Your Last Mouthful

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A vegetarian meal at Laguna Kitchen and Bar

Review by Mr V

Last week along with a couple of other foodies, I was very kindly invited to sample a 3 course vegetarian meal at one of my favourite restaurants, the Laguna Kitchen and Bar in the Park Plaza Hotel. The reason being was because last week was vegetarian week. Being an enthusiastic carniverous being I thought it would be interesting to dine without the delicious cooked flesh of a dead animal upon my plate – although before I left my house I did slip a cold chicken leg into my pocket… just as a comfort thing…

So first up, we had a selection of very nicely presented chefs canapes. There were small crispy potato cones, half with potato mousse, chilli and mint and the other half with chickpea puree and tomato and garnished with a small herby leaf. Being a hot summery day they seemed very apt. We also had a chilled gazpacho and a small salad comprising of samphire, Wye Valley asparagus, fresh peas and lemon served in a chicory leaf. All were very fresh and appetizing.

For the first course we had Heirloom tomato, buffalo mozzarella and avocado salad with greek basil and Elanthy extra virgin olive oil. Lovely soft and ripe green, yellow and red tomatoes were served just below room temperature which is how they should be and together with all the other elements the dish tasted very healthy and fresh.

The main course was excellent. Pea, shallot and ricotta tortelloni with baby spinach, broad beans and a pea puree. As well as being an enthusiastic meat eater, I am also an enthusiastic pea eater! The main taste of the dish was the fresh pea taste which simply made me smile. The pasta was well cooked, veg was nice and crunchy and everything worked very well together. The bright green colours also made the dish very visually appealing. Although a touch on the heavy side, overall I very much enjoyed the dish in terms of its taste, textures and appearance and didn’t feel in any way it could’ve done with a bit of chicken on the side.

For dessert we were served a flourless orange and almond cake with rosewater fruits and jersey cream. A gluten free dessert which tasted lovely.  Often gluten free products can be a little dry or dense but this was no different to any other well made cake. It was very moist and light, lots of orange running through it,  a generous helping of good quality thick Jesery cream and with the fruits along side it, it made a fresh and great way to end a meal.

Overall I was very impressed with the vegetarian meal, I wasn’t actually expecting to be so full afterwards, but full I was and all courses were very fresh and tasty proving that the vegetarian option on the menu is just as good a choice as all the others.

That evening, my wife found a chicken leg in my pocket. She thought it was strange I hadn’t eaten it…

We have a website with another review for Laguna Kitchen and Bar, click here to read it at www.yourlastmouthful.com

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The Park House – A gourmet meal to impress

Guest Review by Mr V

Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to the VIP/Press launch of the Park House with head chef Jon Edwards and Michelin starred consultant chef Roger Jones. Knowing the standard the Park House aspires to and the quality of the new chef and consultant chef, I was very excited about the evening ahead.

I arrived at the listed and grand building and was welcomed with a glass of sparkling – A 2008 Del Fin del Mundo Extra Brut, Patagonia, Argentina – and a lovely Vietnamese roll canapé; a small wrap filled with lobster, crevettes and spices.

After a little mingling outside in the cool evening air we were summoned in to be seated at the large banqueting table and awaited the next 8 courses with matched wine.

First up was the cured wild sewin with smoked halen mon sea salt and fresh horseradish. A delicate, soft fish that melted in the mouth, with a sharpness from the wild garlic flower, it was a very pleasant entry to the evening although I didn’t get the horseradish coming through – possibly overridden by the garlic flower, but lovely all the same. This was accompanied with a 2010 Johnny Q Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills, Australia – a soft wine matching the food very well. This wine was also for the next course.

After the fish we were then served a wild garlic and Wye Valley asparagus risotto with a pea jus. This was delicious – very fresh tasting with al dente asparagus and a slight crunch in the rice. With the bright greens and the white of the risotto it was a very appealing dish to look at as well as devour. Sadly wanting to dive in with immediate effect I forgot to take a photo.

Next up is, I believe, the chef’s favourite – the Little Haven lobster fish finger with ketchup. Certainly a delight to look at, it was fresh lobster meat rolled into a thin piece of crispy fried bread and served with a tomato sauce. It had a nice crispy outer and soft meat in the middle making it a fun and tasty little dish. This was served a 2008 Treasures Chardonnay, Padthaway, Australia.

The next dish was a caramelised Kelmscott pork with chilli squid. A juicy square of pork and lovely, perfectly cooked squid with a gentle kick of spice. A combination I haven’t really come across before but it worked excellently. I prefer my pork belly a little more soft and ‘melt in your mouth’ but was still delicious but for me the chilli squid stole the show on that plate – an absolute delight! This was paired with a 2005 Saumur Vieilles Vignes, Langlois-Chateau, Loire, France – a wine with body and strong flavours matching up to the richness of the pork and spice of the squid – a very pleasant wine.

The next dish was in my view the best of the evening. It was a carpaccio of Roe Venison, Fois Gras, Bara Brith served with a fig chutney and a caramel from reduced 1927 PX sherry. I was already looking forward to this from the moment I read the menu. When it arrived I smiled even more as the carpaccio was about 6mm thick – two beautiful, tender pieces of rare venison that had been gently seared just around the edge. The caramel sherry and fig chutney and – unexpectedly- the bara brith were superb accompaniments, not to the mention the delicious fois gras torte. The highlight of my evening. This was all matched with a 2006 Del fin del Mundo Gran Reserva, Patagonia, Argentina – a pleasant red not overpowering the venison.

Last of the savoury dishes was an asian style shin and oxtail of highland beef and a taka dhal – ‘made by a Welshman’ – with some mint yoghurt on the side. I love my spicy food and this was good. The beef fell apart as you breathed on it and the level of spice in the very tasty dahl was just right. The mint yoghurt was a nice addition as it brought about more freshness to the dish. The wine that was paired, in my view, was the best match I’ve had with a dish. The flavours of the wine seemed to create a fluid, natural progression in flavours in the mouth – like the final chapter of a well written novel. The wine was a 2008 Treasures Cabernet Sauvignon, Coonwarra, Australia.

Now for desserts. The next course simply stated ‘Boiled Egg’. With no description I knew this was bound to be a lovely tasty little surprise. And it certainly was. Served in an egg cup it was a mango puree with crème anglais topped with a sticky sweet meringue and served with a soldier of shortbread. A delight to look at and a delight to eat.

The final course was a coconut panna cotta with Mojito sorbet. A good way to end the meal with a freshness of the sorbet – icy cold with fresh mint – and the slippery texture of the panna cotta with small pieces of mango and chilli to give a little bite to it. This was all washed down with a cocktail of Mojito itself. Chin chin!

Overall the food was excellent – stylish, tasty and making good use of high quality products. This is a fine dining establishment with building and food to match and I’m sure that the new head chef Jon and consultant chef Roger will be an invaluable addition to the venue.

For a similar gourmet tasting menu, they charge £59.00 per person plus £25.00 for matched wine with each course. If you order from the a la carte menu, the starters are £10, mains £26 and desserts £7.

For more information on menus and prices please browse the Park House Website.

Our previous  reviews can also be read on our website www.yourlastmouthful.com

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Mercure Cardiff Holland House – A four star hotel with food to match!

Review by Mr V

Last week Mrs V and I were asked to review the Hodges Restaurant of the four star hotel, Mercure Cardiff Holland House. We arrived at the clean, marble clad hotel lobby and followed signs up to the first floor where the restaurant is situated. Through the bar area and into the restaurant, the barman showed us to the tables next to the large windows where we could people watch down onto Newport Road.

The decor was quite typical of a hotel restaurant, smart, stylish with patterned carpet and low level background music but very pleasant. It was a thursday night and was very quiet but apparently it does get very busy from Friday, through the weekend, even with non-guests.

The waiter came over, introduced himself and presented us with our menus. A first class waiter who instantly made us feel comfortable and welcome as he was friendly and jovial.

First for the starters. I opted for the prawn and crayfish salad, with cucumber salsa and micro herbs (£6.00). My guilty pleasure (amongst many…) is enjoying a massive bowl of prawn cocktail so I thought I’d order it and see how they get away from the ‘it’s just a prawn cocktail‘ response. Presented very nicely with a generous amount of crayfish tails and prawns wrapped in a long slice of cucumber, it was light and fresh with nice textures. There was a touch of marie rose sauce but was seperate to the prawns and crayfish tails. With the micro herbs and cucumber salsa it was a very pleasant way to start a meal – and not a cocktail remark in sight.

Mrs V had the bubble and squeak with poached hens egg and hollandaise sauce (£5.00). The knife went in and the yolk spilled out – a moment all foodies must enjoy… The bubble and squeak had a nice outer crispness which balanced nicely with the creamy sauce and egg. Nicely presented and very tasty.

Onto the mains. I went for the pan fried calves liver served with fondant potatoes, green beans and a caramalised red onion jus (£15.00). Perfectly cooked liver – very tender, al dente green beans and well cooked potatoes. Everything went well together, the sauce was just about strong enough to stand its ground againts the strong flavour of the liver but not so much as to overpower everything else. Overall a very nice dish.

Mrs V went for the market fish of the day which was grey mullet and was served with asparagus, spring onion mashed potato and sundried tomato butter (£14.50). The fish was cooked just right, a bit of crunch on the asparagus and lovely smooth mashed potato. It was a very good dish indeed – it hit all the right notes but sadly the potato was cold. When a dish is as good as that its very disappointing to have just a small factor mar the overall result. However, it was still very enjoyable.

Lastly, the desserts. Surprisingly the waiter gave us the menus again and then stressed that we should avoid the ‘taste of raspberries’ dessert. I thought he was just having a bit of a joke with us but he really wasn’t! Apparently the menu is decided by head office somewhere far, far away and despite the chef and staff asking for it be taken off it was still there – resulting in the waiter having to say that not all the items on the menu are good. When the chef is clearly very good it’s a great shame that his voice isn’t listened to.

Anyway, I went for the peach and nectarine tarte tatin with honey mascapone and butterscotch sauce (£6.00). Nicely presented, lovely honey mascapone making a good companion to the peach and nectarine.

Mrs V went for the lemon bombe (£6.00). This was a lemon meringue, with a berry compot and a small bundle of candy floss. Nicely presented with the candyfloss sat on top and a white chocolate stick sticking out of the candyfloss, envoking memories of childhood days at the fairground. It’s ceratinly nice to have something a little bit different!

Overall, the food was good and well priced. The atmosphere was hard to judge as it was very quiet but decor was warm and inviting. and despite being on the first floor of a hotel, it was still a nice place to come in off the street to have a good meal.

My last mouthful was: The bubble and squeak

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For more reviews, foodie news, competitions and the Green Spoon Directory, please see our website at www.yourlastmouthful.com

Cocorico Patisserie – Vive La France

Guest review by Mr. V

We arrived at this little gem, which sits on Whitchurch Road in Heath, at lunch time last Friday. We entered and in front of us were glass display counters of French cakes, savoury pastries, fruit and a collection of large colourful meringues.

The light interior had the standard fair of café style tables, chairs, soft benches and a breakfast bar, with people reading newspapers and filling in crosswords created a very relaxed atmosphere to while away the hours. Blackboards displaying the choice of sandwiches and drinks, freshly made bread behind the counter and rustic French signs hanging on the wall giving it the French patisserie feel.

The clientele of the café was a mixture which shows it caters for all. The pleasant atmosphere is also welcoming to anyone – whether you’re with someone or by yourself.

I was with my friend Mr B who lives just around the corner from Cocorico and comes here every Saturday morning to get a freshly baked loaf of bread. We discovered later that everything is handmade and baked by the friendly, French owner – even the bread for the sandwiches – which shows the dedication and passion he has for his business. The tea we both ordered was served in small tea pots with loose leaf tea.

We made up our minds and placed our order with the friendly waitress at the counter.
I went for a black forest ham, avocado and sun-dried tomato sandwich in a brown crusty roll. The bread was lovely and soft and a very good combination of ingredients (£3.50).

Mr B went for the Cocorico Club sandwich which had chicken, chorizo and salad on white soft, fluffy bread (£4.95). He gave it the definite thumbs up. He also went for a leek and cheese quiche which was also very nice, well made pastry and a nice warm and soft leeky, cheesy filling.

Right, onto the cakes. The cakes look fantastic and it took a while to choose. Mr B went for the orange and cinnamon cake which was soft and mousse like and a nice combination of flavours.

I went for the pineapple and coconut cake. It looked the business and the taste was even better. A French tart covered in a hard yellow icing containing a sweet, soft, cakey, crumbly explosion of pineapple and coconut with small chunks of pineapple and coconut shavings. Mr B decided to talk to me while I ate this cake but I have no idea what he was saying. C’etait Magnifique!

The prices of the cakes ranged from £1.60 to £3.20 which for the high standard is very good. In fact I took Mrs V back there the next day and bought a lemongrass, basil and lime meringue tart, a sweet chestnut cheesecake and a raspberry chibouste which put us both in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Overall, this is an excellent place to sit a while and have a good tea or coffee and have a quality bite to eat, or just pop in and take away cakes or freshly baked bread.

My Last Mouthful was: The pineapple and coconut cake

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Buffalo- Quirky at it’s best!

With a few days left of shopping time, we braved the Christmas madness and headed into town. We lasted an hour! After being bashed by numerous shopping bags, I wasn’t feeling the Christmas spirit so we decided to get some lunch instead. Due to the venue we had planned to go to not serving lunch on a Sunday, we ended up in Buffalo and stayed all afternoon!

I actually met my husband Mr V in Buffalo so it was nice to go back and reminisce. While I’ve been there a lot at night, it isn’t somewhere I would generally think of to go in the day but this recent visit has changed that. It’s a great setting for a quiet drink with a  friend or for a spot of lunch at an affordable price.

I love the decor in Buffalo. While at night, Buffalo is very trendy, by day it is very relaxed and cosy. It is effortlessly quirky with retro wallpaper, an odd combination of lamps, mismatch of picture frames and collection of randomly placed telephones. The tables are old and worn but rather than looking like they are ready to be replaced, I ended up thinking how well they fit in.

We settled at a table by the back door and looked through the menu. We were pleased to see that food was very reasonably priced and served all day. The menu isn’t fancy, its traditional pub grub, burgers and lighter bites. They also do a Sunday roast which I opted for while Mr V had a Buffalo burger (Ground beef, seasoned with ale and Welsh red mustard served on a toasted bun accompanied by herb chips and salad) and some cheesy garlic bread which was homemade on ciabatta and very good indeed.

When the food arrived, we were impressed with the quality. My roast turkey was very nice and I had a generous helping and all the trimmings were home cooked, not just boil in a bag. The red cabbage was expecially tasty. It tasted homemade which is vital in a Sunday lunch! Mr Vs burger was also very good. You could really taste the mustard and the chips were chunky and  home cut rather than oven chips.

Buffalo Burger

Overall, we were very impressed and at £7.20 for our mains, we would definitely go back. We ended up meeting a friend for drinks after eating and stayed for hours. The staff were a little abrupt but other than that, I have no complaints and recommend Buffalo for a no fuss, pub grub lunch.

Roast Turkey

My last mouthful was: The red cabbage and roast turkey

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Your Last Mouthful Website- Launching February 2012!

Launching February 2012!

http://www.yourlastmouthful.com

Yourlastmouthful.com is a new and exciting way to discover the BEST food businesses in Cardiff and the surrounding area. Whether you are looking for a fine dining experience, somewhere to go for lunch or a local food producer, Yourlastmouthful.com will provide you with the BEST food businesses Cardiff has to offer.

This is not going to be just another directory. We only promote businesses that have been reviewed and received a green spoon so you can be sure you are only getting the highest quality.

As well as a directory of the BEST food businesses, you will have access to our ‘Deal of the Week’ which will be an exclusive deal from one of our green spoon businesses, our Tweet and Eat competitions and information about food news and events in Cardiff and the surrounding area.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list to be kept up to date on things to come, please get in touch by emailing Nikki@yourlastmouthful.com

If you are a food business and would like to be listed on yourlastmouthful.com, we are currently signing businesses up at an introductory rate so please get in touch to find out more about our packages. We will need to start by reviewing your businesses as you will only have access to our website and services if your business is rated with a green spoon and therefore considered to be one of the BEST in Cardiff!

Stay tuned for more information over the coming months.

The Potted Pig- A Superior Town Centre Restaurant!

I can’t tell you how long I’ve been looking for an excuse to visit The Potted Pig! I was invited to their launch party and couldn’t make it and I have been invited out with friends to eat their several times which I couldn’t make so I have been itching to go since it opened! Lucky, Ben’s birthday last month was the perfect excuse so off we went.

Housed in an old bank voult, The Potted Pig is very unique in design. With its brick walls and metal fixtures, it has an industrial but cosy feel to it. The low lights and cosy leather seats create a nice atmosphere which is enhanced by the closeness of the tables. Very much my sort of thing.

We were shown to our table and our waiter came to take our drinks orders. Staff were very friendly and professional. They were well-mannered and well presented which gave a very good impression without being overly pretentious and they had good knowledge of the menu when we asked questions.

Before taking our food orders, we were offered complementary homemade bread. So few places do this these days so it was a real breath of fresh air. It’s something that costs so little to do and makes all the difference to us  so we were off to a good start.

The menu was varied with a nice range of meats including rabbit, pork, lamb, beef and pigeon. To start, we chose the signature dish, Potted Pig with toast and pickles and the Offaly good breakfast. Both were really good and very well presented. I particularly liked the Offaly good breakfast as it was cooked so nicely.

For our mains, I had Slow roast Herefordshire pork belly with baked carrots, runner beans, peas & gravy and Ben had a nice Pidgeon and blackberry salad. Although Ben’s salad was very nice, mine was the superior dish. It was cooked very well and the fat just melted away in my mouth. The meals are very simple but effective, rather like you might cook at home.  It is very much meat and two veg affair but it is done in a refined way which I enjoyed.

It was so good I forgot to take the photo until after I'd tucked in!

Absolutely stuffed from our mains, we looked at the desert menu but nothing grabbed us enough to try and make room so we decided against it. We’ll save that for next time.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Potted Pig and I will definitely go back. The menu is small but perfectly formed and changes throughout the year, the atmosphere inside was spot on and prices were fair. With most of the best restaurants in Cardiff being out of the town centre, the Potted Pig is a revelation!

My Last Mouthful was:  The Offaly good breakfast

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Deb’s Welsh Cakes- Take a bite of Wales

Before moving to Wales, a Welsh cake had never passed my lips but I can safely say that ten years on and Welsh cakes are one of my firm favourites. My family all love them too now and I do my best to take a pack back every time I cross the border. Over the years, my Dad has become quite the Welsh cake connoisseur and it was such a shame that he came to visit a few days before I received a delivery of Welsh cakes from Deb at Saladin House Family Foods because he would have loved them!

They arrived when I was at work but it wasn’t a problem because they fit through the letter box and were packed well so they were still in perfect condition when I came to open them despite the huge drop onto a wooden floor.

Deb obviously has a creative eye because the Welsh cakes were packaged beautifully in little gingham patterned paper parcels and tied with a red ribbon. They even had little stickers sealing the parcels stating that they were homemade and some contact details.

Sitting down to a cuppa and a Welsh cake, the kettle hadn’t even boiled before we had devoured our first one. Fresh, sweet and buttery, they had the lovely home-made taste that the ones you buy packaged in a shop just don’t have. They were dense with a slight crumbly texture and were sink-your-teeth-in soft. Just how I like them! I like my Welsh cakes to be really buttery and these were, as well as beautifully sweet. Deb had dusted sugar on the outside too which gave them a crunchy texture which I very much enjoyed.

You can buy Deb’s Welsh cakes online for £12.99 for 24 small ones or 18 large ones. You can also have them without fruit and you can even buy heart-shaped ones! I had a heart-shaped mini Welsh cake in each pack which was really lovely.

Although these are more expensive than a pack you can buy from the supermarket, they are 100% nicer and come so beautifully packaged that they would make a lovely present for someone.

All in all a top quality Welsh cake!

May Last Mouthful was: A Welsh cake of course!

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Cup and Cake Bakery- Cupcake Alchemy!

Having become quite addicted to cupcakes during all my sampling for cupcake week, I was more than pleased when Cup and Cake Bakery offered to send me a box of yet more cakes! Little did I know that this were going to be no ordinary cup cakes but nothing short of cake alchemy! Owner Mark Reardon has a way of transforming normal cupcakes into pure cake gold!

Matt delivered the cakes to me and we chatted for a while about how Cup and Cake Bakery came about. The idea developed when Matt was living in Melbourne, where he discovered a cupcake shop which baked amazing cupcakes. This planted the idea in his head that one day, when back in Cardiff, he was going to open his own cupcake shop. Having quit his job as a Finance Director in favour of further travelling, on his return to Cardiff, Matt registered as a business and started baking. Cup and Cake Bakery in Llanishan was born!

Cup and Cake Bakery’s cakes and certainly very unusual and imaginative. Matt has come up with a unique way of combining cupcakes with popular deserts. His cakes look fantastic and are very novel. Here is a run down of the ones I tried.



Lemon meringue pie cake

This one was my favourite. If you’ve read any of my cupcake week posts you’ll know that lemon is always a winner with me but this cake was not your average lemon cake. The soft spongy cake was layered with lemon curd and the icing was a soft, light meringue. Genius! This is the new way to eat lemon meringue pie for me!

Custard profiterole cake

What a novel idea! Matt suggested heating this one up in the microwave so I did. The profiterole were crammed full of lovely custard and balanced on an almond flavoured cake. Both the cake and the profiterole were top quality but for me, I think I prefer them separate but it’s still a great idea.

Rocky Road cake

This one really looked amazing! The cake was lovely with nuts running through it giving it a good crunch and it was topped with marshmallows and chocolate.More like a dessert than a cake, I had to use a spoon!

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake is another favourite of mine and this was a very good one. The cake was deliciously moist and spongy and I enjoyed the addition of sultanas. The icing was gorgeous! So creamy and zesty, yet light.

Red Velvet

This was a very nice cake but for me it was the icing that made it. Matt really is a wizard with icing and this is was the best of the lot. Made with butter and cream cheese, it was beautifully soft and creamy and somehow fluffy on the inside with a crisp outer coating.

Whoopie Pie

I was excited about trying a whoopie pie after seeing it on the website. A great alternative to a cupcake, the pie is harder than a normal cake but it is still moist on the inside. The white chocolate filling was very good. I think these would go down very well in a cafe as something a bit different.

Overall, Cup and Cake Bakery’s cakes are lovely. I’m not sure whether I would class all of them as cupcakes though as I think as soon as you need to use a spoon to eat it like with the rocky road and the custard profiterole cakes, it becomes a dessert rather than a cake. This is by no means a criticism though, just a unique direction.

Have a look at the website and see what you think. At £2.15 for a standard cake, £2.75 for a deluxe cake and £2.50 for a whoopie pie, they are priced well and well worth a try!

My Last Mouthful was: Lemon Meringue Cupcake

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The Cake House- Simple, beautiful cakes that taste as good as they look

 

CUPCAKE WEEK: WEDNESDAY

Last week, I went to visit Sarah Williams and Mariclare Carey-Jones of The Cakehouse to sample their cakes and hear about their plans to set up a cupcakery and bakehouse in Cardiff.

The Cakehouse currently operate online taking orders from the public and for events and functions such as weddings. While this is going well, it has always been their dream to open a cupcakery and bakehouse so they have decided to go for it and are currently looking for premises.

Hearing about the girl’s plans was so inspiring and their enthusiasm for their business was seriously contagious! They are clearly very passionate about baking and what they do. I left wanting to do some baking myself immediately!

On the hunt for a good location, Sarah and Mariclare fancy somewhere out of the main town centre where they can set up a cake shop in a community setting that people go to for a nice relaxing time. They want customers to feel at ease and take their time over their tea and cakes rather than running in a grabbing something while on their lunch break or on a busy shopping trip.

The Cakehouse is going to serve afternoon tea and will have all the essential items to make this authentic such as vintage cake stands, teapots and little china cups. The girls are going for a real vintage feel that is both pretty and homely.

I have no doubt at all that they will achieve the homely feel. Sarah and Mariclare are both so friendly and bubbly and as their passion clearly shows, they will have no trouble convincing the customers what a lovely place it is to be and the gorgeous cakes will speak for themselves!

All Cakehouse cakes are made with natural flavourings and local produce. They really have that ‘homemade’ taste and Sarah told me that from the start their aim has always been to make an alternative to the artificial, overly sweet cakes you can buy in the supermarket. Sarah’s basic cake recipe is one that has actually been handed down by her Grandmother and you can’t get more homemade than that!

When the Cakehouse opens, everything will be baked on the premises including bread for sandwiches and jams and preserves. There will be 6 signature cakes and ‘specials’ that will also feature each month. I sampled three of the six signature cakes and I was very impressed! Prices are not confirmed but will most likely be around £2 for a signature cake and slightly more for a special cake or a charity cake which will include a donation.

Lemon and Poppy Seed

Lemon cake is one of my favourites and I very much enjoyed this version with poppy seeds running through the sponge and the icing. The poppy seeds gave it a lovely texture and I enjoyed the way they popped. The lemon flavour was zesty and subtle and the sponge was lovely and moist.

Raspberry Ripple

This one was my favourite! Topped with a piece of coconut ice, this cake was fresh, tangy and sweet with fresh raspberries running through the sponge keeping it beautifully moist. The sweet icing complimented the tangy cake. Yum!

Coffee and Walnut

I chose this cake because I am often left disappointed with coffee flavoured things. I often find them to be too weak and I thought that trying the coffee and walnut cake would be a good test. I’m happy to say that this cake impressed! The coffee flavour was really strong and it went very well with the walnuts which were in the sponge and used to decorate the icing. The walnuts in the sponge gave a lovely crunch, I couldn’t fault this one.

All the cakes looked lovely and were packaged nicely in a simple white box. In fact, simple is probably the word I would use to describe the overall look of the cakes. There is no pretension here, just simple, beautiful looking cakes each topped with something small to decorate and just the right amount of icing so they are in no way sickly or heavy or gimmicky. Simple beautiful cakes that taste as good as they look! Perfect for afternoon tea.

Sarah and Mariclare also gave me a raspberry sponge to try. It was what they called a ‘sharing cake’ and will be available in their cupcakery. It was the perfect size to share and I think it will be a popular addition with customers.

I am genuinely excited about the opening of The Cakehouse and will definitely being partaking in a spot of afternoon tea! I really think that with The Cakehouse, it is going to be all about the experience. From speaking to Sarah and Mariclare I have no doubt you will be able to expect friendly service in a beautiful setting with delicious cakes. The full package! Here’s hoping I’ve got it right.

If you’d like to order some cakes, please see The Cakehouse website. Also look out for the Cakehouse van during cupcake week! The girls will be out and about selling their cakes so make sure you give them a try! Have a look at their website to find out times and locations.

My last mouthful was: Raspberry Ripple Cupcake

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