"You're your father's daughter" said my Mum when I told her my plans for my Birthday. All the housemates are out and my London adventure continues. I have a totally free day ahead of me and have decided to celebrate turning 26 by seeking out the best bakeries in the capital.
I am of the opinion that good bread is going to be very important to my restaurant and so are good cakes and am using this as a very flimsy excuse to eat my weight in baked goods in the name of research.
What better way to spend one's birthday? An article in the Guardian did most of the leg work, and pointed me in the direction of Ottolenghi's in Nottinghill, Degustibus near Borough Market and Konditor & Cook near Waterloo to name but a few. Jumping from tube to street in search of inspiration and sugary highs I returned exhausted and weighed down with my baked purchases.
Totally stunned by the attention to detail at all of the establishments I visited but particularly Ottolenghi's where I found it a little too easy to part with holiday dosh. Their blackcurrant "mini" cheesecake sparked a healthy debate around the kitchen table - as their idea of mini seems to be a lot larger than anything any of us could devour in one sitting.
Around lunchtime, and in between bread shops I stopped off at the Hummingbird bakery. Feeling birthdayish I selected a slice of bright pink vanilla sponge with edible glitter and a strong coffee.
The cake was very exciting to look at but each bite was so incredibly sugary it brought on an instant headache and at one point I thought I might actually go blind. I mean this in the most complimentary way as I firmly stand by my opinion that their cookery book is brilliant and contains fantastically foolproof recipes for carrot cake and chocolate brownies (but not for the faint hearted or diabetics)
I was very happy with my low key birthday dinner in Hoxton and am very proud of my faux-fur-crab-chef from Helen.
Missed everyone back in Nottingham though and am grateful to have received such lovely messages from Family, Friends and old flames.