A Date With Hot Cakes at Hummingbird Bakery
Dessert lovers have we got a treat for you!!! Nestled into it’s new home on Frying Pan Alley in the heart of Spitalfields is the latest addition to the Hummingbird Bakery brand. You may have noticed that there’s been an explosion of cupcake bakeries in London of late (not that we’re complaining), and Hummingbird are leading the charge. I mean you’d have had to be vacationing in Mars not to have heard the buzz about this place. Just in case you have been, I took it upon myself (and boy did the team have to twist my arm ☺) to attend their media night…a cupcake decorating masterclass! Oh it’s a hard knock life!
More eager than a 5 year old I arrive ten minutes early and wait for the bakery to re-open. As I salivate over the moist, superbly whipped buttercream topped goodness evilly taunting my tastebuds in the windows, I noticed a significant number of people whose bright eyes suddenly became dejected on realising the bakery closed early. They turn and slump back to whence they came as if life had lost all meaning. Hmmm I think to myself the cupcakes are that good??
Finally the doors open and I’m transported to a 1930s housewife’s kitchen in their signature pink and chocolate, complete with kitsch cabinets and retro-chic coffee maker. I immediately feel at home, complimentary champagne in hand and the smells of baked goodness wafting through the air.
Ornate cake stands line the counters hypnotising me with their labels; red velvet cake, pecan pie, chocolate devil’s food cake. Have I died and gone to heaven? Waking me from my trance is James Mitchell, Communications Manager at Hummingbird who gives me a tour of the premises pointing out the bespoke artwork done in-house by their graphic designer.
“Ornate cake stands line the counters hypnotising me with their labels; red velvet cake, pecan pie, chocolate devil’s food cake. Have I died and gone to heaven?”
Drawn to an impressive cake display in what I later find out is the consultation room, I met Brian Lewis, Operations Manager at Hummingbird. Passionate about the brand we talked about their bespoke service that caters to the huge corporate industry surrounding the location as well as weddings and celebrations. He also spoke of founder Tarek Malouf ‘s vision, the branch’s success since opening in May and Hummingbird’s loyal and ever growing fan base of which Brian explains social media plays a huge part. Their success is no surprise, baked fresh in store everyday their cupcakes are absolutely divine!
Finally aprons are handed out and we are escorted into the inner sanctum where all the magic happens….. ‘the hummingbird Kitchen’ and introduced to Product Developer, Emma Power. This lady has the best job in the world, not only does she have the task of testing & approving the quality of cupcakes in all branches but she’s also the brains behind all their amazing flavours & combo’s. I’m personally miffed that I missed their last cupcake promo, exotic fruits. Watch out for the next one, something that harks back to our childhood. I can’t possibly say anymore, Emma will hunt me down otherwise but keep checking their website and twitter feed for news!!! So Emma proceeds to relay her decorating expertise and some trade secrets to us novices. Suffice to say my decorating efforts looked a HOTmess (I blame the copious amounts of champagne they plied me with ☺) but who cares when they taste that good!
Sadly the evening came to a close and as my red velvet cupcakes were packed into their cake box I contemplated life as Emma’s assistant but figured it wouldn’t be fair as I’d clearly outshine her ☺!
The Frying Pan Alley store joins three other locations in London; Old Brompton Road, Portobello Road and Wardour Street. Alongside the bakeries are a number of best selling cookbooks so the adventurous amongst us can try recreating their delights at home. They’ve really made sure there’s a multitude of ways to get your hands on Hummingbird’s scrumptious treats so order the books/cupcakes online or get down to your nearest store and try for yourself. In the name of research, I’m assigning myself the task of trying out every location just to make sure their consistent!