We all know that Lola’s do an incredible cupcake. They proved that when they started charging £3 for these little treats and we flocked in our masses to get a hold of one and this was before Instagram. Now this doesn’t seem anything shocking but back in 2006 it was unheard of. What I didn’t know until recently is that Lola’s now have their own restaurant named Lola’s Bakery, a little confusing I know, but bear with the name and you’re in for a treat.
Located in fashionable West Hampstead is this restaurant that serves breakfast, all day lunch, a whole host of baked goods and the famous cupcakes. As I was seated, I couldn’t help but marvel at the mix of people that West Hampstead attracts. On one side was a group of 4 teenagers with man bags draped across one shoulder taking turns to rap about ‘making bars to cop a yard’, in normal English this translates to making thousands to buy a house. On the other were two young women in full yoga gear discussing their relationship issues. What they had in common was the weird looks they gave me as I stood up to photograph my food before eating it.
The menu is riddled with appealing options including shakshuka, French toast, pancakes and chia seed puddings, after all life is about balance and sometimes you have to eat healthy. I decided to go healthy first so that way I could indulge in a cake later and feel absolutely 0 guilt about doing so. Scrambled eggs are a dish that are very easy to get wrong, I know this from cooking them terribly myself as well as eating overcooked dry scrambled eggs at various hotels breakfasts. Here though, they are fluffy and plentiful. The little description says 3 eggs although I suspect the chef may have been generous and given one more and I’m all for it. It’s also great when you have the CEO of Free Soul, one of the best protein companies around, grinding your pepper for the photo. At £4.50 it seems an absolute bargain for London. A few stops further down the Jubilee line and you’d find yourself paying upwards of £10 for a smaller version of the same dish. Bravo Lola’s!
If you come here on a Sunday for brunch, I promise you, choosing a cake from their mouth-watering selection will be hardest thing you do all day. Mary Berry herself would be grinning from ear to ear just looking at all the cakes, cupcakes and pastries.
After much um-ing and ah-ing on my behalf, I settled on a slice of carrot cake. Maybe it’s just me, but London has a lack of great carrot cake (suggestions more than welcome). Again, the portion is properly sized, no tiny little slice on a plate. Rather than a coffee with my cake, I asked for a glass of cold milk and got a puzzled look in response. I don’t know why people find it weird, in the comfort of our homes we happily dip cookies into milk and to me it is the perfect accompaniment to a piece of cake. My drinking habits aside, let’s talk cake. It was rich, moist, textured with nuts and full of flavour, but something was missing and I can’t pinpoint what. I was full but I wasn’t 100% satisfied knowing that the cupcake equivalent is just that bit better. The glass of cold milk was a delight though.
If it weren’t for the queue of people by the door, I would have happily sat for another hour or two with a coffee or perhaps a pineapple smoothie. This is the kind of place where you can settle down with a book and a bite to eat and the hours could pass by. As a generation, we are obsessed with brunch, obsessed with fancy plates and obscure combinations, lattes in avocado skins anyone? It is a breath of fresh air to find somewhere that focuses on nailing the basics and also lets you pick up a box of 4 cupcakes to take home.
£10 of this meal was paid for by Lola’s as a result of being sent a VIP Card by them.