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Patisserie Valerie

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published September 20th 2012
Celebrate with cake
Patisserie Valerie, Kingston

Patisserie Valerie arrived at our doorstep in 1926 when the French Madame Valerie decided that the English needed introducing to fine continental pastries. The first cafe was established in Soho, and now there are fifty cafes across the country, with more on the way.

Each cafe has a slightly different atmosphere and varied menu, meaning you can enjoy their cafe in Covent Gardens one day, and then have a different experience in King's Cross another time.

Chocolate Éclair, Coffee Éclair, Black Forest Gateau, Strawberry Mille-Feuilles, and Berry Mousse

As the name suggests, Patisserie Valerie specialises in divine pastries and show stopping cakes, all of which is made fresh in-store. Their cakes look and taste absolutely mouthwatering. You can buy whole cakes for special occasions, commission tiered wedding cakes, or buy individual slices to be eaten in-store, taken away, or ordered on line.

You can even customise your own cake, and I don't just mean you can have someone's name written on top with a bit of icing. You choose the shape, size, cream filling, fruit filling, and the type of sponge so that it looks exactly how you want it.

Webbed Mille-Feuilles St. Honore, Double Chocolate Gateau, Double Chocolate Dream, and Selva Gateau

Not only do the cakes look gorgeous, but they are mouth wateringly delicious. Most of their dessert menu is up to the same standard. I highly recommend their Belgian waffles: two warm waffles topped with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Yes, Patisserie Valerie does pastries and cakes to perfection. Sadly that's where the story ends. Their main menu is much more of a disappointment. It is not so much the quality that is the problem, but more the quantity in relation to the price. If you're in the centre of London you'd expect to pay ridiculously high prices, but when they also have cafes in suburban areas like Kingston, paying £7.15 for a one slice of toast with a bit of cheese and a poached egg is a joke.

The best way to enjoy Patisserie Valerie is as a place to have afternoon tea, or to buy a celebratory cake to take away. Unless you're willing to pay high prices for small portions, don't bother with their hot meals.
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Why? Let them eat cake
When: Mon-Sat, 8am-8pm, Sun, 8am-7pm
Where: Across the country
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