Six Sweet Sensations

Worth sharing beyond Valentine's Day 

Balthazar (London) — Having only been to Balthazar for dinner, we were intrigued with the idea of having breakfast. They are known for kouign amann from the Britanny region of France. It is made of one-third dough, one-third butter and one-third sugar — no wonder I liked it instantly. The best comparison I can think of is it is the very best part of an almond croissant. To counter this delicacy, we had the Balthazar breakfast salad (avocado, bacon, egg, quinoa, spinach, tomatoes). We also ordered the cafe latte 'bowl' — large enough for two to share. 2033 011155
4-6 Russell Street, London WC2B 5HZ

Ben's Cookies (Multiple) — Known for their chunks not chips philosophy, it is rare I pass by without taking a box of chewy cookies homes. What makes them delicious is that each shop bakes them on site and it is not unusual for them to be boxed up warm. In addition to the UK, they now have expanded to overseas locations, including Bangkok, Dubai, New York, Singapore and even South Korea.

The Hummingbird Bakery (Multiple) — Hummingbird Bakery bills itself as baking ‘authentic American cakes and desserts’. Indeed the portions are US sizes. They have huge cupcakes with black bottom, cookies and cream and red velvet varieties being family favorites. They also offer dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan cupcake varieties. Best of all you can have have them delivered to your door.

Konditor & Cook (Multiple) — Bakers to rock stars and royalty, Konditor & Cook are famous for their 'contemporary and witty cakes'. However, their decadent brownies are not to be missed. Our family favorites include: Boston (cranberry), Curly Whirly (vanilla cream cheese) and Fudgepacker (vanilla fudge with salted caramel). They claim to be the 'best brownies in London' and we agree! You can pick up four large squares for £10 at their shop or bake them at home following recipes from their cookbook, Konditor & Cook: Deservedly Legendary Baking.

Monty Bo Jangles Truffle Bar (Reigate) — A list would not be complete without mention of these award-winning French cocoa dusted truffles. A limited selection is available from local grocery stores, specialty shops and on-line. The full array can be found at their first and only retail shop and truffle bar in Reigate. The truffle sampler selection (choice of six) and crumpets drizzled with truffles are perfect for sharing. 2086 685261
57 High Street, Reigate, RH2 9AE

Udderlicious (Multiple) —When is the last time you walked by an ice cream shop in February and had to go in? This independent ice cream parlour* lets customers vote each month which 20+ flavours* are stocked in their freezers. As a bit of an ice cream-oholic, I can attest to the fact I haven't seen or tasted many of the unusual flavour combinations: builders tea and digestives, lychee and lemongrass, pomegranate and vodka, rhubarb and fig to name a few. Fortunately, you can taste before you buy and enjoy what you choose on a charming wooden swing — just right for two.

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