Where did I spend my Friday morning?
Why, only at the sweetest little tea room in London!
Candella Tea Room is conveniently located just minutes from High Street Kensington, but were it farther afield, it would certainly be worth trekking the distance.
Today’s post is to be the first of a series of blog posts on the best cake stops London has to offer. They are not designed to be reviews, but rather a source of inspiration for my own kitchen creations. I’ve always said I wouldn’t bother buying a cake from a shop, as I much prefer my own (or my mother’s!) homemade cakes; that extra care and attention given to homemade cakes, that desire for perfection (and I’m speaking more of taste here, rather than appearance) is the secret to the homemade cake’s superiority. But the fact is, I’m not the only person who feels this way. Brilliant little independent cafés are popping up all over London, and it is word of mouth that, in large part, dictates their success.
So, you won’t find any bad reviews on this blog, that’s not what I’m here to do. What you will find is a source of creative and inspiring cafés, tea rooms, cake shops and the like, run by those who are passionate about the creative art form known as cooking. Because it is an art.
Which brings me back to…
Candella Tea Room
Made to look like your living room away from your living room, this place is every bit as warm and cosy as is suggested. From the mismatched vintage seating and baby grand piano, down to the wonderfully bright and attentive staff – this place has serious personality.
Brimming with antique teacups, teapots, and cake stands that have been collected from all over the world by the owner, Emma, herself, you could spend half a morning here and still find something new to see. While your tea and cake is served on this delicate characterful china, there are also a number of pieces for sale.
The coffee is good – a strong Italian roast, not too bitter – but tea is the speciality here. With one hundred different varieties to choose from, regulars come especially to seek out their favourites.
And on to the cakes… All lovingly homemade by the staff at Candella, or bakers known personally by the owner. The Coffee & Walnut Cake, I’m told, is the favourite, but I go for a fancy cheesecake looking slice. Although, lo and behold, I’ve jumped to conclusions. This is not a cheesecake, in fact, it is a wonderfully delicate mint chocolate mousse cake with a thin sponge base, and a fine white and dark chocolate marbled ganache topping. A surprisingly light and refreshing cake with the perfect amount of rich chocolateyness for a 10am cake stop.
Other cakes you will find on offer include Crème Brûlée Cheesecake, Lemon Cake, Victoria Sponge, and a tasty looking Chocolate Cake – the favourite of a young local boy who stops by regularly with his mother. Cakes are a reasonable £3.50 for a generous slice, and are available to buy whole for £25. Bear in mind Candella does not keep a stock of cakes to sell whole, so if you want a specific cake be sure to order in advance!
Traditional afternoon tea is available all day, and includes finger sandwiches with your choice of fillings, one fruit scone and one plain with clotted cream and strawberry preserve, and a single pot of tea of your choice, all at a very reasonable £15.95. For a double pot of tea it’s an additional £3.00, and a glass of champagne is £4.95.
There is also a selection of pastries and other sweet treats such as macaroons, as well as a breakfast and lunch menu.
Found at number 34 of the iconic Kensington Church Street, Candella Tea Room is not to be missed.