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After four months of flip flops and sunshine, our return to London was bittersweet. Don’t get us wrong – we chose to spend our winter months in Europe this year for many reasons including a longing for good cheese and wine. There’s only so much pho and ramen that we can slurp down.
Even still, London’s damp coldness hit us in our faces like a rock.
Priority one was to buy some winter clothes and boots, a relatively easy task with London’s many shops and stores. Once we bought the right gear to keep us warm and dry, we took it to the street for a luxury dessert tour.
Yes, we eased back into Europe by taking a luxury dessert tour in London.
We jumped at the chance when Traverse‘s Michael Ball invited us to attend the tour. Not only were we attracted to the tour’s luxury dessert theme, but we were also sold on the idea of doing something different than a typical city tour.
As it turns out, there are a number of fun things to do off the beaten path in London if you play your cards right and plan ahead.
Luxe London Dessert Tour
After meeting at Piccadilly Circus’ Eros statue in London’s West End, tour guide Linton proceeded to take us on a dessert tour that blended London tourist sites with sweet treats.
The tour provided us with a great combination of old London traditions with stops at shops like the very British Fortnum & Mason and new London globalism with stops at internationally based Ladurée and Godiva.
As we traversed the tony streets of Mayfair and Soho, Linton kept us so entertained with his thorough knowledge of London history that we almost forgot it was raining.
Fortnum & Mason
Stop number one on the tour was Fortnum & Mason, a fabulous store famous for being the queen’s grocer. As we ogled at the delicious delicacies sold at the store, Linton shared stories about picnic baskets and baked beans.
Baked beans? Yes, baked beans. It turns out that Henry Heinz sold his original baked beans to Fortnum & Mason back in 1886 when baked beans were a luxury item and not yet a major staple of British cuisine.
Fortnum & Mason is located at 181 Piccadilly, London, United Kingdom.
Laudurée at the Burlington Arcade
All eyes turned to Lauderée as we entered the Burlington Arcade. Founded in 1862, Lauderée, the famed French luxury pastry chain, bakes and sells 15,000 macarons daily around the world.
Though we’ve eaten Lauderée macarons before, we’ve never had such a colorful selection offered to us before. Talk about a tough decision!
Lauderée is located at Burlington Arcade, 71-72 Burlington Arcade, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom.
Belgium’s Godiva Chocolates has been respected for its luxury chocolate line since 1926. We’ve enjoyed Godiva many a time in the United States and are happy to report that the London bonbons are just as good as their American cousins.
Godiva Chocolates is located at 141 Regent St, Mayfair, London, United Kingdom.
Liberty of London
A tour of London’s West End would be incomplete without a stop at the Liberty department store. Though we didn’t eat any desserts at Liberty, we thoroughly enjoyed our walk through the first floor where we saw the start of the seasonal decorations on display.
Liberty is located at Regent St, Carnaby, London, United Kingdom
Choccywoccydoodah may have been our last stop on our Luxe London Dessert Tour, but it was a memorable destination and not just for its cockadoodle name. Frequented by celebrities like Johnny Depp and Madonna, Choccywoccydoodah shop sells cake creations as crazy as the moniker.
We sampled a variety of delectable delights in the shop’s secret upstairs room as we sipped on tea and coffee with new friends. Trust us, it was a tough job but somebody had to do it.
Choccywoccydoodah was located at 30-32 Foubert’s Pl, Carnaby, London, United Kingdom. It’s now permanently closed.
But wait, there’s more! In addition to plying us with sweets, Linton pointed out oodles of London trivia throughout the luxury dessert tour. We saw one of the city’s two remaining original phone booths during the tour.
And, nearer and dearer to our Beatles-loving hearts, we saw the building that was once the headquarters for Apple Records. When we closed our eyes, we could almost hear the Beatles playing on the rooftop as if it the band were still together and making sweet music yet again.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.