As a lover of both tea and cake I am also, naturally, a lover of the wonderful world of Instagram. I adore getting my fill and poking my nose at other people’s foodie photographs. There is nothing more inspiring than a huge chocolate cake (that I just want to eat all in one go), to get me going.
After stalking The Hawkhurst Vault on Instagram for a while, I thought I would pop by and pay them a little visit and try some of their delish treats.
When I got chatting to the custodians I struggled to explain how I had stumbled across The Hawkshurst Vault without sounding like a complete cake nutter! I settled on blaming their next door neighbours, accessory designers Tatty Devine, and then claimed to have somehow linked to them someway or another. It’s all one big rabbit hole with @ (at’s) and tagging, you never know what you’re going to find!
It was a rainy day, like every other day I spent in London, but that doesn’t put me off traipsing round the butt ends of nowhere. “Embrace the rain and don’t whinge Carli, you can’t change the weather!” – this might be my new motto!
This little tea lounge has only been open 4 months. I thought it had been much longer – which means I must have been stalking them from the very start – poor guys. They hold various events, such as: life drawing classes, musicians’ shows and even a pop up sandwich bar by ‘Mike Sandwich‘. I can vouch for the fact that they all look unbelievable and interesting.
I wanted something to warm me right through on this occasion and went for an Assam, which came along with a timer and a beautiful bone china cup and saucer.
This little spoon was just perfect.
The cakes were hard to choose from. Peanut butter brownie, salted caramel brownie and a loads of croissants all had me tempted but I had a sudden interest on the polenta cake, and boy I was not disappointed.
The tangy lemon with the soft sponge made this cake an utter delight. You really could not tell that this wasn’t made from flour. A piping hot cup of tea and a slice of cake, it really is the little things in life that make me super happy.
I took a little peek downstairs, which can hold up to around 25 people. The space has sofas, lamps and great wooden tables and cabinets full to the brim of games and cards, so you can really have a cuppa and chill out. Upstairs can hold a good 20 guests if you prop yourself up against the bar with a brew while taking in their menus of tea and speciality coffee.
It was truly lovely chatting with these guys (they do have names – James and Theo). I loved meeting them and getting to chat about their new tea adventure, just like I was 4 years ago, and discussing what works and what doesn’t work and what we would do again differently.
But one thing I thought that was really special about this place is the fact these guys did everything themselves!!! From ripping out the previous hairdresser chairs and sprucing the place up – just like our little Olde Young Tea House.
There is just something about ripping out previous fittings, pulling off skirting boards, painting, building and, eventually, decorating that really makes you proud of what you have achieved. We share the same passion and passion is what makes us so proud to be independent!
Go give The Hawkhurst Vault a visit if you are around the Brick Lane/Shoreditch area – 240 Brick Lane. Say hi and support your nations independents x