It’s been one heck of a day Christmas shopping. Your arms are about to drop off, your feet ache, ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ is on a non-stop loop in your head, and the queues in John Lewis are making you question whether you’ll make it out before Boxing Day. Definitely time for a cup of tea and a piece of cake, you decide; there’s simply no other way you’ll make it through. But, as you stumble hopefully into the nearest Pret a Nero, things are set to get even worse. Hysterical cries of “eggnog latte with extra whipped cream!” whirl around you, there’s nowhere to sit, and it’s so bloomin’ hot that you fear you might faint – but then you would certainly become coffee house roadkill.
My friends, if this sounds familiar then I’m afraid to say it really is partly your own fault. Choosing where to do your Christmas shopping should always be based on being able to stop for good tea and cake mid-afternoon, and for a cocktail at the end of the day. That’s why online shopping from home is so ideal. Do not venture into the big wide world for your Christmas shopping without knowing the perfect places to take a breather.
For shoppers pounding the streets of Belgravia, Sloane Square or The King’s Road, I suggest, for when it all gets too much, that you head over to The Peggy Porschen Parlour on Ebury Street. If the name sounds familiar it’s probably because Peggy is cake maker to the stars, including Stella McCartney’s wedding cake, amongst a host of equally glamorous others.
The Parlour is her first foray into the café market and, having only opened in October, it still feels like the brightest, shiniest new button in the tin. The décor is all whites, pinks and browns, with Peggy’s signature polka dots adorning everything they can. As soon as you walk through the door there’s no doubting that you’re in Peggy’s world; a much calmer, happier, brighter place than the mean old world outside.
How about a slice of Tipsy Orange Truffle to lift the spirits? That’s orange sponge infused with Cointreau, layered with whipped dark chocolate ganache. Or, would velvety white chocolate cake layered with passion fruit jam and white chocolate ganache buttercream be more effective at dispelling the memory of that oaf who trod on your foot earlier? If so, you’d better choose White Chocolate Passion. Or if you’re craving the comforting hug of nostalgia there’s Classic Victoria Sponge baked with real vanilla pods, layered with raspberry jam and vanilla bean buttercream. I think I might actually have licked my lips whilst typing that.
Their range of cupcakes is so beautiful that even I’m tempted by them – and I am so absolutely over the whole cupcake fandango that the sight of one in a window is usually enough to make me walk on by – and the teas are served in the most darling polka-dotted teapots.
As if all this were not enough, you can even do some Christmas shopping whilst sipping your tea. Beautifully decorated biscuits, Christmas cakes, gingerbread houses, jams, teas and Peggy Porschen teaware (complete with obligatory polka dots) are stacked across the Parlour.
You’ll stride out of The Peggy Porschen Parlour ready to face the hoards again. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.
The Peggy Porschen Parlour, 116 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ. Tel. +44 (0) 20 7730 1316. Website.