No 422-434. Get a taste of New York City in London

20 Dec

There is one thing I will always be grateful to New Yorkers for; the American version of a cupcake.

I’m not talking about the fairy cakes we Brits used to know and love.  You know the ones – a thin layer of icing on top and decorated with silver edible balls or hundreds and thousands.

Oh no.  I’m talking about sky high cream cheese icing in flavours that Willy Wonka could have come up with.

Cupcakes are everywhere nowadays and although a lot of them are very pretty, it’s hard to find one that tastes as good as it looks.  As someone who is very greedy, take it from me that Hummingbird Bakery has managed to achieve both.

Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Road

Hummingbird Bakery on Portobello Road

I first discovered Hummingbird when I worked near the branch on Portobello Road.  Next time you’re there, just watch the reaction of people as they walk past.  Very few can pass by without the smell of cupcakes stopping them in their tracks.  And the shop itself is straight out of a fairytale.  It fits in so perfectly with the old school feel of that part of Notting Hill.

Just a few of Hummingbird's cupcakes

Just a few of Hummingbird’s cupcakes

Their best seller is the Red Velvet cupcake but my favourites are the black bottom cupcake which has a chocolate fondant piece in the chocolate sponge, and the carrot cupcake.

With a different special each day of the week, you are totally spoilt for choice.  And that’s not even including the giant slabs of cake or tray bakes they also have.

My two gripes with Hummingbird are 1) it’s lost some of what made it special by opening up everywhere; the Spitalfields branch is sadly nowhere near as magical as the Notting Hill one.  And 2) the prices have really been hiked up.  At the risk of sounding like an old biddy, I used to be able to get a take-away black bottom cupcake for £1.25 and now it costs £2.50.  The last time we went there, we spent £15 on one piece of cake, one cupcake, a tea and a coffee.  Personally, I think that’s a bit much for tea and cake, however good the cake might be!

Will I go back again?  I’m sure I will, but I will always pine for the good old days when I had just discovered Hummingbird cupcakes.

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