Have you been to London? If you have, then you’ll know that in London there is simply no such thing as having been there done that. For every item you cross off your “London List” two more will be added. Neighborhoods, museums, parks, restaurants, and… Treats.
We spent three days roaming the City’s neighborhoods in search of treats both sweet and savory. We found this was a perfect way to tour the city enjoying a comfortable feeling of familiarity when we walked by old favorites and a feeling of excitement when we discovered new ones.
We did a big loop which took us past many of the city’s most famous spots including: St. Paul’s, the Millennium Bridge, The Globe Theater, The Tate Modern, The London Eye, Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, and so many more. Stopping periodically for a treat was a great incentive and the 8 miles we walked helped to assuage any guilt we may have felt eating all those treats.
Here, for your convenience, is a list of sweet spots including all the new locations and old favorites, which have been grouped by neighborhood:
Touted by multiple sources as having the “best cupcakes in the world” we decided a visit to Peggy Porschen Cakes, would make our list. We sampled cupcakes and cocoa, and both were delicious. The pretty pink building with its candy colored decor and beautifully decorated deserts has made it a very popular Instagram photo location.
Dark Sugars Cocoa House
Hot chocolate is a travel tradition in our family, and no trip would be complete without it. My younger son and I made sure that a visit to Dark Sugars Cocoa House, on Brick Lane, was the number one stop on our recent sweets and treats tour of London. The tricky part was getting a photo of all that delicious chocolate before it melted… Also on offer, bowls of decadent and beautiful chocolates and creamy gelato in bright candy colors.
Taiyaki – Various Places
Stopping in Chinatown for Taiyaki, fish shaped cream filled buns, is another London tradition, and this visit was no exception. The texture falls somewhere between a waffle cone and a pancake, and they are traditionally filled with red bean paste, but custard and Nutella are other popular options. Larger taiyaki are filled with soft serve in traditional asian flavors like ube and black sesame.
Warm Caramelized Peanuts
You’ll find cart vendors selling warm caramelized nuts all over the city. We’ve often stopped at the one at the foot of the Millennium Bridge just outside the Tate Modern. Sticky sweet and warm makes for a nice combination on a cool evening by the river.
This delightful Pink Panther Mousse was the perfect end to our Sketch experience. Sketch, located in London’s posh Mayfair neighborhood, is one of The City’s trendiest dining spots, but it’s not just a pretty face with Insta worthy decor (though it has plenty of that in spades), the food is also beautiful and more importantly delicious. Each of the multiple dining areas, all with different themes, has its own menu and price point making this fun and quirky spot accessible to everyone.
Not that I ever need an excuse to sample delicious sweets and treats, but as I’ve recently opened my own cookie company, @cookiesareeverything, (yes, a shameless plug), we made sure to include cookies, or as they say across the pond biscuits, to our list of must try treats. We discovered @biscuiteersltd and were delighted to find that they don’t only sell their beautiful creations, but offer an afternoon (sweets only) tea as well as private icing lessons and parties. Yes please!
We’re big fans of bubble tea (boba) and apparently so are Londoners as there were long lines at every bubble tea spot. Bubbleology in Notting Hill was a perfect place to stop and take a break. I chose the more traditional Milk Tea with boba, but they offer many unique flavor combinations including, grape, lychee, and even Nutella boba, which was my son’s choice.
Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum and Mason has been a London institution for over 300 years, so when I told friends I’d never been they were shocked! How could I have missed such a special place? I knew I had to remedy this situation on my very next visit and so I did.
To say we were not disappointed is an understatement. Pastry cases filled with the most decadent treats, dark wood shelves lined with the prettiest biscuit tins you ever saw, tea, coffee, jams, picnic hampers, iced biscuits, and chocolates, and that was just the food hall. The interiors are as decadent as the offerings and we spent ages admiring everything and doing our best not to put everything we saw into our basket. Fortnum and Mason is now on our permanent London List.
Rebel’s Alliance Motorcycle Club
Raise your hand if you’re a coffee lover! If so, you’ll want to stop in at the Rebel’s Alliance Motorcycle Shop on Sclater Street in London’s Shoreditch Neighborhood. Enjoy a cup of coffee surrounded by vintage motorcycles, art and vintage style clothing.
Although our recent whirlwind day out in London was mainly about where to find the sweets, that didn’t mean we couldn’t make time for some treats too. In my book that means street art, and we were delighted to visit @einesigns most recent addition to the Shoreditch neighborhood.
It’s good to have a delicious destination at the end of a long walk, or if you’re like us stop at 5 along the way! @maitrechoux has multiple locations, but their SoHo shop was on our route and turned out to be one of my favorite stops as not only were the eclairs beautiful, but they were delicious as well.
London’s oldest food market has been serving the people of Southwark for over 1000 years. You’ll find stalls, shops, cart vendors and restaurants selling everything from the freshest produce, fish and artisan breads to Indian food, meat pasties, dumplings and so much more. The Borough Market has something for everyone.
What fun treats have you found in London, have you visited any of these spots? Let me know in the comments below.
Catherine’s Cultural Wednesday
So many good things, I need to try those cute fish cakes.
They’re delicious and you can find them at all the Chinatown bakeries!
Love this sweets inspired tour of London
This was an delicious blog to read, Thanks for sharing such posts.
Lydia C. Lee
Great list!! #Farawayfiles
Wow, you sniffed them out in London too, not just LA 😀 #farawayfiles
We have a nose for treats wherever we go! All in the name of research of course!
My mouth is watering! All those treats look and sound delicious. I can recommend the F&M afternoon tea too which we did last year. I agree that walking justifies the indulgences – I did the same in a waffle shop in Prague only yesterday! Wilbur. #farawayfiles
That sounds heavenly! I’ve always wanted to visit Prague.
That hot cocoa looks divine. Making a note of that for when we make it to London with our kids. #farawayfiles
It was so delicious and the neighborhood is a great place to wander.
Ladies what travel
Great guide Hilary – I’m totally bookmarking this! I go into London regularly but still have so many on your list to visit. I loved Dark Sugars and Peggy Porschen’s been on my list for aaaages – maybe the next time I go in… 😉 #FarawayFiles
Thank you! It was a fun and delicious day out!
Caity Pfohl | The Pamplemousse Papers
I absolutely love your Borough Market reflection photo! Does Peggy Porschen deliver on their offerings or is it more so just an aesthetically beautiful place? I know I wouldn’t be able to resist snapping the requisite facade photo 🙂 #farawayfiles
Thank you! I love that one too. The cupcakes and cocoa were actually delicious, and the experience was fun. I can’t speak to the cookies or cakes though… I agree that many places don’t deliver on all fronts.
Mmmm, some great finds Hilary, I do love chow pastry so I think I may just have to search out Maitre Choux.