Bake-A-Boo, West Hampstead

Monday, 15 February 2010 | |

Valentines Day: a day where lovers show greater affection for their partners, or those who are admiring someone from afar pluck up the courage to express their desire. I don't usually celebrate Valentines Day, but I do think it's quite fun, and without Valentines Day we'd never have had this, so I'm all for it. I'm not sure what most women received on the 14th, but I decided to take my girlfriend to bake-a-boo on Mill Lane, a charming shop and tea room about ten minutes walk away from West Hampstead tube station, and right across the road from the C11 bus stop. Here's some pictures of our Valentines Day tea (£18 per person, though it is usually £15 per person on non-Valentines days). Pictures, as ever, were taken by Samantha Newbery.

The Valentines themed balloons added to the already superb room.

The table was decorated with rose petals (fake). Also on the table were: a heart-shaped candle; tea cup, cutlery, strainer, plastic cup for tap water, brought along for free, and some Love Hearts.

A close up of the flowers in the vase on the table. Real this time. I don't really appreciate the smell of flowers much, but I think they add something visually.

The cake stand - in the foreground - with sandwiches (bottom), scones and jam tarts (middle), brownies, cupcakes and chocolate dipped strawberries (top). I'm perusing the tea list in the background.

A close up of the sandwiches. Cucumber, egg mayonnaise and cream cheese sandwiches, cut into fingers. The egg mayonnaise was the winner, though the cucumber was also worth snacking on. The cream cheese wasn't to my liking, though, and I only had a small bite.

The chocolate dipped strawberries were very nice. I'm not sure if we were expected to feed them to each other; we didn't. The vanilla cupcakes were also a great effort. The cake was moist, while the frosting wasn't sickly sweet and complimented the cake well. Additionally, the brownie was also a winner, with a good, subtly chocolatey flavour and a moistness that represented good baking skills. The top could have been a bit more crispy to contrast the soft inside, but it's a minor point to make.

The whipped cream and strawberry jam which accompanied the scones. Presented nicely, in cupcake-like bowls, they were a treat on the still-warm and beautifully baked scones. The scones were perhaps my favourite item. Really good.

A cup of my girlfriend's rose tea. She liked it. I chose the chamomile flower tea, which I also enjoyed. It was probably the best chamomile tea I've ever tasted. If you do order tea here, you can have as much as you want, and you can choose different teas to try. There are around 15 choices, in bagged and loose form, and on the basis of my experience, there are some worthy choices for tea-lovers.

Also on the cake stand were biscuits (heart-shaped and cupid-shaped) and sweets.

Note: Booking for tea is essential (24 hours in advance, at least) and 50% of the total is required to hold your booking; you'll lose it if you cancel and it's not at least 48 hours before your chosen time. If you don't want to go for tea, you can just pop by and buy some cakes, packets of tea or old fashioned pic 'n' mix (£1 for 100g).

I like bake-a-boo, and I liked the Valentines Day tea. The staff are incredibly nice, the room is very stylish and the tea and cakes are wonderful. I also like that they cater for those with intolerance to gluten and lactose. Give it a go if you're in West Hampstead.

86 Mill Lane London NW6 1NL
020 7435 1666

Opening Times:
Sunday & Monday - 2pm-6pm
Tuesday - closed
Wednesday & Thursday - 2pm-6pm
Friday - 12pm-6pm
Saturday - 10am-6pm

Bake-a-Boo on Urbanspoon


M. A. Salha said...

Cool pics. I want to eat it all.

Lizzie said...

Awh - it's all so cute! I've not heard of this place but it looks like a great find.

For Valentine's day me and my single housemate watched The Hangover and tried to push it from our minds...!