There are three main reasons why people would visit Hampstead. Obviously Hampstead Heath is one of them; other than Primrose Hill, Hampstead Heath is probably the only other vast open space that offers a relatively unobstructed view in central London, and Londoners just can’t get enough of it.
The other one would be the Everyman Cinema that offers Baby Cinema screenings on Thursdays. However, the tickets, at £13 each, are a bit dearer than Islington's Screen on the Green Baby Club (also of Everyman Cinema chain). And I have been told that the cakes served at the Everyman cinema at Islington Green taste better as well.
Finally, people (at least we do) make a trip down to Hampstead for La Creperie de Hampstead and Louis Patisserie. This Hungarian patisserie, which is located along Heath Street, is always packed especially in the late afternoons so much so that there are two queues – one for eat in and the other for takeaways.
Louis Patisserie is one of those cakes shops which variety of cakes, pastries and bread on display would just stop anyone walking past, even those without a sweet tooth, in their tracks. If you find yourself staring at the rows of cakes on display, you are not alone for there were quite a number of passersby whipping out their phone and begin snapping away while we were queuing up for a table.
With a relatively small seating capacity, it never ceases to amaze me how Louis Patisserie managed to squeeze in that many people. Interestingly, despite being almost seating shoulder to shoulder with total strangers, people were able to carry one having conversations with ease and lapping up the tea and cakes on saucers and plates precariously balanced on the small tables. It was as if they were somewhat relieved at finally getting a table.
One bonus for eating in is that instead of having to jostle with the takeaway queue at the display counter (since there is no menu available), a staff would be approach your table with the entire cake selection on a rectangular platter. If memory served me correct, there was easily more than twenty of them. I felt like having a go at all of them but obviously that wouldn’t do my diet any favour not to mention that it would blow a hole in my wallet too. We settled for a simple tiramisu and a walnut chocolate cake instead.
To be honest, the cakes at Louis Patisserie weren’t mind blowing. Costing around £3 upwards, they weren’t the cheapest either. But I suspect that those seated in the narrow shop chatting animatedly while taking occasional sips from their teacups weren’t really there for the cakes and tea. As I have always believed, it’s more about the entire package than the food per se. In that aspect, the dainty Louis Patisserie delivers.
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Louis Patisserie review Hampstead Hungarian cafe - cakes that'll keep you staring