Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The Louis Patisserie.

I've walked past the Louis Patisserie in Hampstead many times on my way elsewhere and made a mental note to go one day. Open since 1963, it really reminds me of the places The Beatles visited in their old films, being served cake in a tea room by a stern old granny in an apron. The interior certainly hasn't changed since the 1960s.

Louis Patisserie

Nor has the design of the boxes. I wonder how many plush Hampstead birthdays have featured a boxed cake from here? (That's me live blogging in the background.)

Louis Patisserie

But on to the cakes. There were flaky slices, choux buns and eclairs, all stuffed with cream, heavy glazed fruit tarts, sweet Hungarian specialities...

Pastries

...the brown squiggles are creme de marrons, gooey sweet chestnut purée layered with cream and sponge.

Louis Patisserie

I played safe with a chocolate éclair, which was pretty perfect. My friend Des had a slice of bakewell tart but it was really sugary, she couldn't eat it. I did a safety check and it was pretty much a solid square of sugar. Disappointing. A proper old fashioned tea tray and a sugar fuelled gossip made up for it, though. Definitely worth a stop off as part of a Hampstead Heath day or a shopping day in Hampstead.

Louis Patisserie

Contact details for the Louis Patisserie here.

[First two images courtesy of Laura Nolte  and Su Lin. My photos were crap!]

18 comments:

  1. You have just gone up in my estimation considerably.

    Louis' is the best place of any description in London, bar none. (The Lexi cinema and L'Auberge restaurant in Putney come pretty close).

    I've been going for more than 25 years. It literally hasn't changed at all. I ate my first Domino cake when I was about 7 and they're still the best. They tried scrapping the tray ritual a year or two ago and replacing it with laminated menus - presumably there was outrage as the last time I was there the tray came round agani.

    Incidentally, their sandwiches are really crap - a bit of ham shoved between two slices of Hovis. But the cakes are the best anywhere.

    I remember several years ago buying a big cake for my sister for her birthday. At the time, a big cake in Pat Val would cost about £35, so I went in with £40, and was a bit nervous I'd be short. It came to £17. I think even now their big ones aren't much the wrong side of £20.

    It always used to be the ultimate treat when I was a kid. It's still the ultimate treat now. Spread the word.

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  2. Haha, thanks Eoghan! Although I'm slightly worried as to your earlier low esteem for me! Love that place, it's a bit off the beaten track for me, I need a return visit and soon. That's brilliant value for the whole cakes, must bear that in mind.

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  3. I can see that being a great place to go! what a beautiful set up!!!

    CHeers!

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  4. Ah - this is one of the first places I ever went in London! Remember the crazy Hungarian boyfriend I blogged about? When we met in '98, I was at school in the country and I came up for day trips and sneaky overnight stays when his parents were back in Hungary.

    He was Jewish (which obviously I swooned over - there was nobody Jewish in my school and it seemed kind of glamorous) and he used to take me on tours on his 'hood which included afternoon tea here. It was basically his local coffee shop but I was SO impressed. It looks exactly the same, even down to the row of 'Cohen' iced cakes.

    It tasted awful then too - but so glad that something that impressed me back when I was a naive teen is still kinda impressive now.

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  5. did you place the car outside for maximum photo opp? it's amazing!

    the cakey buns look fab too. alas i very seldom venture into hampstead but if i do i will definitely look that place up

    another winning tip from cazno!

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  6. Ahh! I love Louis! I used to live very near when I was a kid and got taken there a lot. What fab pictures especially with the matching Roller parked outside. Love it xx

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  7. PS. I think it's a Bentley actually. Whatever it is it's a gorgeous colour xx

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  8. This is one of my favourite places in London. I love how customers are on first name terms with the ladies. Didn't feel like London at all.

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  9. oh it looks perfect! I will remember when i'm up north next

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  10. I hear the 46 bus calling me up the road, despite the rain..

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  11. looks brilliant, worth a trip to Hampstead for sure!

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  12. I'd like to know who abandoned their walking frame outside - some desperate cakie?

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  13. I love Louis's altho haven't been there for ages....must go soon!

    That's his car parked outside too :)

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  14. Oh NO WAY!! I love Louis', and literally went last weekend and took pictures for my blog - please don't think I'm copying if you see it cropping up! So glad that other people have the same affection for this place (I am going back today, need to try all the cakes I can!).

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  15. oooh we're coming to London next month and am slowly compiling a list of places that we must visit. Mainly for educational purposes (museums!) but also *whisper* for food!

    spotted your blog over at Christinas and thought I'd pop over and say hello :-)

    Ali x

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  16. I have never been to "The Louis Patisserie," however the next time I'm in Hampstead, which has to be real soon, I'm seeking this place out.

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  17. my wife lived in hampstead when she was a little girl and moved with her parents further north when she was 7/8 years old.

    even now 20+ years later she has nothing but fond memories of the domino cakes, when we do the weekly shop she takes out any cakes i put in the trolly "only domino cakes allowed", im working in london this week and i have got the shop name from her mum so will surprising her with her beloved domino cakes this saturday when i go home.

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  18. #weAdoreLouis

    once saw Terence Stamp in there sipping tea (no cake) in 1988.

    a very 60s moment.

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