A day of pottering about the lovely Hampstead area today – oh to be an NW3 dweller! – and I was lured into Louis Pattisserie by the sight of delicious cakes in the window and the patient queue of people waiting for what I assumed must be a good afternoon tea. All in the name of research, I felt it necessary to join in with the queuing, and eventually the sipping and the nibbling.
I can’t complain about the tea or the lovely crockery within which it was served (see below) but I have to say the whole experience left me feeling like I was in a time warp, and not in the good way. The place had a distinct musty smell and the carpet looked like it hadn’t been replaced since the 1960s when Louis was first established. Now I’m all for vintage style but I couldn’t help feeling the owners were being a little mean with their investment in the upkeep of the interiors of their tea shop. Still, it would appear that others are able to overlook such shortcomings (or perhaps find them charming?) as the reviews in Time Out are wholly positive and enthusiastic.
Speaking of vintage things, I have to share these gorgeous tea cups I picked up in Oxfam in Keswick of all places. The crowded shop was jam-packed with vintage cups and saucers and the kind of old-school paraphernalia you get for being located in a town where the majority of the population are over 60 and inclined to donate their second-hand goods to charity. Like Louis Pattiserie, it also smelt a little musty but I have no right to moan as I picked up six cups and saucers for a mere £4! Total bargain, the money went to a good cause and I’m reusing/recycling, so ticking a lot of Elle Tea boxes!