Hungarian identical twins Rosika and Jasnci Deutsch (aka the Dolly Sisters) were vaudeville stars, actresses and Harry Gordon Selfridge’s lovers. It seems wholly appropriate, then, that a café should be dedicated to the pair in the loins of the venerable department store, especially one that is fabulously styled with slick bentwood chairs, antique silver teapots and a classy chequered floor.
For all Dolly’s stylish intentions, though, its food remains rather safe, failing to get one hot under the collar. The selection isn’t vast (for that, you’d probably be better off heading to Hix, one floor up), though granted it’s more of a place to grab a light lunch or settle down for a re-energising cake and coffee post-shopping.
Of the savouries, an open sandwich of salt beef (from the Brass Rail salt beef bar in the Selfridges food hall) and sliced dill pickles on caraway bread was satisfying, piled high with tangles of shredded beef cloaked in mustard mayonnaise. But a kiln-smoked salmon salad with cucumber was more pedestrian, having an air of home assembly about it.
The patisserie is courtesy of the Belle Epoque counter (again, in the food hall), with a tiny opera cake, rich on coffee flavour, being a sweet finish. Cakes are supplied by Sweet Couture. With its afternoon tea menu (£8.50 for cream tea, £19.95 for the full-tiered affair, £29.95 with a glass of Champagne) and attractive display of tiny cakes, Dolly’s Café looks as though it will be a popular option for those who want to rest their Jimmy Choos between purchases.