If Brits are synonymous with one thing, it’s afternoon tea. A much-loved tradition since 1840, you just need to google ‘cake shops near me’ to see quite how popular the trend is. The soothing qualities of a good cuppa and a slice of something sugary is one of life’s greatest pleasures. As such, there are hundreds of bakeries across the capital dedicated to the fine art of cake and gossip! So, whether you’re looking for some London date ideas, or are simply in need of a good chinwag with friends, we’ve selected some of the best bakeries, cafes and culinary institutions serving up coffee and best cakes in London.
From the world-famous Hummingbird Bakery London to Lola’s Cupcakes, get ready, this makes for hungry reading…
70 Regent St, Soho, London W1B 4DY
Housed inside the impressive Hotel Café Royal, Cakes & Bubbles is the brainchild of Albert Adria – the world’s best pastry chef. It is also the result of his mission to create the best dessert in London! If you have expensive taste or want to impress someone special, make this your go-to. However, don’t expect to catch up on much, as the menu which includes ‘El Bulli’ cake and ‘frozen coconut and chocolate flower’ sweets, is rather too tasty to ignore.
133 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 2DY
The Hummingbird Bakery can be found in numerous locations throughout London, offering up a delicious selection of coffee and dessert. Although, their original branch in Notting Hill is still our firm favourite. A Mecca for girlfriends looking to catch up, The Hummingbird Bakery offers an extensive cupcake selection. Make sure to try their best selling Red Velvet cupcake – also their signature bake which is best served with a pot of tea and good company.
9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
When it’s on the company card, take your colleague or client to Sketch for an afternoon of indulgence. Offering a stunning backdrop, Sketch afternoon tea is somewhat of an institution, with everything from petit-four to tasting menus available. Known for its iconic pink room, Sketch is also a fantastic go-to for London date ideas.
15 Blenheim Cres, Notting Hill, London W11 2EE
If you’re seeking fun and quirky date ideas, then Doughnut Time might be for you. Identified by the hordes of people queuing outside, it’s a fun way to get to know someone, least of all their sense of humour. From the chocolatey deliciousness of ‘Philled Collins’ to their Vegan dessert choices such as the ‘David Hassle-Biscoff’ – every mouthful is an icebreaker and sure to squirt some fun into your date!
Unit 5 12, 9 St Anne’s Ct, Soho, London W1F 0BB
Japanese desserts are very in-vogue right now. If you’re looking to impress someone with an original date idea or in need of a catch up with a foodie-friend, add Kovato your cake-bucket list. Behold the Japanese Souffle Cheesecake, an instantly Instagramable delight, or perk up your afternoon with a matcha cake crepe. Whatever you chose, you won’t be disappointed! It’s definitely worth checking this place for some of the best cakes in London for a casual meetup.
400 Oxford St, Marylebone, London W1A 1AB
We couldn’t write this feature without a nod to Lola’s Cupcakes. Without doubt, they make some of the best cakes in London. Dotted all over the capital, you can even buy a cheeky cupcake from secret lockers, underground stations and high-end shopping malls. However, for a proper sit-down treat, the food hall at Selfridges should not be missed. The unicorn vanilla cupcake is a bestseller with little ones, making it the perfect place for that long-overdue ‘mum date’ you’ve been meaning to organise.
20 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SJ
Cutter & Squidge are set to make you feel the very opposite of ‘squidgy’, with their award-winning cakes made from 100% natural ingredients. Moreover, they specialise in delectable vegan desserts, from their colourful vegan blueberry lemon cheesecake, to their perfectly moist vegan banana-hazelnut loaves. Still being cautious post lockdown? They even provide delivery for an ‘Afternoon Tea at Home’!
15 Frith St, Soho, London W1D 4RE
If you’re searching for the best Singaporean coffee and dessert in London, look no further! For adventurous date ideas, Arome bakery in Soho is a perfect choice, offering a menu of freshly baked and authentic desserts: including their ‘Danish of the Day’.
17-21 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9RP
Whilst this American-born London bakery is set to close in the near future (sob), it would be a cake crime not to make the most of it whilst it’s still here! For now, Dominique Ansel Bakery is officially open to both dine in and take out. So whether your ideal London date is locking eyes over a dining table, or snuggling up on the sofa, this could well be the place for you. Their menu boasts an array of sugary goodness; from pastries and tarts to cookies and cakes. You can also stop by for brunch too, if you’re after something a little more filling…
395 Mentmore Terrace, Hackney, London E8 3PH
If a date amidst the city’s hustle and bustle is more your cup of tea (or coffee), E5 Bakehouse is an authentic artisan bakery promising rich, irresistible flavours, accompanied by a lively East London backdrop. They are renowned for their organic, locally sourced ingredients and delicious sour dough, yet also pride themselves on their array of cakes and pastries on offer. For an impressive date idea (extra brownie points we think), E5 Bakehouse also offers an array of baking classes – the ideal opportunity to get down dirty with your date à la Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore style.
14-16 Bury Pl, Holborn, London WC1A 2JL
Finally, Holborn’s London Review Cake Shop is the extension of a quaint, cosy bookshop – a top pick for those with a penchant for a steamy literary romance. The café also states that all of its bakes are ‘homemade with love’, adding that extra splash of old-world charm to this cosy date venue. Amongst their large selection of cakes and traybakes, the London Review Cake Shop also offers many gluten free and vegan dessert options.