Lily Jones (aka Lily Vanilli) carved out a solid, celebrity-packed fan base well before opening her own bakery. Her foray into sculptural, macabre cake creations (roadkill cake, gingerbread gravestones, marzipan beetles) gave sweet treats a contemporary, anti-cute makeover and set her far apart from the mainstream cupcake clan.
It’s a touch surprising, then, to find her first establishment, just off Columbia Road flower market, completely void of gore. The baker’s experimental creativity, however, remains on show.
On our visit, we ogled a towering pomegranate and coconut Victoria sandwich, glistening honeycomb and ganache tarts and individually turned out cherry bakewells. The bakewells – lined up like cherry-topped pork pies – had a unique pastry top concealing buttery, almond-sweet frangipane and a beautifully sharp fruit compote. The more familiar red velvet cupcakes were equally good, as was a heady, deliciously naughty absinthe and mint ice cream.
Space is tight (this is a bakery, after all) with not much indoor seating and a courtyard area packed with customers. Vintage styling and rustic touches (wooden boards on the counters and areas of bare brick) make this a cosy teatime destination – one you’d gladly make the effort to visit on Sunday, the sole opening day.