DiscoverCities

The ultimate London guide for those with a sweet tooth

It doesn’t matter if you are more into cupcakes, ice-cream or sugar-loaded pastries, our list of the top ten food spots offer the best cakes in London, and enough sweetness for your entire stay in London. Enjoy!

Ottolenghi

Ottolenghi-sweet-stuff

Grab some of the best cakes in London at Ottolenghi

Man of the moment, Ottolenghi has made himself the darling of Londoners with his fresh, contemporary Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food and outlandishly good pastries. This tiny delicatessen is a delight for the eye as well as the palate.

The prices aren’t that low, but the food, which is prepared on site, is more than worth it. For a sweet treat, try a cheesecake with white chocolate, cranberry jam and pistachios or a mixed fruit slice with rhubarb, blackberries and peach. Most customers come for take-away salads and deli items, but you can perch in the small backroom for breakfast, brunch or lunch or just a quick cup of coffee.

Where: 63 Ledbury Road
Tel: +44 20 7727 1121
Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate

Prêt-a-Portea

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Prêt-a-Portea is for fashionistas with a sweet tooth

Afternoon tea with dainty cucumber sandwiches, scones and cakes in the luxurious Palm Court at The Ritz is a must for many visitors to London. The Berkeley Hotel offers something different: the Prêt-a-Portea, an afternoon tea for fashionistas, which is served daily from 1.00 pm to 5.30 pm.

The menu, inspired by the latest collections from New York, London and Paris, focuses on cakes and desserts decorated to echo the latest catwalk shows or to pay tribute to a particular designer: Philip Treacy/Alexander McQueen’s butterfly hat rendered in chocolate, for instance, or cinnamon biscuits created to look like Dolce & Gabbana Mary Janes. Whimsical and fun – and delicious, too.

Where: Wilton Place
Tel: +44 20 7235 6000
Nearest station: Knightsbridge

The Nordic Bakery

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Taste Scandinavia at the Nordic Bakery

Londoners love the Nordic Bakery for its great coffee, open dark rye bread sandwiches and Scandinavian sweets. Try the cinnamon buns for a special treat, or be tempted by the skoleboller – a Norwegian custard bun. The Scandi influence extends to the decor, too, from the the wood-paneled walls to the sleek, Alvar Aalto-inspired furniture. It’s a relaxing place to sit and enjoy a tranquil break, just footsteps away from the noise and bustle of Piccadilly Circus.

Where: 14a Golden Square
Tel: +44 20 3230 1077
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus

Snog

Snog-best-cakes-in-london

Time for a frozen yogurt

Frozen yogurt – a refreshing cross between an ice cream and a smoothie – started out in the US, and has since become a favorite for sweet-toothed Londoners. Snog, a bright little takeaway in South Kensington, close to the Science and Natural History museums, sells a no-fat version sweetened with agave nectar instead of sugar. First, choose your flavor – they change frequently but include such options as original, chocolate, strawberry, coconut and pomegranate – then add fruit, granola, superfoods, sweets, nuts or chocolate according to your particular taste and diet. Try a sprinkle of raspberries or passionfruit for a refreshing blast.

Where: 32 Thurloe Place
Tel: +44 20 7584 4926
Nearest station: South Kensington

Konditor & Cook

Konditor-and-Cook-sweet-stuff

Baked to impress! Konditor & Cook construct some of the best cakes in London

You will find this modern little café on the ground floor of the eye-catching, cigar-shaped skyscraper known as ‘The Gherkin’. While they serve soups, tarts and sandwiches, the star attractions are the cakes and confectionery, from tasty treats sold in small bags to pastries and large slices of delicious gateaux – a lemon chiffon cake, perhaps, or a whiskey and orange bomb. There are several branches of Konditor & Cook in London, but at this one you can eat their stellar cakes while admiring one of Europe’s most interesting buildings. Note, though, that it’s closed at the weekend.

Where: 30 St Mary Axe
Tel: n/a
Nearest station: Liverpool Street

Bea’s of Bloomsbury

Bloomsbury-cupcakes-shop

Yes, you can get cupcakes at Bea’s

First it’s the display of marvelously decorated cakes in the window. Then it’s the glorious sight of brownies, giant meringues, biscuits and the shop’s famous cupcakes, piled high like works of art. Resistance is futile! At the back of the café you can see the patissiers at work in the open kitchen. Everything is freshly baked every day. Perhaps the best way to sample as many goodies as possible is during the daily afternoon tea (11.30am-7.00pm); it’s a small place, however, so booking is essential. People come primarily for the cakes, but there are also savory dishes available.

Where: 40-44 Floral Street
Tel: +44 20 7379 7133
Nearest station: Covent Garden

Maison Bertaux

Maison-Bertaux-patisserie-in-london

Maison Bertaux is the oldest patisserie in london

Soho is changing. Once the raffish domain of strip clubs and drinking dens, Italian caffs and smoky jazz bars, this historic neighborhood is being cleaned up and cleared out at a rate that is alarming the many Londoners who love its shabby vibrancy.

Luckily Maison Bertaux, the oldest patisserie in town, remains – a pretty, rough around the edges French café. Here you can indulge in exquisite cakes, tarts and éclairs in the art-strewn interior or at rickety outside tables overlooking the action on Greek Street. Join the interesting band of artists, flaneurs and bohemians who populate Maison Bertaux, and relish this delicious slice of history.

Where: 28 Greek Street
Tel: +44 20 7437 6007
Nearest station: Leicester Square

Gelupo

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Try some of the best gelato in London at Gelupo

When it comes to artisan gelato, this little place knows its stuff. Try the delicious combination of ricotta, coffee and honey or a refreshing blood orange sorbet, and you’ll never think of ice cream in the same way again. You can take your treat with you, in a cone or a cup, as you stroll the streets absorbing the sights and sounds of Soho. Or why not complement it with a cup of Italian hot chocolate? Incidentally, the restaurant opposite, Bocca di Lupo, run by the same people, takes regional Italian cooking to another level. Check it out.

Where: 7 Archer Street
Tel: +44 20 7287 5555
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus

Paul

Paul-patisserie-in-london

Enjoy some of the best pastries in london at Paul

A little taste of Paris in London – what a treat! Just when you are about to collapse from hours of shopping in Covent Garden, a café au lait and a fruit tart in this London branch of the French bakery franchise can work wonders. The patisserie is delicious, and the quiches and tartines make a great light lunch. Proceed through the bakery, enjoying the buttery fragrance of freshly baked baguettes and croissants, toward the back room. Here you will find an elegant café, its banquettes filled with chatting friends or office workers who flock here to do business over coffee and cake. Bon appétit!

Where: 29 Bedford Street
Tel: +44 20 7836 3304
Nearest station: Covent Garden

The Hummingbird Bakery

The-Hummingbird-Bakery-cupcakes-shop

Life is all about American cupcakes…at least at Hummingbird Bakery

American cupcakes – small, pretty cakes loaded with buttercream icing in every color of the rainbow – took London by storm when the Hummingbird Bakery opened its first branch in Notting Hill in 2004. The cupcakes are still the top seller here, but Hummingbird also bakes amazing gateaux and other sweet treats, including a stunning red velvet cake – all to take away. In addition to this tiny branch in Notting Hill, you can also enjoy the Hummingbird phenomenon in South Kensington, Soho, Islington, Spitalfields and Richmond.

Where: 133 Portobello Road
Tel: +44 20 7851 1795
Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate

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