London | Saturday with Su-Lin: St. John Bakery at Maltby Street Market, Monmouth Coffee, Dessert Tasting at William Curley, Poilâne, Pierre Hermé, and Harrods

Monday, September 24, 2012 6comments No tags Permalink 0

Saturday, 10am. Meeting Su-Lin at Maltby Street Market. On the agenda: doughnuts.

We’re in front of St John Bakery, a warehouse-like space that beckons with fresh bread, and more importantly…custard and jam doughnuts.

One of each!

And a pair of golden palmiers.

We explore the rest of the market, stopping for tastes of sausages and cured meats, cheeses, and a stellar piri piri sauce.

From there, we walk to Monmouth Coffee at the Borough Market for coffee and cappuccinos….

…there was a long queue but it was worth the wait in order to devour our doughnuts in the warmth of the coffee shop. First the custard…

…and then the strawberry jam. Ahhh!! It tasted more like a

Note #1: I also had the St. John eccles cake on a different occasion…

….you definitely can’t miss that if you stop by the bakery.

Note #2: Don brought St. John madelines to dinner last week, also great. They’re baked to order at the restaurant.

Craving something savory, we went to Mrs King’s for pork pies. Three components: first the crust, so decadent and flaky, slightly salted and made with wheat flour, hot water, and lard. Then in the center and hefty, peppery ball of rough chopped pork. Separating the pork and crust is a layer of pork jelly/aspic. Get a bit of all three at once. Decadent and meant to be devoured cold.

She has a bunch of different pies, but pork pie is the signature.

Next, a walk around town, a stop at Tate Museum, then over the bridge, a peek into Somerset House, and then into Twinings Strand Shop. They offer a number of teas that can’t be purchased from any other location that stocks Twinings. And in the back of the shop there’s a tea tasting area. We sat in for a cup of white tea and the Russian Caravan

…then hopped on to the #11 double-decker to Belgravia. Time for a dessert tasting at William Curley! We started with warm drinks…

…a hojicha latte for myself and the house blend tea for Su-Lin. Ready? Ok!

One, green apple sorbet. 

Two, vanilla panna cotta so softly set it was more akin to a pudding with red berry compote and a champagne granita. 

Three, an apricot, pistachio, and chocolate pave with marinated apricots and lemon-thyme ice cream.

Four, lilikoi tart on the left and a mango “casket” on the right. Plated with guava sorbet and fresh lilikoi sauce. Take a peek inside of the casket.

Five, petit fours. One each of a juniper and black currant chocolate, and pistachio dacquoise with chocolate cream, and berry financiers. All that for only £15. The whole experience reminded me of ChikaLicious (the dessert bar side), but better. 

Next time (and there will be a next time :) I’d love to try the collection of ice creams…we spotted matcha and sesame, an olive oil-chocolate ice cream and so much more. You can also order cakes and little pastries a la carte. And the chocolate, of course. 

From there, it’s off to Poilâne

…and then Pierre Hermé! It’s like we’re back in Paris again. Spotted these gorgeous bags in the window display…Pierre Hermé handbags???

Indeed! They were just released last week in Paris, London, and Tokyo. Look at all the colors, one to match (almost) every macaron. They were designed by Barbara Rihl (who is Pierre Hermé’s wife – what a couple!), a take on the famous Pierre Hermé paper bags. All leather with a detachable clutch.

I wish it was lined (it’s more of a shopping bag than an actual handbag) otherwise you’d have pens and whatnot poking out of those holes.

What to do post-Pierre Hermé? Harrods. The food hall is quite the sight, energetic, packed with a million and one options. Foie gras, cheese, tea, the world’s tiniest tomatoes, chocolates, and glitter doughnuts. Serious glitter. 

Thank you Su-Lin for an amazing afternoon. We’ll have to do the same when you are in NYC :)