Comma!)
Comma is my dream shop. I could happily live there. Being there makes me happy. It's one of those places where you just want to pick up and scrutinise everything because by virtue of touching the objets around you, you can feel some kind of profound assimilation of self going on.
What makes it EVEN BETTER is that it's run by Sally and Dave,
everyone's favourite purveyors of tea towels - todryfor.

The SIBF and I spent a wonderful day in Comma picking everything up, buying post cards, cards, tea towels and ephemera and generally absorbing the atmosphere and the company.
Make haste fine readers! Get thee on a train/bus to Oxford and you too can have your photo taken in front of the moose antlers as I did here;

Love and Rockets,

Silver Whimsy x

PS are you pleased to have me back?