My best pal moves to Australia next week and I’m really bloody sad about it. Luckily for us though, the Aussies are giving us something back in return, as the infamous hole-in-the-wall Brisbane doughnut shop Doughnut Time has set up a permanent home on Shaftesbury Avenue!
Ask any Aussie and they’ll probably know about these doughnuts. The pop culture-inspired artisan doughnut company is dedicated to producing fresh batches of hand-made, glazed and decorated doughnuts. And these doughnuts are utterly huge with each one about twice the size of a Krispy Kreme, and most certainly denser than a Crosstown creation. They also have some of the greatest pun-led names which delight me to no end.
Until now, you could only enjoy these doughnuts if you managed to find their pop-up shop in Old Street Station, or if you went to the land Down Under (not so convenient but does mean you can avoid the Northern Line) but now they have their own bricks and mortar shop AND Doughnut Academy upstairs right in the heart of Theatreland, which will provide customers with the chance to showcase their artistic flair as they create, decorate, customise and turn their own doughnut dreams into reality.
In honour of its new home, the doughnut dream team have crafted a bespoke British bite – the cult film-inspired Love Actually, a fragrant Earl Grey tea glaze with tart freeze-dried raspberries and heart-shaped jammie dodgers! What a dream!
Because I have the best job in the world, I was allowed to take a box of some of the best back to my office (much to the delight of my colleagues) to give them a try. We decided that one each was actually a little too much for a Friday morning (this is apparently sensible adulting) so my colleague Emily and I split the Creme De La Creme one in half to share, while my other colleague Nyasha and our intern Mallory shared the It’s Always Gay Time which is the best seller in Australia and has a milk chocolate glaze, crushed biscuits, golden caramelised crepes and filled with honeycomb custard!
The Creme de la Creme is sensational, with a thick custard which oozes out with literally no elegance what-so-ever (excellent feature of a filled doughnut) and a lattice of burnt sugar on top which offers some bitter relief from the sweetness of the rest of the creation (which, for reference, is basically the size of my face!)
Meanwhile, the It’s Always Gay Time doughnut was extremely sweet and to be consumed ideally in moderation (grab your best buddy to share it or exercise restraint and save some for later) but the verdict on the whole from my team was extremely positive!
Unfortunately, we all hit the sugar wall by lunch-time and four doughnuts still remain to be eaten, but I’m particularly excited about trying the Sia Later vegan red velvet creation which I was assured has a butter cream as delicious, if not more so than it’s original dairy counterpart, and quite frankly I may need to have some alone time with the Love At First Bite.
I still don’t want my best pal to leave me, but if it takes filling the void with doughnuts like this, I can probably make my peace with it.
The future is sweet for Doughnut Time as it continues its UK expansion, with stores set to open in Old Street, Notting Hill and Shepherd’s Bush later in the year, but until then you can find this little gem at 96 Shaftesbury Avenue.