I’ve just got back from London after a whirlwind visit to see my cousin and to catch up with my friend Hannah (our friendship dates all the way back to our first day at uni!)
Incidentally, Hannah’s also a blogger – although compared to her prolific posting, I’m still very much a newbie!
Medical student by day and blogging ninja by night, Hannah writes about everything from how dancing can help you shake off your worries – à la Taylor Swift – to the joys of revision and trying to make a difference to the world one step at a time.
Whether you’re after medical advice or just fancy a witty and wise read, why not book in a consultation with Dr Hannah at https://laughteristhebestmedicineblog.wordpress.com?
Way back last year, Hannah and I made plans to have afternoon tea to celebrate her birthday. We finally managed to book it for yesterday afternoon, just a day after Hannah had finished her fifth year exams, and headed to the Hilton Park Lane in London for the ‘Confessions of a Chocoholic’ afternoon tea.
You can check out more photos that I took in London on my Instagram page here.
It was lovely to catch up, and was made even better by the delicious sandwiches, cakes and pastries that just kept on coming.
And the cheeky glass of chilled champagne that arrived even before we’d started on the scones. Naughty but oh so worth it.
As a cake obsessive and total greedy-guts, I thought I’d be more than a match for the afternoon tea.
Sadly though, the baked goods banquet proved too much for us and we left the Hilton clutching a (very chic) box full of everything that we hadn’t managed to sample.
Below are the sandwiches and the cakes…
Lesser (wo)men would have admitted defeat at this point, but Hannah and I are made of strong stuff. Food coma, what food coma?
And so we decided to embark on a London café crawl this morning, for research purposes bien sûr, to tell you all about the best French foodie spots and watering holes in London.
Maybe the café crawl idea was a tad ambitious. But it’ll happen, I promise.
Our first – and only – stop this time was the Pâtisserie Deux Amis, which turned out to be perfectly named for the occasion. Two friends enjoying tea, cake and a chat in a French-themed café. Parfait.
Pâtisserie Deux Amis
Address: 63 Judd Street, London, WC1H 9QT.
Opening hours: 9am to 5:30pm from Monday to Saturday, 9:30am to 2pm on Sunday.
Where it is: Just off the Euston Road, the pâtisserie is in the heart of Bloomsbury in central London. In between a stationer’s and a house with a blue plaque honouring Alexander Herzen, “the father of Russian socialism”.
How to get there: If you fancy a trip on the underground, the nearest tube station is King’s Cross in central London. Turn right out of the Euston Road exit onto Euston Road and turn left onto Judd Street.
Or if you’re travelling by bus, St Pancras Station’s bus stops on Euston Road, Midland Road and Pancras Road are the nearest stops and they’ll take you all around London.
What it’s like: In the front window, there’s an inviting display of baguettes and breads.
Although it looks small from the outside, it turned out to be a lot more spacious once we got inside, with a couple of tables by the counter and a few more further back.
There was also a good choice of bread, cakes and pastries. Today, they had some Bakewell tarts, chocolate-covered maple and pecan bites and a really tempting lemon and polenta cake.
What we ate: After much deliberation, we decided to share a slice of the gluten-free orange and almond cake. And my God was it good. It was beautifully light, with a lovely fragrant and fruity taste and a satisfying crunch from the almond slivers on the top.
As soon as we’d finished, I wanted to go straight back for another piece. Although, given how much cake I’ve eaten lately, it was probably wiser for me to eat some fruit instead.
In the end, I compromised and went for a chocolate and almond croissant. Balanced diet and all that …
What we drank: In true English fashion, we both started with a cuppa. Hannah went for chamomile tea and I had peppermint, both from Teapigs (who do damn good tea).
We were also intrigued by a drink called ‘nectar’ that we saw in the drinks cabinet behind us, and tried it out. It turns out that it’s made from fruit that doesn’t juice well – they had pear, apricot and raspberry when we visited.
Hannah had the apricot one and I tried raspberry. I was slightly disappointed with the raspberry one. It tasted fairly diluted and had more of an apple flavour than raspberry, as it had been made mostly with apple juice. I hadn’t expected to like the apricot, but it had a pleasant flavour and went well with the cake. It felt a bit like drinking liquid apricot jam – in a good way.
What we thought: Despite what the name suggests, it didn’t seem to be much like a pâtisserie – it’s more of a posh local café (with the added bonus of rather fetching teabag holders!)
The staff were attentive and friendy though, and the cake that we had was lovely.
It would be a great place to meet friends for a leisurely breakfast or brunch, especially as it’s so central.
If you’ve been to the Pâtisserie Deux Amis before, I’d love to know your thoughts!
And if you know of any other French-themed places in London or in other places around the UK (cafés, restaurants, markets …), it would be great to hear from you 🙂
Let me know in the comments below!