I’ve always had a bit of an issue with cakes in the UK. They always seem a bit too dry with a very sweet frosting. The balance was just off to me. I think it’s because people in the UK love to dump pouring cream on top of the cake which does two things: Moisten the cake and cut the sugar. The funny part about this is I’m an American, and the United States is known for its sugar-laden food. I guess I’m different. So when Yee Gan first told me about Cutter & Squidge a few months ago, everything looked amazing and I really wanted to try it. Even though I was worried about the cake. Turns out, the lovely food-obsessed sisters that started Cutter & Squidge feel the same way about the overabundance of sugar, so I’ve been really happy with everything I have had from there. I even bought one of their cakes for Valentine’s Day. Apparently I’m now a British cake convert. All thanks to Cutter & Squidge!
Not only do they have amazing cakes, they have a great selection of Biskies as well. What is a Biskie you ask? Well it’s their own creation made of two soft cookies filled with buttercream and other delicious fillings. There’s a selection of so many flavors and fillings including marshmallows, salted caramel, lychee, green tea and raspberry. But that doesn’t even begin to cover it. They also do special biskies for holidays, as they tweeted out a lovely photo of their lemon and pancake biskie that they had made especially for pancake day in the UK. They also have a great selection of homemade goodies to bring home, and I keep meaning to buy a jar of their amazing salted caramel sauce so I can make my own delicious desserts.
Starting on Mother’s Day, they are featuring a new Afternoon Tea menu at Cutter & Squidge. And I was lucky enough to get to try it before the official launch. It’s a mix of sweet and savory treats that are visually appealing but also tempt the palate.
When I arrived, they asked me which tea I wanted, and I opted for the Oolong. I’m such a huge fan of Oolong, and it’s nice that there’s a selection of great teas available. I’ve had the mint tea they have in the past as well, and it’s a tea I can highly recommend. They also provide a glass of fruit ice tea that was very refreshing. It is slightly sweet (I definitely prefer my ice tea more on the bitter side), but it didn’t stop me from finishing the whole thing. Finally, they asked whether I wanted vanilla ice cream or a vanilla milkshake. I went for the milkshake option.
When the food arrived, it looked spectacular. It’s served uniquely in stacked up Chinese bamboo steamers. Two of the steamers contain sweet goodies, and the final steamer is filled with finger sandwiches and savory scones.
I started with the sandwiches. All of them were lovely on soft bread. The egg sandwich was delightfully eggy. There was a hummus and grilled vegetable sandwich with a nice, lemony hummus and powerfully flavored vegetables. Next was cheese and pickle which is always a hit in my book, and the home made onion pickle was fantastic. Finally, there was a salmon sandwich that was probably my favorite. They were all tasty and a great way to start. I moved onto the savory scones (which is a great idea given how many other sweet goodies there are in the afternoon tea). They are served with cream cheese and an onion and vegetable chutney. The scones were very moreish, and a great end to the savory selection.
Moving onto the sweets, I first tried some of the cookies. They were lovely and crispy (which is the way I like cookies). The brownies were rich with chocolate, moist and very delicious. They have a dab of the salted caramel sauce on top that made them very moreish. The marshmellow was soft and squidgy and had even more of the salted caramel that I love so much. Finally the cake truffle was rich and moist, and it had an amazing burst of raspberry flavor that burst in my mouth. Finally, I moved onto the cake, biskie and mousse. The cake was the raspberry ripple and had a great raspberry flavor that ran through the filling. The biskie was brilliant and might have been my favorite part of the meal. It was lychee and rose, and there was a liquid center that was fun and original. The mousse was light and rich, and had a nice bit of fruit at the bottom to help cut the richness of the chocolate. And the vanilla milkshake was rich with vanilla flavor and quite sweet.
I was pretty stuffed by the time I left. There is a lot of food in this tea. And for £24.50, it’s a great deal. It is quite heavy on the sweet foods, so make sure you have a sweet tooth and are hungry when you arrive. I did notice that they gave boxes to the table next to me to take things home, so perhaps you don’t need to eat everything like I did. Whoops! That being said, while they’re probably already booked up for Mother’s Day, it would be a lovely afternoon out with your mother on any other day of the year. It’s an interesting, different and affordable afternoon tea that I highly recommend! (And if you feel more like having your own tea at home, many of the cakes and biskies are available online or in the stores to take home and eat!)
Cutter & Squidge
No 20 Brewer Street, W1F 0SJ