Thursday, March 23, 2017

Discovery of a little gem of a cake shop behind Oxford Street

One of the delights of London is how many coffee shops there are, and how often I have managed to find a new one.  As everybody who reads my blog knows, it is in coffee-shops that I do most of my writing.  To think my thoughts I need the peace of being in my own little world, with no distractions of phone or email to disturb me.  If the music is too loud, which unfortunately it often is now, one of the benefits of being hard of hearing and having to wear hearing-aids is that at a turn of a little switch I can shut all sound away, and stay cocooned in blissful silence for as long as I want.

So today I found yet another little coffee shop, or more correctly a little cake shop.  It is called The Sicilian Collection, and is at 51-51A Cleveland Street, London W1T 4JH, email 

It is run by a young Sicilian woman, Emilia Strazzanti, who has been trained in cake-making by a five-star Michelin chef.  Her beautiful cakes are certainly proof of that.  I have rarely tasted cakes which are so light to the palette, rich in taste and utterly fresh. 

At the moment the shop is tiny, with just room for a couple of people to sit inside and drink her delicious, freshly made coffee and eat a slice of her cake, and with a bench outside for when the weather gets warmer.  She told me, however, that she will soon be extending the shop to the back of the premises, where there will be tables for lunch as well as coffee and cakes.

After enjoying two cups of excellent coffee with a slice of one of her cakes, I asked for a selection of three different cakes to take away as a treat for myself.  Emilia told me they were slices of:
1.      A Sicilian hazelnut and chocolate cake, made from hazelnuts from the north of Catania
2.      A Sicilian pistachio and lemon cake with crema di pistachio from Bronte
3.      A Sicilian almond cake with almonds from Val di Noto
I left her little shop with a smile on my face.

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