There are so many incredible coffee shops and cake eating spots in Croydon, we really are rather lucky. Lucky in the sense that we have pretty cafes with good drinks and tasty food to sit in and socialise given that Fairfield Halls is closed, the town centre is struggling as businesses become increasingly uncertain about whether to stay or relocate with Westfield potentially on the horizon and because unless the weather is good enough to sit in a park or green space there are few other places for adults to actually go and just relax together (Boxpark does not count, it is a noisy area where seat turnover time is intended to be pretty quick).
And whilst I have a couple that do the most incredible tea, cake and food on my doorstep in Addiscombe there will always be the first cafe I visited after moving to Croydon, that used to be just down the road from our old flat, Sweet Patisserie and Cafe on George Street. With lengthy opening hours as well as free Wi-Fi, a variety of hot and cold sandwiches and a cake section with macaroon stand that will leave your eyes lighting up like a child encountering a sweet shop for the first time it is a popular hub for people looking to get a short piece of writing done somewhere other than their home, for business meetings or just simply to relax and catch up. They are never in a rush to turn tables and the staff always provide service and advice with a smile that makes eating in a real joy.
Sometimes though you just want to go home and collapse into bed with a treat after a long day at work, get a little something in for an after dinner treat to brighten up the day or have a variety that suits guests coming round one afternoon or evening instead of desperately trying to make the most perfect cafe going (it never happens when you want it to!). Them having the ability to take it away makes it an even more delightfully perfect spot to pop into on your way home, to work for somebody’s birthday or at the request of your boss to get macaroons for an important client coming for a meeting and it is something that I have to resist doing too often or I would quickly start to look rather like an actual macaroon.
It is slightly amusing though as whilst I love the place and their cakes it is very rarely myself that goes in there to collect anything and instead my partner is normally the one sent off shuffling in to try and figure out the lay of the cake-filled land. The items I am talking about today were ones he picked up after nipping into the cafe with a friend and deciding to get me a couple of items for when I finished work an hour or so later and I often find it better to avoid going in there myself because I have this horrible habit of going for the same things rather than stepping outside my comfort zone; melon macaroon would not usually be at the top of my “Things To Consider Buying” list.
Although writing this post I am very tempted to end up walking through town, rather than getting the bus between work and home, and popping in for a panini and tea before getting some cafe to go. Given the constantly terrible weather in Croydon at the minute though that idea will probably very quickly seem less appealing when stepping out into the cold air and considering battling with all the eager beavers pushing through town to try and get their Christmas shopping done early (you can just sense their smugness from half a mile away).
The chocolate piped design on top of the icing on the cake throws me off whenever I go into the store and look at the carrot cake because my mind just cannot process an association of a chocolate leaf with any part of a traditional style carrot cake. If anybody can explain the connection then please do feel free to share the knowledge in the comments below! Once I have gone beyond the chocolate leaf and am able to focus on the cake itself there is a wonderfully sticky and slightly sweet icing that really helps to compliment the spices and more savoury notes of the cake it is holding together. And much like any good piece of carrot cake this one managed to have a few significantly long strands of grated carrot in to serve as a reminder that it is made on sight and full of good hearty ingredients. It is the sort of cake you could ask the staff about and they would be able to provide you additional information as it appears often on their shelves.
Both the macaroons that I had were packed with flavour, soft and swishy with a great texture throughout and for £1 each you would want them to be. The price tag of a £1 is of course the going rate for a macaroon and these are certainly well worth it, from what I have seen a lot of people have a macaroon or two with their coffee whilst sitting down for a business meeting – a little sweet treat without hurting the waistline too much!
The melon one particularly blew me away because it actually tasted incredibly like a fresh watermelon! I am struggling to imagine you having a coffee or tea with a melon macaroon but they make your mouth water so much with intense flavours that you could just get a few to have as a midday treat.
I would love to hear about your favourite flavour macaroon in the comments below or over on twitter.