Best London Cafes: Maison Bertaux, Soho

When I was in London in mid June 2010, PennyGolightly, invited me to meet her at her favourite London cake shop, Maison Bertaux in Greek Street, Soho, close to Leicester Square.  Penny reckons that this is one of the few places in London where the cakes and pastries are really fresh, as they’re baked on the premises.  The Cafe opened in the 1870s and has been growing strong ever since. It can certainly be described as quirky and a bit cramped.  The tables are tiny and inclined to wobble but fortunately Penny was a dab hand at levelling the table with a napkin inserted under the shorter leg.  However it has a kind of appealing shabby chic charm with touches such as checked tablecloths and fresh flowers.  Evidently it’s the fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s favourite cafe.

Cakes and pastries at Maison Bertaux Soho

All the pavement tables were occupied so we sat inside on the ground floor which with open frontage was probably better being further away from any passing traffic.  I was overwhelmed by the choice of cakes but plumped for the fruit cream gateau.  Can you blame me?

My gateau at Maison Bertaux Soho

Penny was temptated by an eclair very prettily topped with various fruits

Cake at Maison Bertaux, Soho

Our was made with leaf tea, served in a teapot which came with a tea strainer.  Now I’m sure everyone’s the same, at home we usually make our mug of tea with a tea bag in the mug but we don’t want that when we’re out.  I was served a cup of tea for breakfast during my stay in London at a three star hotel, which constituted a tea bag floating in  lukewarm water. There’s more seating upstairs which also doubles as an art gallery run by cafe owner Tania White aka the Hooligan Art Dealer. The current exhibition is by Noel Fielding, better known as a comedian. The unisex toilets which were very clean during my visit are upstairs.

Noel Fielding illustrated autograph by charlotte1

Maison Bertaux is open from 8.30 every morning and closes at 11pm Monday to Saturday and at 9pm on a Sunday. If like me, you love cakes and pastries, Sian has some great tips in “The Best Bakeries in London

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