Sunday, 1 May 2011

Orange and Lavender Cake at Burgh House

Dear Readers,

I hope you feel special, for I am about to share with you one of North London's Best Kept Secrets.... Burgh House.
Burgh House is rather like a secret garden but with excellent coffee, tucked away ancient benches and delicious cakes thrown in for good measure. It is rather like time travelling into the golden heyday of afternoon teas; be sure to wear a floral dress that you could imagine gracing the body of Julia Flyte to compliment the wisteria and wild spring flowers surrounding you as you take your tea.

There is a somewhat shambolic air about the Buttery -

- but I mean that in the most complimentary of fashions. For this is a genuinely independent business with a small downstairs kitchen and beautiful waitresses with boho-chic accessories who may or may not appear to take your order. But it doesn't really matter because you can recline in the wooden furniture, watch the blue-tits dancing in the blossom trees and inhale the sweet scents of the orange blossoms surrounding you on all sides. You quite forget that you are in London; it is as if you are transported to the Hampstead of yore - the beautiful, small village on the edge of the heath...

...and then there's the cake.
The cakes are all made on the premises (a la Whimsy) and use locally sourced ingredients. the teas and coffees are all fairtrade and you are automatically brought hot milk for your coffee, cold milk for your tea and tea in a pot. (It shouldn't be necessary to point this out, but so many places have foresaken these basic rules of conduct in recent months.) The cakes are the kind of uncomplicated, delicious and traditional cakes that I like eating and making. I had the orange and lavender cake this time around and it was fragrant and delicate with the most perfect texture - simultaneously crumbly and moist. The prettiest lavender buds were scattered on the icing leading to a thoroughly Whimsical joy!

...and then there's the coffee! It is the most perfect coffee; a deep ebony coffee with a thick crema and a generous serving of the aforementioned hot frothy milk on the side leading to the perfect golden foaming frothy coffee (but nicer than that sounds - like a delicacy rather than an unpleasant canine disease).
This is a cafe for romantic trysts and leisurely lonely Sunday afternoons. Burgh House is a good reason to go for a long walk on the heath - with the knowledge that there is a delicious afternoon tea awaiting you and a historical museum filled with (occasionally bizarre) curiosities for you to while away a half hour over. Do try to go now before the spring flowers are over and see if you can work out where my favourite seat is!

Sweet lavender kisses,

Silver Whimsy x