Continuing with my review series, next on the list was the Hummingbird Bakery in South Kensington. I have been wanting to visit Hummingbird for a long time now, I have their Cake Days book and love the results of the recipes I have tried at home.
I actually arranged to meet some twitter friends at Hummingbird when I was down in London. It was fabulous to finally meet the lovely Laura, Beckie and Steph face-to-face.
Upon arriving at South Kensington tube I consulted my google map app to see which direction I should head to find the Hummingbird Bakery. After a couple of wrong turns I headed in the right direction but have to say I didn't immediately spot it. The exterior is quite subtle and if it wasn't for my observant sister I might have walked straight passed...
There was a lot of outdoor seating and if it had been summer I probably would of loved to sit out there and people watch while eating my body weight in cake. However, as it was freezing and getting dark we headed inside. The seating was very limited, one three seater table and 4-5 seats in a bar type arrangement.Luckily as we walked in the group at the 3 seater table were leaving so we made a mad dash for the space.
There was a lot of cake on display, the large ones in the glass cases immediately caught my eye, they all looked so good. Although, at a whopping £5.60 a slice I had to limit my initial excitement to one piece.
The interior was just as subtle as the outside, it definitely had more of a "chain" feel than the primrose bakery. The brown colouring with the pink hummingibrd graphic was prominent but the overall feel was very light and calming. It wasn't overly cluttered and the main focus of the store was definitely on the vast cabinet of cakes!
After a lengthy decision process we went ahead and ordered a (HUGE) slice of carrot cake and a red velvet whoopie pie. The carrot cake was nothing short of amazing, I am a big carrot cake lover and hands down this is one of the best I have tasted. It was moist and studded with walnuts. The cream cheese frosting was rich but not sickly. It wasn't piled high with frosting either, just the perfect ratio of cake to frosting. At £5.60 a slice I initially thought it a little pricey but when I saw the portion it could easily be shared between 2-3 people!
The whoopie pie was an experience for me, because believe it or not I had never had one before! I obviously had heard of them and that they were heralded as the new cupcake etc... But I am always a bit put-off when someone tells me what is "cool" or "trendy" so avoided them generally.
This whoopie pie looked enormous and the deep red was really inviting on display. I was a little disappointed with the sponge if I am honest but I am not sure this was Hummingbirds fault, I just don't think I am a whoopie pie fan! The sponge is quite dense and almost cookie-like which I am not sure I like. The filling however was amazing (a mix of cream cheese and marshmallow) and I may of not-so-gracefully licked all the filling off the sponge.
I bitterly regret not opting for a cupcake or slice of cheesecake brownie (which looked unbelievable!) I will definitely be heading back to Hummingbird on my next trip to London and I solemnly urge the big wigs at Hummingbird to consider a northern branch? Newcastle maybe? *hint hint*
And finally onto the staff; I may be a little bias as the lovely Steph works at this branch of Hummingbird but everyone was so friendly. When we walked in we were greeted by all three staff members (but not in a corny way).
I asked a lot of questions about the cake ingredients and flavours and everyone was very knowledgeable and had their own opinions on their personal favourites.
We arrived at the bakery at around 4:30pm so it started to get busy with the after-work crowd. The staff members were cool and calm and every single customer got the same treatment as I did, I was very impressed.
Now onto the scores;
I will score each section out of five, giving a combined total out of twenty.
Atmosphere: 3 - Subtle exterior and lack of seating brought it down a little.
Price - 3 - Quite pricey but HUGE portions.
Staff - 5 - Fantastic service.
Taste - 4.5 - Blown away by flavour and quality of cake, wouldn't order the woopie pie again but down to personal preference rather than bad bake.
I would highly recommend a visit to the Hummingbird Bakery. The cake itself really shone through and was the star of the show; as it should be.
Have you been to Hummingbird? What was your experience like?