I made a bit of a late discovery last week. After 6 months of working just a 2-minute walk away from this gorgeous little cafe, best pal Milly and I decided that the coffees we so desperately craved should not be bought from ice-poo infested Cafe Nero, but instead from Cutter & Squidge, which happens to be perfectly located equidistant from both of our offices. This is dangerously convenient for my sweet tooth cravings which hit all too frequently these days, and now I know what is on offer, I don’t think my self-restraint is going to hold up!
On our first visit, we only went in for a coffee. Honestly. But then this turned into a Matcha Latte for me as soon as I saw they were available (matcha addict right here) and being able to customise it with sweet vanilla was a bonus. Milly ordered a frothy cappu as our eyes were suddenly drawn to the glass counter filled with beautiful Biskies!
A Biskie, in case you don’t know, is a fresh, unique handmade sandwiched dessert. A creation of biscuit/cookie/cake filled with our special lightened buttercream, handmade jams, caramels and other delights. And they are BEAUTIFUL.
Milly and I looked at each other as the girl behind the counter listened in intrigue to our conversation as we stood there ogling the pretty little Biskies on display.
“Shall we share one?’ I asked.
“Why wouldn’t you have one each?” she piped up. I explained I didn’t want to ruin the health streak I was currently on (which had begun at 8am that morning with a run around Hyde Park equalling a total of 5 whole hours of healthiness at that point) She counter argued with a killer punch “our buttercream is actually 50% less fat/sugar/bad things that will make you hate yourself, so really, you’re already having half of one by having a whole one, so you might as well…”
I LIKE YOUR LOGIC, MADAM, LET’S HAVE ONE EACH.
So we did.
I chose the Pistachio and Roseberry Biskie which is part of the Summer 2017 collection and available until September. The biscuit was fresh and supple, the buttercream inside smooth but not sickly and the little meringues has a lovely crispiness to them. I managed to finish it without being left with that guilty, sick feeling… the absolute dream!
Milly enjoyed hers too, which was a Raspberry S’more which she ate with all the elegance and grace I’ve come to expect from her.
And then this week, Milly and I returned to sample the delights of the brand new Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea which launched officially yesterday!
This magical Limited Edition Afternoon Tea Experience is served in their very own Genie’s Cave, downstairs below the cafe. Descend the stairs and you find yourself in a room decorated from floor to ceiling with treasures, jewels, sequins and elegant and regal lighting. There are golds and purples everywhere, and not a detail has gone without thought. Even the soundtrack, a collection of instrumental versions of classic Disney tunes (basically the entire Aladdin soundtrack) hits the nail on the head with the theme!
Milly and I sat down and were offered a glass of Prosecco (yes to lunchtime drinking on a work day!!!) to get us started, and asked to choose which of the wonderful teas to enjoy. My eye was caught by the exclusive speciality fruit teas while Milly opted for Earl Grey. Both were served in the most incredible golden lamp-like teapots which they had imported from a far-away land (which I think was Morocco…) As we sipped and gossipped, our first delight arrived: ‘A Genies Welcome’ is made with Raspberry, Pomegranate, Pashmak, Meringue and is a glass of fresh and tangy flavours, sweetened up with a light as air toasted meringue lid. With strings of candy floss, it tastes like the happy memories of your childhood and is a glorious way to start your experience.
This is followed by the presentation of the cake tiers which hosts a mixture of savoury and sweet treats. With finger sandwiches: Cucumber & Fresh Mint, Cheese & Tomato Jam and Coronation Chicken, and then miniature savoury wishes of Dessert Rose Tart, with thinly sliced roasted vegetables, Savoury Scones Swirls with roasted peppers and feta cheese, and Golden Cheese Clouds. The Dessert Rose tart was exquisite, like a sweet pastry quiche. The scone swirls had plenty of flavour, with a sweetness from the peppers which was balanced out with the feta, while the miniature golden cheese clouds were adorable, and came with a delicious savoury chutney and a cream cheese.Onto the sweeter bits, we started at the top with the Vanilla and Strawberry ‘Ruby Dream Cake’, topped with an orange glaze and a gorgeous jelly ruby. Incredibly moist and dense with fruity sweetness.
Alongside the Biskie came a Hidden Gem Macaron, with peanut butter and jelly, decorated with a genie’s lamp dusted on top. Gorgeously light with a smoothness you’d expect from a quality macaroon. They were devoured in one.
The ‘magic carpet cookies’ were delightfully light and crisp shortbread biscuits, with a butteriness that was delightfully crumbly – I could have enjoyed a whole plate of these as shortbread is one of my favourites, and the Raspberry & Rose Tart, sprinkled with pistachio emeralds was packed with light, fresh and zingy raspberry mousse was also a favourite of mine on the tiers.
And to finish, no Cutter & Squidge Afternoon Tea would be complete without a Biskie, and this one was really something special. With a decadent chocolate flavour and filling, it comes topped with 24 Carat Gold. It is rich but being made with good quality chocolate, it is easy to eat, though it is so beautiful, you may find it difficult to destroy.
The Genie’s Cave Afternoon Tea starts at £29.50 per person for a bubble-free experience, and you can even purchase vouchers as a gift for your loved one. This is the perfect Afternoon Tea experience for anyone who enjoys the attention to detail in both the theme and the food, but even if you don’t fancy the Afternoon Tea, the offerings in the cafe upstairs are perfect for kerbing those sweet cravings while you gossip with your best pal.