Watching all those Food Insider videos on Facebook on a mundane afternoon undoubtedly leaves us all drooling, daydreaming about those Instagram-worthy desserts – just think of the food envy your friends will experience when they see a boomerang of that food! So naturally, you tag your friends saying, “we should go!”, knowing well it’s probably not going to happen because something always comes up – your bank account is a little broken after all those nights out, one of you is too busy at the library, or like us, maybe you just prefer to spend your time napping.
However, one day, my friend and I decided to set out on a quest to try each and every dessert place we came across on social media – no better way to spend your student finance, right? We decided to hit up the capital’s foodie hotspot first – Westfield London. From the famous Mr. Pretzel cinnamon sugar pretzels to bubble waffles to ice-cream and pancakes, this place was absolutely packed and buzzing on yummy, picturesque desserts – all just ready for us to eat and eat and eat!
First place on our dessert hit list was Naked Dough. Located on the first floor, this little cookie dough cafe stall could not possibly be missed with its lively setup and bright, vibrant display. The cookie dough flavours had us both baffled, with such a wide range to choose from for the tubs and dough cones they did, including lotus biscuits, mud bath (aka death by chocolate), Nutella, ‘Unicorn Food’ (marshmallows and sprinkles), and a very tempting salted caramel and honeycomb. There was also plenty of toppings which you could mix-and-match. The smallest size, costing just under £5, we thought a bit pricey but seeing the massive portion a girl before us received, we changed our minds (do not get a larger size than the normal, or you will die). Though all of that was fantastic, we were there for actually eating the food, and with no due hesitation, we decided to order the biggest thing we could find – the Dough Freak. Two scoops of mouth-wateringly soft ice-cream stuffed in-between two scoops of arguably the best cookie dough to ever exist, plus free unlimited toppings. One taste of it and we were questioning reality – surely this was what actual heaven felt like?
After how successful our first Westfield trip was, we had high expectations for our next dessert adventure, and naturally we had to hit up Bubble on Waffle, one of the most Instagrammed dessert places in London – but was it going to live up to the bar set by Naked Dough? Though we didn’t have as many flavours to choose from, we still had quite the predicament because who could really choose between a heavenly hazelnut Ferrero Rocher, strawberry shortcake goodness and a blissful banana split? Also, I mean, who could resist the combination of a hot waffle with the cooling ice cream centre? At roughly £7 per waffle, this was fairly expensive, but we were hoping it would be worth it. Unfortunately, the taste and practicality did not match the waffles’ looks; the waffle was soggy and began falling apart after a few minutes, and the ice-cream didn’t quite taste of the flavour it was meant to be. All in all, a bit bland really, but at least we got some pretty cool photos out of it – you win some, you lose some, eh?
Not fazed by the shortcomings of the bubble waffle, the last trip was to a donut store in Soho called Doughnut Time. The size of the shop was tiny; basically a stand on the street (the only option was to get takeaway doughnuts, no place to eat-in) and we didn’t really know what to expect, although a queue was present and growing (a queue for any kind of food is always good, right?) As we got nearer, our first glance at the display made all our doubts disappear. From Percy Pig to Oreo to M&M donuts, every donut had a ‘theme’, both aesthetics and flavour wise. The Percy Pig donut was pale, with pink frosting and of course a couple Percy Pigs on top, while the Oreo one was made of black dough and was encrusted with broken Oreo chunks. There was even filled doughnuts, such as the Kinder Bueno doughnut filled with Nutella and topped with, of course, Kinder Bueno. Looking at the assortment, we were extremely impressed – not only did all the options look mouth-watering, but there were multiple (!) vegan options to choose from, such as Red Velvet! Although the price was £4 (for a doughnut?!), the flavour did not disappoint. The dough itself was pretty classic, but the special toppings really made it a delicious treat. The amount of frosting and icing on top was also very generous – we definitely needed a LOT of water after to deal with the sugar overload. Worth the £4? Not on a regular basis, but definitely worth a try at least once or twice to test out some cool flavours.
This venue definitely left us looking for more dessert places through social media for the future – after all, 67% success rate is pretty good (it’s almost a First, am I right?) The conclusion? Social media, although it is known for popularising aesthetic and not necessarily delicious places, also showed us quite a few gems that can be discovered too. With more and more places opening up at Westfield every day, this is definitely our number one place to watch, but who says you can’t look elsewhere as well? Stay tuned for future updates on more yummy food places to try – and a timeline of how much our waistlines expand…