For many of us, dessert is the best part of any meal. So, in honour of those who turn to the back of the menu before even beginning to look at the starters, we’ve put together a guide to the newest restaurant trend in the capital – where you can have pudding as a beginning, middle and end! And of course, we’ve included some suggestions of where to stay nearby:
The Pudding Bar
Doing pretty much what it says on the tin, The Pudding Bar has been so popular that this pop-up restaurant is staying open throughout the festive season.
The baking at this Greek Street Soho location is handled by ex-Gordon Ramsay pastry chef Laura Hallwood, so you know you’re in for a treat. The bar is open until midnight and puddings such as honey panna cotta or apple and peanut butter baked Alaska are paired with delectable dessert wines, including our favourite, the Royal Tokaji Late Harvest from Hungary’s most famous vineyard. The Soho Hotel is just a short walk away so you could finish your evening, or early morning, with a dessert-inspired Bakewell Bellini at the Refuel bar.
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a really good ice-cream and that’s what Ruby Violet, on Fortress Road near Kentish Town, does best.
They take their work very seriously, producing in small batches using seasonal and local ingredients. The parlour is open until 10pm most nights, so you could stroll back to your hotel while devouring a Masala Chai or stem ginger ice-cream. The York and Albany hotel is between Camden and Regent’s Park, so you can walk back and work up an appetite for another dessert from the hotel’s chef Kim Woodward if your sweet tooth hasn’t been completely satisfied.
Pollen Street Social
Not just for puddings, but you don’t have to have a full three-course meal at Mayfair’s Pollen Street Social.
The venue is renowned as a London meeting place and if you want to meet over a sweet something, then there’s a special dessert bar where you can sit down to enjoy the likes of bergamot sorbet or chocolate marquise. You’re spoilt for choice for swanky hotels in this neighbourhood but The Athenaeum (where we once attended a pudding party!) is a great option if you seek elegance that matches the Pollen Street’s beautifully-constructed puddings.
Another Soho delight, Yauatcha, on Broadwick Street, may be famous for serving up Michelin-starred dim sum, but it also has a dedicated dessert bar serving up delectable sweet treats from midday until closing time.
The macaroons are (almost) too pretty to eat in pastel shades of lavender and apricot or try the Yuzu, a kind of cross between a tart and crème brulee. The Courthouse Hotel has a fabulous roof terrace where you can end your night with a cocktail while gazing out at the London skyline.
A renowned chocolatier, William Curley’s creations are on sale in Harrods.
The venue also opens a dessert bar every weekend in Belgravia. It’s not open late into the evening but is perfect as an afternoon treat, as you’ll have to get there before 6pm. Diners are treated to five sweet courses, paired with champagne. The Goring Hotel is just as steeped in history as William Curley and, being in the heart of Belgravia, makes the perfect London base.
It’s a brilliant London trend for those who love their puddings and just goes to show how dessert can be the main event.
Photo credits: Alpha, The Pudding Bar, Ruby Violet, Pollen Street Social, Yauatcha, William Curley.