I know a lady who likes to eat dessert before her main course and, while I prefer my sweets after savouries, I always thought the idea was deliciously naughty.
Turning pudding into the star of the show has a ‘Let them eat cake’ type of decadence.
So I couldn’t wait to check out the Pudding Parlour at the Athenaeum Hotel, the ideal spot to get your just desserts.
I was invited to a blogger’s night out organised by Janis of Really Kid Friendly and Laura of London Baby, a chance to schmooze and booze with foodie and city bloggers and dip our spoons into what the Pudding Parlour had to offer.
The Athenaeum is a classy boutique hotel in Mayfair with eclectic decor and a stirred, not shaken kind of vibe. Janis said she deliberately chose somewhere with stairs and a grown-up atmosphere – ‘We’re out, free from buggies, let’s make the most of it’!
It was great to catch up with (or finally meet) bloggers and editors from Jenography, Not a Notting Hill Mum, Urban Mums, West London Mums, North London Mums, Maison Cupcake, Red Ted Art, King’s Rd, Kids Fun London and more.
Minutes into our arrival, we were sipping sweet pudding wines and eyeing up the cakes and pastries piled high on the glass centre table. Delicate macaroons, chocolate sundaes, cake pops, brownies and the December special – home made almond mince pies –all looked almost too good to touch, and tasted just this side of sinful.
The ‘Pudding of the Month’ is concocted by Edd Kimber, The Boy who Bakes (he won the Great British Bake Off 2010), while the rest of the constantly changing menu is expertly handled by the hotel’s French pastry chef and her team.
The lemon meringue slices were light and succulent, the perfect combo of tart and sweet (did I really eat 3?) I probably could have handled more of the fresh fruit tarts too.
And I loved seeing smiles light up the room as people discovered the chocolate mousse cups were contained in edible casing.
This is a wonderful venue for a girly night out, to bring a date for Valentine’s Day or for a quick treat before an evening in the West End.
It’s very reasonably priced at £10 per visit, £15 including a glass of pudding wine. If you’re after something stronger, there’s an extensive drinks list and I got pretty friendly with a Bourbon cocktail called Uncle Jack.
A couple more of those, and I’d have been on Jack’s lap sobbing out my life story.
Thankfully the bar was closing and the handful of us remaining had a sobering blast of winter air on our way to the tube.
But I’ll be back, for more exquisite puddings and another heart to heart with Uncle Jack.
The Pudding Parlour is open 8-11pm (Mon-Fri) and 9-11pm (Sat) at the Athenaeum Hotel, 116 Piccadilly, London W1J 7BJ (Green Park tube). Tel: 0207 499 3464
*This was a complimentary visit, thanks very much to the Athenaeum Hotel and the organisers!