Food Heaven and Hell: My Royal Holiday Weekend, Part One

I'm sure I speak for the entire country when I say that I could get used to these four day weekends.

I was pretty relaxed about the royal wedding during the run up, other than being mildly amused by the number of people dedicating their time to talking about how they didn't care about it, akin to those who spend Valentine's Day talking about how they hate Valentine's Day.

But I found myself flipping over to BBC1 for 'a quick look' at the day's proceedings at 8:30 a.m. and four hours later, was still transfixed. In short:

- I liked Beatrice's hat.
- I am unsure why the motorbike convoy escorting the wedding vehicles had to wear hi-visibility jackets.
- Prince Harry has sealed his place at the top of my 'Strangely Attractive' list, although I have no doubt that I would still hate him if I were to ever meet him, being the posh Wayne Rooney that he is.
- I could have done with a toilet break, as I'm sure could have the presenters, who started to look 'squirmy' as we entered the fourth hour.
- The collective 'urgh' uttered by women across the land on seeing Sally Bercow entering Westminster Abbey with Grant and Phil Mitchell.

After a day of sitting and kvetching, it was time to get out in the sun and to check out some cupcakes. We spent an hour at the paddling pool in the park trying not to get splashed or covered in sand, then waddled down to Upsy Daisy Bakery in Stamford Brook.

We were greeted warmly, but things went downhill from there.

The interior was nice, but very small.  There didn't appear to be anywhere for a party larger than two to sit. As we were four, plus a buggy, we ended up sitting at the back of the shop, with Lucy kettling the kids on the bench which runs along the back wall.  There was only one place to park the buggy, so it was lucky that we were the only people with children, or we would have had to go elsewhere. As there is a stack of games on a bookshelf as you enter the main tea room, I'm guessing the space is meant to be family friendly, so it would be interesting to see whether tables get pushed together during busier times.

The cupcakes cost an eye-watering £2.20. The rest of the menu is also expensive.  You are apparently paying for only local or organic produce, but by way of comparison, The Wolseley charges £5.75 for a Cumberland sausage sandwich;  Upsy Daisy charges £7.25.

There were some cupcake specials on offer, in honour of the royal wedding.  Lucy chose the Eton Mess. Both the children both chose a vanilla cupcake. I plumped for a Pimms cupcake, which I was promised as being laced with a quarter shot of Pimms.

Neither of the children finished their vanilla cupcakes, saying that they didn't like them.  I tried a mouthful and had to agree: the icing tasted of stale butter and the cake was very heavy and could almost be described as chewy.

The Pimms cupcake was an interesting idea, but not executed as well as it could have been.  The cake was plain vanilla, flour-heavy and needed more sugar. For a Pimms-themed cake, I thought it was an opportunity wasted, as a Pimms or mint syrup would have beefed things up.  The icing, although definitely infused with Pimms and chopped mint, was not really icing; it was whipped cream. You can see in the photo that it had been overwhipped and started to separate.

Lucy got the best deal with her Eton Mess cupcake, although the whipped cream on top was still an odd choice on a cupcake and raspberries instead of strawberries cause a bit of debate as to whether it should be classed as an Eton Mess!

All in, not a great experience, especially at the cost. If you're in the area and want cake, then walk to Outsider Tart instead.

Which I did the next day, as it happens.

Their brownies are, quite simply, bitchin'.  More on which later.


  1. Oh dear - I almost want to go and try one now to see if they're as bad as you say! I can't believe the price of a sausage sandwich - although I used to live around the corner, and it always was a little too expensive for it's own good round there!

    We used to be major fans of OT, but when we came to Chiswick we went to the cafe to get some cakes and they were truly awful -both ended up in the bin - must blog them actually, alas in a list of other awful cupcakes I've got to blog!

  2. I had to restrain myself from spitting out the vanilla cupcake, after tasting it out of curiosity to see why the kids hated it.
    Surprised to hear you naysaying OT, as I've heard nowt but good things about it. I'll be paying a repeat visit, will let you know if you maybe just had bad luck on your last visit.