It looks like the diet is well and truly out the window - the amount of scoffing I did pre and post Holland has made me think I might as well continue to be naughty as (a) its Valentine's soon and I want to eat yummyness and (b) my birthday's in March and that is always a cupcaketastic time of year. Not that I plan to just eat and eat but ...
Anyhoo, on Saturday I decided to pop "up West" and do a bit of shopping. I needed to buy a gift for Ann Arbor Dennis as he's 40 soon and I'm putting together lots of gifts for him as he's always so lovely and brings me such fab cupcake gifts! I also had an ulterior motive for the trip- Pierre Herme, the creme de la creme of macaron makers had opened a concession in my favourite department store, Selfridges - my plan was to pick up a couple of macarons and a cupcake of the month from Lola's to start the valentines taste test early!
When I got to Selfridges I was happy to see that the queue for Pierre's concession was not too long, in fact only two of us queueing, the rest were just standing gawping at the selection or surreptitiously taking pics on their phones. The lovely girl behind the counter went through every flavour with me and I opted for two each for myself and Manny; vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel and strawberry wasabi (the last two we cut in half so we could try a bit each). My macaroons were wrapped and I was given some leaflets about the flavours etc:
Just like Chic, Deja Vu and Avante Garde...'Macaron' is a French word, roll it around your mouth and savour the sound. The taste is even better. ...Your favourite Macaron will not taste the same if mispronounced. ...Please note, it is advised to avoid trying to pronounce the word macaron whilst eating one.
They were divine - much better the Laduree, crisp shells with gorgeous rich soft fillings. YUM! I highly recommend them. Pierre's flagship London store will be opening soon in Knightsbridge but until then you can buy macarons and chocolates in Selfridges. Also and English edition of his book, Macaron, will be out June 2009.
So, back to the cupcakes. After I bought the macarons (which we ate for lunch back home with a cup of tea) I walked the couple of feet to Lola's and was surprised to see free tables at the cafe. I was only planning to get takeaway but I'd been walking round the West End for a while, including the hell on earth that is Primark (Still not sure why I ever go in there..its vile) so I deserved a treat and my weary feet deserved a rest. I opted for a mini peanut butter cupcake to go with my fab coffee as I don't think I've ever had a Lola's peanut butter cupcake. It was ever so pretty, but quite dry - which is normal for peanut butter cupcakes I've found.
Later that night we scoffed the Lola's flavour of the month, pink champagne. The cupcakes were really pretty, with lashings of pink glittery icing - the base was really moist and the frosting - oh my - it was gorgeous! Melt in your mouth yummy and very flavoursome. I wasn't so keen on the truffle on top- it was white chocolate and just tasted a bit sweet for me but Manny loved it (his tooth is sweeter than mine he has no concept of two sweet!).
I think anyone would like a cupcake, or a box of macarons for valentines day so Selfridges really is a one stop valentines shop!
Sorry re the pics of the cupcakes and macarons - I just pointed and shot as I was hungry and wanted to eat - a day in Oxford St followed by a trip on the 453 bus will do that to you!