Yumchaa

This week, I had the pleasure of being introduced to a gorgeous little tea room in central London called Yumchaa.  Hidden just around the corner from Goodge Street station, it specialises in loose tea leaves and has a counter decorated with all sorts of wonderful foods, from paninis and scones to cakes and brownies.  And the best thing about this beautiful café is that they are so adventurous with their flavours!  Their teas range from Jasmine and Enchanted Forest (a vibrant blend of blueberry, rhubarb, raspberry and blackberry), to Chilli Chilli Bang Bang and Lemon Sherbet.  I sampled a pot of Caramel Sweetheart and a deep romance was formed with just the first sip!

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As a lover of all things edible, however, it was the food that really stole my heart.  I fell head over heels for their warm feta and olive scone, which was so moist and perfectly baked that it simply crumbled straight into my mouth.  It was a great warm and filling meditteranean-inspired treat that was the perfect accompaniment to the light, smooth caramel tones of my choice of tea.  However, one can never have too much sweetness in their life and I could not resist trying a slice of one of their fabulous looking cakes!

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I went for a generous slice of their banana and nutella cake.  I can think of nothing better than a combination of bananas and nutella in a cake and I was not disappointed by my choice!  The banana cake was deliciously thick and tasty, whilst the swirls of nutella added a soft, smooth, chocolatey moistness to the whole cake.

I honestly cannot wait for my next tea date with friends to try some of their Christmas offerings, such as their Red Christmas tea with its chocolate and gingerbread flavours!  I’m sure there will be lots of festive food available as well!  With its comfy sofas and ample wooden table and chair seating, this place is the perfect spot to meet with friends or chill with a cup of hard-earned tea after some hardcore London christmas shopping.  You will not regret a visit to this fabulous London tea room, where tea is at the heart of everything they do.

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Borough Market

Shopping at Borough Market is an excruciatingly beautiful experience.  Beautiful because you can be lost in the bright and vivid colours of the fresh fruit and veg stalls, the incredible and unique selection of worldly foods, and an array of aromas from spices to cheeses that follow you wherever you go (not to mention the tasters)!  The excruciating part comes purely from the sheer volume of choice, making it extremely hard to choose exactly what to buy!  I can imagine that shopping on an empty stomach here could lead to a serious financial situation arising rather quickly.  Luckily, my parents had treated me to scrambled eggs with chorizo for breakfast at one of our favourite cafés in the area beforehand, Brindisa.  The slightly spicy kick to the chorizo made it the perfect start to the day, especially when paired with the beautifully fresh eggs that were perfectly scrambled.  By far the best scrambled egg I have every tasted!

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Luckily for me, choosing where to purchase my baked treats for the weekend was not too much of an ordeal.  My mum and I had been lusting after these giant cheese and olive sticks from Bread Ahead since our last visit in November.  I have to say these were definitely worth the wait!  Crunchy and cheesy, with giant chunks of green olives allowing every bite to burst with a sweet, salty flavour, these bread sticks were a delicious treat.  If you’re slightly peckish, these would be perfect to share with whoever you’re wondering round the market with.

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Next to this huge Jenga-style display of bread sticks was a selection of cakes and croissants to choose from (with bread consuming the other side of the stall).  I was particularly drawn to the Bread Pudding with its sugary topping, as I had never experienced this fruity delight before, and fruit cake is a classic favourite of mine.  Whilst this cake isn’t as rich as a normal fruit cake, it is ridiculously moist and tasty, with the dried fruits really adding to the sweetness of the cake as a whole.  The sugar crystals on top added a beautiful crunch, complementing the soft texture that almost melts in your mouth.  For anyone who is a lover of dried fruits, this is a simple cake that offers maximum pleasure through simplicity; each mouthful simply bursts with new, sweet, fruity flavours.

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However, my favourite cake from this stall was the Sticky Stem Ginger cake that my mum chose.  The best part was the sweet, sticky ginger coating, which topped this generously portioned cake.  (Not having enough to eat is a problem you will not encounter at any of the stalls in Borough Market!)  This coating gave the cake that much-needed ginger kick.  It is common knowledge that I like my flavours strong, especially when it comes to ginger, as my mum makes ginger cake a lot at Christmas and always doubles the amount of ginger recommended in the recipe.  So whilst this ginger cake was still a little mild for my liking, I was thoroughly impressed by the small chunks of ginger laced throughout the sponge that gave a lovely added kick of flavour every few mouthfuls.  It was soft and succulent, and was a nostalgic return to the days of eating Jamaican Ginger Cake with my family in front of the TV as a child.

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Bread Ahead is just one of many stalls at Borough Market and there are many others that sell a vast variety of cakes and bakes, such as chocolate brownies, bakewell tarts, macaroons, meringues, and cheese cakes to name but a few.  There is no end to the delicious surprises that you can find amongst the maze of stalls at this wondrous place.  Whatever you choose, I find it hard to believe you could ever be disappointed!