By The Little Welsh, http://www.thelittlewelsh.blogspot.com/
A few weeks ago I ventured out to investigate another of London’s many trendy bakeries, having previously visited The Hummingbird Bakery…and Greggs (don’t think that one counts…). If you’ve read my previous blog post on The Hummingbird Bakery, you will know that I was not huuuuuuuuugely impressed, yes the branch I visited was in fashionable Soho and yes the cupcakes looked spectacular but no – there was too much food colouring and sugar in the cakes and I wasn’t overly impressed by their over-priced produce! So as you’d expect my suspicion was mounting as I closed in on the Primrose Bakery situated at the far end of Gloucester Avenue.
Before I get on to the bakery itself let’s talk about what is going on with these bakeries?? Where are they coming from? Why are they here? It’s hard to believe they were once associated with the quaint and twee English tea party. Since those days the traditional cupcake has been transported across the seas to the far away land of America, land of the free, land of the glittery cupcake. Carrie Bradshaw of Sex In The City has been deemed the creator of the American cupcake fascination when she first bit into her’s on the show and sent millions of fans running to their nearest bakery in the hunt for something similar. To meet demand the American cupcake industry boomed and specialised bakeries started popping up all of the country, such as The Magnolia Bakery in super cool Manhattan and apparently there is even a cupcake delivery truck known as CupcakeStop which trawls the streets of New York…very strange.
As with many American trends, such as Krispy Kreme and Gatorade (not to mention the obvious McDonalds, KFC and Burger King), they gradually float across the pond and set up camp over here in Old Blighty. So why are cupcakes of all things so popular? Some may blame the recession and the hunt for affordable luxuries in a time of economic uncertainty; others may blame the desire to return to the kitsch and domestic bliss of the 1950′s (queue huge sales in Cath Kidson’s quirky apparel). However I just think it’s another one of those random things that people latch on to – it’s just fashionable, like skinny jeans, gladiator sandals and neon pink nail polish. However I don’t think this fashion will disappear as quickly as jeggings or even skorts (remember them?). I think this cupcake trend is here to stay – one indication of this is that there are these permanently established bakeries.
So the Primrose Bakery swung opened its doors in 2004, the same year as the Hummingbird Bakery (coincidence?). Being located in Primrose Hill it of course became an instant attraction to nearby trendy celebs such as Kate Moss (who I’ve yet to see roaming around). Even Jude Law has been quoted as saying ‘I defy anyone to find a better cupcake’! I didn’t know Jude was into cupcakes??!! The Primrose Bakery is not just as place to buy your cute and multicoloured cupcakes, it’s also a place to sit and chat and eat normal food too – like toast and sandwiches. You can also do your shopping there, the Bakery sells a number of cupcake-related items, such as their own Primrose Hill Bakery Cookbook!
I had decided to treat my new co-workers with a selection of cupcakes, the selection in the shop was huge and I did spend a good 10 minutes deciding on what to buy. Such flavours include chocolate, coffee and walnut, carrot, vanilla, lemon, coconut and many more. I settled on vanilla – just in case someone had a freakish adversity to chocolate. So once I’d settled on the flavour I then had to choose the colour…hmmm – Pink? Mint green? Lavendar balls? Glittery? Prices per cupcake start from around £1.50 for regular sized cupcakes and they’re a decent size too for a filling snack. The Primrose Bakery also sells ’2 Layer’ cakes in which they use the same sponge as the cupcakes with a filling between the two layers and a customised top. These cakes come in various sizes, the largest providing 25+ portions. Prices start from around £16 for these cakes and would be perfect for birthdays and other special occasions…or just general gluttony…In fact their chocolate cake was recently voted number two in The Ten Best Birthday Cakes in the Independent newspaper! They also cater specifically for weddings where they set up consultations with their customers to make sure they create exactly what the customer wants. The skill and time that goes into each of these handmade creations will add a glamorous touch to any special day.
Anyhoo once chosen and back at the office we tucked into our multicoloured cupcakes and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I had been expecting a sugar and food-colouring overload – as experienced in The Hummingbird Bakery – however, these cupcakes were light, fluffy and as sugary as they should be. The icing wasn’t too thick and overpowering and best of all – there wasn’t too much food colouring therefore my fingers didn’t turn an interesting shade of purple…These cupcakes tasted fresh and homemade not the robotically generated ones in other unnamed shops (*cough* Hummingbird *cough*). My colleagues also seemed to enjoy them. Caroline described the cupcakes as “very attractive and delicious and they would make a thoughtful gift”. Nichola, said they were “sinfully delicious, wickedly decadent and an absolute must for any rainy Monday”.
So if you’re passing by Primrose Hill and you feel in need for a sweet treat that won’t break the bank but will leave you fashionably on trend in terms of food, pop into the Primrose Bakery for a cupcake, maybe you’ll stay for a unpretentious cup of Jo or even buy some cupcake stickers for your cake tins. And if you’re not in the Primrose Hill area you can also visit the Primrose Bakery in Covent Garden!
So from me and my coworkers, we give the Primrose Bakery a big thumbs up
We just recently discovered The Little Welsh’s blog. Not only is it a fun, entertaining and passionate blog but it is also written by a proud Bibendumite. Hurray!