Archive | Carrot Cake Reviews RSS feed for this section

The Savoy – London

1 Jun

The Place

IMG_2837

My good wife and I were lucky enough to head to stay at the Savoy over the weekend.  There is no way I would every consider paying £500+ a night for a hotel of any description but this was free so I had no problem saying yes to it.

I have to say I don’t think it is a huge step above some of the nicer, if far more reasonably priced hotels I’ve stayed in across the UK.  The attention to detail from staff was exceptional but beyond that the room and the food in general etc was all of a very high quality but not of the standard that I would think would make me stump up that sort of cash.

IMG_2848

There is a cake and patisserie shop at the Savoy called Melba and we stopped in for some carrot cake.

The Carrot Cake

IMG_2846

I had a carrot cake cupcake on this visit.  The decoration was great with a very authentic looking marzipan carrot topper.  There was a huge amount of cream cheese icing, perhaps a bit too much if anything.  This was extremely fresh and enjoyable.  The texture of the cake was excellent, very moist and bitty, but for my pallet not spicy enough for a carrot cake.

Overall it was very good but not quite great.

The Drink

Not hot chocolate was consumed on this trip sadly.

The Rest

IMG_2847

Not being such a fan of carrot cake Lauren opted for a salted caramel eclair.  I’m really sorry to say that this looked and sounded that bit better than it actually tasted.  Although the texture was nice it lacked the strong flavor to back it up, which was a shame.

 

The Next Generation

14 Aug

IMG_2033

My little Llew cub eating a carrot cake bar for babies. The future of the carrot cake diaries is in good hands

You, Me, Coffee and Cake Boutique

31 Mar

The Place

This little coffee shop was tucked away in a side alley just off the main area of Bath town centre.  The outside appearance looked lovely and unique. Inside there was some nice quaint decor but also it appeared a little tired.

The cafe was utterly boiling inside. I’m sad to say the staff were not the sharpest on the ball. We were left waiting at the counter for some time, which I wouldn’t mind but for the fact there was no apology and from the somewhat zoned out waitress when we eventually were acknowledged. Service was also very slow after making the order. The cafe was relatively busy but not so much to justify the wait on food, especially when the majority of what was ordered simply needed to be sliced rather than cooked.

The Hot Chocolate

photo1

There was no hot chocolate on this occasion.  Instead I matched the cake with a flavoured latte. I’m considering changing this section to hot chocolate or lattes in future as I’m opting more and more for a coffee these days. In terms of lattes there was a wide array of syrups available. I went steady with caramel.

The Carrot Cake

photo2

Overall this was a slight miss for me.  The frosting was overly creamy with a texture that just wasn’t firm enough. The cake itself was not spicy enough and lacked that punch of proper cinnamon and ginger coming through. On the positive it was incredibly moist which made up for some of the other short comings

The Rest

photo

Satay chicken, crispy beef, spicy spring rolls and beef ribs for taps starters

I was in Bath for a birthday weekend and in the evening visited Koh Thai Tapas. This was an epic experience. As authentic as any Thai food I’ve had since I was there. Generous portions and unbelievably tasty. Well worth checking out if for the ribs alone which were sensational.

Rosie’s Vintage Tea Shop – Leamington Spa

17 Dec

photo 2

The Place

Rosie’s Vintage Tea Shop is a little boutique cafe off the main street in Leamington Spa.  A welcoming little venue that made for a pleasant break after the just under 3 hour drive to get there.

photo 3

The decor is lovely, and particularly appealing to my good wife’s taste.  In fact much of the wallpapers and decorations could have come direct from our living room.  Indeed, given the shop also sells little ornaments many of them will now, sadly, be filling even more shelves in the Hathway residence.

photo 11

The staff were very attentive and interested and a credit to the place.  There were a lot of staff on the day so no delays and while I don’t know if it was or not, it did feel like a family run business.

The Hot Chocolate

This was an absolutely delicious hot chocolate.  The flavour of the drink was a strong and bitter dark chocolate which really hit the spot.  However, it was the cream that was the star of the show.  Velvety and smooth and sprinkled with tasty coco.  A top-notch hot chocolate.

photo 5   

The Carrot Cake

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick in recent weeks.  I’ve given up alcohol (or at least I had for 4 months until a weekend ago) and I’ve eaten a lot healthier.  Overall I’ve lost about 16lbs and in the process I’ve eaten no carrot cakes.  I’m pleased to say then that the first one back was well worth it.  Not just an ordinary carrot cake but a triple layered caramel carrot cake.

The frosting was creamy with caramel drizzled throughout giving it an indulgent lift.  The cake itself was full of flavour and moist with excellent texture.  A real contender.

photo1

I also liked the little touch of providing specific cake eating folks.  Delicate little utensils that stopped me from gobbling this cake in quite as speedy fashion as I otherwise would have done!

photo 4

The Rest

I was in Leamington for a uni reunion.  I went to Aberystwyth uni but we all met there as one of my former university friends who lives in Leamington organised it.  Fair play we all scrubbed up well, even if our nights out are far more timid these days.  Middle age has got the best of us I fear.

photo

Norwegian Church – Cardiff Bay

15 Jul

The Place

I was down Cardiff Bay with a group of friends and our children to enjoy the International food festival.

1

It was a spectacular day.  The sun was shining and it was boiling hot.  On a day like that Cardiff, and Cardiff Bay in particular, can measure itself favourably against any capital in Europe in my opinion.

The Norwegian Church is a really beautiful looking building just off the main area of the Bay.

3331103317_5f5bd87f0b

The setting is ideal for a cake stop.  There is an outside seating area, which is where we based ourselves.  Inside there is a nice space.  I’ve been there for a few conferences and presentations in the past and it does lend itself to that environment as well as the more relaxed setting like we enjoyed on Sunday.

Due to the food festival being on during this visit it was all a tad manic and overcrowded.  Perhaps it wouldn’t be a fair reflection of an ordinary day but I have to say as a result service was incredibly slow when we were there.

The Carrot Cake

4

I bumped into a friend and former work colleague Rhuanedd who had just had the carrot cake and recommended it to me.  I couldn’t really say no after that.  Me, my good wife and the Gryffalo shared one piece between the three of us (at this stage we’d already had a fair helping of what the food festival had to offer).

It was well decorated with little icing carrots.  The thickness of the icing was impressive and it carried a lot of flavour.  The frosting inside the cake was delicious. Fresh and creamy. The cake itself was moist and full of flavour with great texture.  All round it was a really good carrot cake and certainly well worth a visit.

The Hot Chocolate

2

To look at the hot chocolate I was expecting big things but sadly I was disappointed.  The cream was a bit fluffy but without any real quality. The drink was watery and lacked any proper chocolate flavour. It was a shame as it really didn’t measure up to the cake.

The Rest

As with any visit to Cardiff Bay the Gryffalo forced me to ride the carousel with him.  I have no idea why he enjoys it so much as he never goes on the horses but would rather sit on the chariot.  Dull.  Still, he clearly has the time of his life so I can’t begrudge him.

photo

Birthday Afternoon Tea: Pettigrew Tea-rooms – Cardiff

25 Mar

The Place

PettigrewTeaRooms 038

I’ve been meaning to pop into Pettigrew Tea-rooms for a while and always comment on it when passing. Fortunately my good wife must have been paying attention as she arranged for us to go there for afternoon tea to celebrate my 31st.

The place is lovely inside with a vintage look and situated in Sophia Gardens it is an ideal location where the Gryffalo could then run around in the fresh air after we ate.

The Hot Chocolate

photo 1

One of the reasons I have avoided going for afternoon tea is that I don’t drink tea or coffee. Thankfully the staff at Pettigrew were kind enough to substitute in hot chocolate.

The drink itself was very nice although maybe could have had a tad more of a chocolate kick. The cream was delicious. Very silky and smooth and did really lift the drink from your average hot chocolate.

The Gryffalo however is far more content with a cup of tea.

photo

The Carrot Cake

photo 2

(My good wife was thoughtful enough to bring a birthday candle with her)

The cake was beautifully moist with a fantastic flavor. The right levels of spice with perfect frosting. Overall I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this carrot cake. Whisper it….it may very well be the best cake I’ve had yet. Highly recommended.

The Rest

photo 3

As part of the afternoon tea we also had finger sandwiches (Ham & Mustard; Beef & Horseradish and Brie & Chutney) and two huge scones with clotted cream and a selection of jams.

photo 6

All of these were very tasty and along with the accommodating staff made the day very special. Thanks to my good wife for organising.

photo 5

Wicked Carrot Cake – Bar One WMC Cardiff

24 Mar

The Place

I have previously blogged about Bar One at the Millennium Center. I’m a big fan of the place.

The Hot Chocolate

photo

The last time I blogged on the hot chocolate from the WMC it was a very nice drink. On this occasion I did find it a tad bland in flavor. It wasn’t necessarily bad but just average which was a shame as usually Bar One hot chocolates are very good.

The Carrot Cake

photo 2

This was the first carrot cake I’d had for a long while so I;m pleased to be able to report that it was good. The cake itself was not quite as spicy as I like but the texture was moist.

The frosting was delicious, creamy yet firm, and really made up for any shortcomings with the flavor of the cake.

The Rest

photo 3

I was at the WMC with my good wife, equally passionate about her hot chocolates although very often far less critical than me.

We were at the center to watch Wicked, which was excellent, and we also enjoyed a caramel slice.

photo 1

I’m a big fan of Bar One’s caramel slices. This one was very good but a bit too much of a biscuit base.

Fiori Pizzeria – Leicester square

24 Feb

Place

This cafe and pizzeria is on the busy corner of Leicester square.  The service was very quick but impersonal.  Hardly a surprise given the turnover of customers and footfall traffic that runs through the place.  Still I didn’t feel rushed while eating and the location was ideal enough given we were waiting for a show in the Prince of Wales theatre just up the road.

The Carrot Cake

photo
I have to admit this was one of the best, if not the best, carrot cake I’ve reviewed thus far on the blog.  Starting from the frosting, which is always the hero of the cake for me.  It was cool and firm just like I enjoy.  What is more there was a triple layer of frosting.  You cannot argue with that!  On top there was a decorative carrot made from marzipan which added another flavour dimension.

The cake itself had a strong but not overpowering cinnamon flavour.  There was an abundance of ingredients in the cake which gave it a lot of texture and it was moist throughout.

All in all this was a real winner and well worth being the cake to celebrate a year of the blog.

The Hot Chocolate

I didn’t have one from here but they were presented well from the ones I saw other patrons having.

The Rest

We were waiting to see the Book of Mormon musical.  A Christmas present to me from my good wife.  It was amazing. Brilliantly sung and very funny.  It is a tad close to the bone so if you are easily offended, or a Mormon, perhaps it is not for you.  If you are an easily offended Mormon then definitely do not go and see it.  Otherwise I would highly recommend it.

The Great NUT Cymru Xmas Bake Off

16 Dec

Forget PISA tests it was the results of the Great NUT Cymru Xmas Bake Off that has had the education world on the edge of its seat this year.  My entry was an improved version of my Carrot Cake.  The significant changes I made included doubling the amount of mixed spices and ground cinnamon I included; using buttercream instead of cream cheese icing and the decorative NUT marzipan carrots.  I did intend to cover the whole cake in icing but it didn’t happen, which I think was an error on my behalf.

On the presentation I think the carrots gave it a bit of glamour but there’s a fair bit of work to go in the icing stakes.  It certainly could have looked prettier but I wasn’t too disappointed.  Feedback on the taste was very positive and I felt I was in with an outside chance.

photo 2

photo

There where some other cracking entires mind as seen below.

photo 3

Christine’s Pear and pecan cake

photo 1

Glesni’s Xmas tree themed fruit cake

photo 5

Lisa’s Christmas Baileys Log

photo 4

Andrea’s Cherry Brandy Chocolate Pots. 

photo8

And finally, Debbie’s Cherry Bakewell Tart

In a contest that the judges took painstakingly serious, the eventual winner was………

….The bakewell tart.  Delicious it was too.

Kemi’s Pontcanna

19 Nov

The Place

As some people will know I’m a massive fan of Cafe Brava. Unbeknown to me Kemi’s is located at the other end of the same street. I have previously blogged on carrot cake from Kemi’s from their now closed outlet in Cardiff Bay.

While I didn’t eat in, the place itself is lovely and light with a large window to watch the world go by. This is definitely somewhere worth visiting on a slow day or a quiet weekend. Ideal hangover recovery I’d imagine.

The staff member who greeted me was really friendly and welcoming. For the record he recommended the key lime pie to me. Maybe I’ll give it a try next time I pass.

The Carrot Cake

photo

They were out of the usual carrot cake and so I ended up having a slice of the carrot, rum and pineapple cake. My obsession with carrot cake is clear to see from this blog. I am also a big fan of rum. I do, however, hate pineapple. I would have passed it up but I was getting the cake for an ‘In Conversation With….’ piece I’ll be publishing later in the week so I was committed.

On the negative side the cake wasn’t particularly spicy. With the inclusion of rum I would have expected more of a kick so that was a little disappointing.

The positives, thankfully, far outweighed the negatives. The pineapple flavour was very timid but its inclusion was good as it added a different texture to the cake. The cake itself was moist and the frosting was up there the best I’ve had. Creamy yet firm.

All in all a very nice and refreshing carrot cake and well worth a return visit in future.

The Hot Chocolate

Sadly as I was on the way to do an audio blog I didn’t stay to sample any hot chocolate. Maybe next time, with a slice of key lime pie.