When looking to plan a perfect day out and about; for me it would be a morning moseying around local antique and second-hand stores, a stop off somewhere for some tea and cake (or a cheeky chai latte, if it’s on offer) preferably at a quaint café where the cake is homemade, then an afternoon wandering little side streets with another coffee to walk around with.
Now I’ll be honest with you all the antique stores in Shoreditch are quite simply not my cup of tea. I think they’re overpriced and Shoreditch itself I find to be rather stressful!
When antique hunting in London I find it best to scour the internet first instead of hopping straight to Shoreditch and some of the best places I’ve found so far are in the SE London. Crystal Palace antiques and Love Atomica which has a space Croydon are fantastic, if you’re looking for vintage furnishings! Maybe you’re looking for a tea set just like your Grandma used to have and you remember it from your childhood, or a funky 1960s Mad Men style bureau. Places like this are really worth taking a look round and they won’t have you forking out so much money that you end up thinking – “was it just worth buying something similar from Ikea?”
My favourite haunt as of lately is Mabel’s Five & Dime, in Sydenham. Now hold onto your seats kids it gets better, there’s also a cute little café next door… I know right?
However Mabel’s is only open Thursday through Saturday, but this should just further the urgency to go and visit!
It’s such a perfectly sized store and is curated beautifully. The owner handpicks everything that goes into Mabel’s (by the way if you’re curious Mabel is a cute little pup) and the way everything is displayed instantly made me personally want to spend a lot of time there, just to make sure I didn’t miss a beat. The store stocks everything from furniture, china, books, toys, clothes/accessories and plenty of vintage fabric. Even better, if you do see an item of clothing you do have your eye on there’s a changing room!
I knew as soon as I entered that I’d be walking away with something and that I did! Now would you honestly believe me if I told you that these finds came to £24 altogether? I know right! I didn’t think they would either to be perfectly honest. But it just showed me what vintage and antique stores can be like once you venture away from Central and East London, and I’m eager to find more to visit.
If you know of any fantastical vintage/antique stores on the outskirts of London that I simply must go and give some love, then please do send your recommendations my way. Or if you know of any around the country, I will make it my mission to go visit those too!
When I say, “How about we go somewhere for some tea and
cake?” Where does your mind go to?
Could you demolish a cupcake with a pot of tea (for one,
of course)? A slab of cake, that’s four layers high with a latte to compliment
it? Or is it a case of “sod the cake; I’m going to be controversial and go for
a biscuit or a pastry”. Whatever your preference
I’m going to test out as many places in London that specialise in
tea/cake/coffee/all of the above! Why Quinn? I hear you ask. Well, my lovelies
I shall tell you. Whenever I have friends or family come to visit it’s the same
conversation every time!! Tell me if this sounds familiar?
“Where would you like to go?”
“Oh I don’t know,
why are you asking me? You pick, you live here”
“No, no! That’s exactly the point. I do live here. You
don’t, you’re visiting. It’s up to you!”
“Well, where’s nice?”
It continues like this until I one of us ends up in
I’m a habit I can’t break! I go to the same places; it’s
no doubt a Costa Coffee or Starbucks to make things easier on my guests. That
way everyone’s happy! Now don’t get me wrong- I love a Costa Coffee chai latte
as much as the next person (I really do. It’s my absolute fave). However, I feel
I need to expand my knowledge! So when that opportune moment comes where I have
to recommend a place I CAN without hesitation!!
To begin my journey, if you will, I thought I’d start at a place that seems to feature most heavily on my Instagram.
Oh my goodness. To say I was super excited to try this place is a MAJOR understatement and I definitely didn’t want venture here alone (although if you know me I’m all for a solo trip!) For this adventure I asked my darling friend Andy to join me, he’s one that really appreciates trying new places and it’d been so long since we had a good catch-up with each other. Put it this way, I greeted him by saying “Happy New Year”. No need to check your calendars I’m fully aware that it’s February. Like I said it’d been a while since we’d seen each other and knew this would be a great place for a chinwag!
Now From photographs this café looks like pure joy; as if
Glinda the good witch floated down to Belgravia in her pink bubble and created
a café completely based on her look and filled it with social media goodness.
That goes for the treats too.
Attention shoppers! There’s only ONE (singular sensation,
sorry, MT reference for ya’ll) Peggy Porschen currently. There’s a second
opening in Chelsea soon, but no date on the opening just yet. It’s a short walk
from Victoria station and even shorter from Victoria coach station. Believe me;
you can see it from the top of the street and as you walk more towards it you’re
met with this beautiful pretty in pink exterior which is absolutely covered in flowers! Honestly, it’s
truly gorgeous. It did start to rain, but it didn’t dampen our spirits and we
began to queue with the others who were also eager to try this chic bakery.
Just to forewarn you lovelies, Peggy Porschen is immensely popular and I would 100% recommend
visit on a weekday if it’s at all possible to avoid long queues!
Luckily we only queued for a total of 10-15 minutes. Personally I don’t think that’s bad, I’ve definitely queued longer in Primark (am I right lovelies?) but do beware you do have to queue outside, just in case you were wondering. However I reckon our queue timing could have been reduced if it was a sunnier day as they do offer outside seating. But queuing aside, it’s all worth it when the lovely front of house staff open the door to fetch you and bring you into a world of adorable pink Parisian chic (I didn’t even intend for that to rhyme!)
Hold the phone. You’re going to want to take some photos.
The décor is charming and absolutely adorable! Everything from the cute flower
arrangements to the light fixtures, and I haven’t even got started on the cake
yet (which is of course laid out beautifully, by the way!)
So let’s move swiftly onto what treats they had in store for us!
Andy and I both opted for a pot of tea for one (pfft, I was not sharing my tea with no one!) It works out slightly more cost effective buying a pot for two, but we really wanted to try a bit of everything. They have your traditional teas such as Afternoon and Earl Grey, but also teas for the more adventurous and I knew instantly that Andy would definitely opt one of those! So in the end I stayed quite traditional with the Earl Grey with orange and Andy selected the Sugar Plum tea…. SUGAR PLUM TEA!! I KNOW! Definitely one for those with a sweet tooth and who aren’t put off by brightly coloured tea (It was a very vibrant purple)!
Selecting a slab of cake or one of their deliciously, inviting
cupcakes proved rather difficult. Honestly the selection process was hard! It was
as if it was the literal Hunger Games and I had to choose one of those cakes to
go into battle (with my stomach) “may the odds ever be in your favour”. Every
single one of their flavours sounded heavenly and pretty traditional in terms
of what’s available at most tea and cake shops nowadays. No real wildcard
option, all quite safe options but by god did they all look and smell good! The
two flavours we (eventually) decided upon were salted caramel and the lemon, raspberry
and rose cake.
I’ll give it a second whilst your mouths are watering.
These cakes let me tell you were both WINNERS. They tasted beautiful and oh-so (apologies) moist. What I loved most about the salted caramel layer cake is that instead of a traditional buttercream sandwiched between each layer they used pure caramel. This BLEW MY MIND! It tasted rich yet light and fluffy, and I know how difficult that can be with that type of cake. But what they achieved was absolutely stunning! I can’t tell you how devastated I was once I realised that my plate was empty.
The lemon, raspberry and rose cake was such a kapow of flavours that I did not see
coming!! It arrives looking so delicate, matching in wonderfully with the décor….
Then you taste it. Wow. If you ever wondered what pink tastes like. IT’S THIS
FLIPPING CAKE!! You immediately get this rush of raspberry flavouring that’s
amazing and not at all tart (which I was afraid that might happen and it didn’t!)
As the cake is simmering down on your palette then the lemon flavour decides it’s
time to make an entrance; it’s almost like an after taste but a really good after taste. I honestly can’t
remember if I got much of the rose or not, but the cake tasted that good I genuinely
don’t care that I didn’t!
I must admit, I did have a few concerns that in coming to Peggy’s you’d be surrounded by people glued to their phones, constantly snapping photos for Instagram and such. But I’m happy to report that if you also had those concerns then I can put them to rest for you! Yes, people were taking photos (I mean c’mon, it’s unquestionably stunning both inside and out, why wouldn’t you?) but it wasn’t to the extreme where no one was enjoying themselves or being antisocial. It was a lovely atmosphere and we were all clearly very happy to be there! There were younger people, mothers and daughters, families, husbands and wives. Just anyone wanting a lovely afternoon in this quaint setting with a good cuppa!
Oh and me? Well I personally cannot recommend this place enough! I’m firmly on board the Peggy Porschen train and cannot wait to take someone else with me to indulge in the pretty chicness of it all.