Prim and proper: cake at Primrose Bakery
My friend phoned me last week and asked where was good to go for cake in Camden. I think I’m pleased with having reputation for being a font of all pudding knowledge (or should that be a fondue of all pudding knowledge?). I think.
Anyway I directed her to Camden Market where I’ve salivated over an incredible doughnut stall on a couple of occasions. But I couldn’t think of any nice places to direct her to where she could have eat-in cakes.
I now realise that I should have sent her down the road to Primrose Hill to the Primrose Bakery. Of course, home of all things quaint and lovely, Primrose Hill was bound to deliver on the cake front.
I visited this weekend and it was definitely worth straying from the hubbub of trendy Camden for. How had I not heard of this mecca for cupcake lovers, receiving rave reviews from the likes of Jude Law no less and acclaimed as the best place to get cupcakes in London, before? There’s also one in Covent Garden apparently and the team now have an ever-expanding client list including Selfridges food hall, Fortnum and Mason, LK Bennett, Topshop and Smythson among others.
But when we went, there was a wonderful sense of this being Primrose Hill’s best kept secret: there was no one else in even on a Saturday morning, so it was a lovely, cosy, quiet place for a bite to eat.
I ordered the lime and coconut flavour and my cupcake companion the chocolate and peanut butter. It was a tough choice; also on offer were malted marshmallow, carrot, vanilla and Earl grey cupcakes, and delicious looking layer cakes decorating the window display. I was very tempted to have a couple…
But what really made the whole experience was people-watching as a couple of locals strayed in to order takeaway cupcakes. Particularly amusing was a boy of no more than eight or nine who, instead of sheepishly sidling up to the counter with a handful of grubby coins as you might expect, confidently strode in and placed an order for five vanilla and five chocolate cupcakes in the manner very much of a turn of the century old gent. They really do make them differently here.
“Don’t worry, they say they’ve got another batch of chocolate on the way,” he said so confidently to a complete stranger at the counter that she visibly jumped, probably wondering where this authorative, plummy voice had boomed from. Then, perusing the toy and sweet selection at the side of the cafe, “I’ll have one of your finest plastic lizards sir.” (Ok, so not quite, but this is basically how it went.)
Then he strode out of the shop with his box of cupcakes, leaving us to stare in grinning disbelief at the equally flabbergasted guy behind the counter.
I like to think the family he’d been sent by, and indeed all families in Primrose Hill, dine on cupcakes every day for breakfast…