Peggy Porschen made a name for herself in the wedding-cake business because of her great artistry, particularly her eye for detail and ephemeral sugar decorations. Now those of us who are not overpaid celebrities or imminently betrothed can enjoy Peggy’s cakes with a cuppa in her exquisite new café in genteel Belgravia.
The parlour’s candy- floss-coloured exterior, large Georgian windows and warm glow makes it stand out, even by comparison with the adjacent Baker & Spice or Poilâne. Inside the café’s a play of pastel sugary hues, pale furniture and porcelain tableware made to Peggy’s specifications. It looks neat and well coordinated.
The cakes are almost retro, with nostalgic names such as banoffee, cream caramel, or ‘lemoncello’ (sic). What we tried ranged from pleasant-enough to cross-town-for-delicious. The sticky toffee cupcake made a nice contrast between the earthy walnuts and the tart cream-cheese topping. The gluten-free blueberry muffin (made by nearby Piece of Cake, we were told) had a moist, open texture, so difficult to achieve without wheat.
The fruit cake – dark, plump and boozy – may be the best in town; the grown-up chocolate truffle cake with quality bitter ganache was satisfying, if less memorable. The only slight disappointment was the spicy, raisin oat cookie, full of buttery flavour, but too brittle in texture.
Peggy’s tea blends, inspired by her cakes, are special in their own right; the gingerbread blend tasted like a liquid cookie, warming on a frosty day. Confectionery to take away includes fruit jellies (such as raspberry or Champagne); shaped cookies with icing on top such as rubber ducks, hearts, and shoes; silver-coated candle holders; Peggy’s own range of wedding stationery; her baking books; and, of course, the celebration cake-ordering service. Cake-making classes are also planned. The prettily dressed staff are accommodating and knowledgeable.