The first time I heard the name Dominique Ansel was over the phone, in conversation with a friend living in Manhattan. She was telling me about her $200 pastry experience. Her words: "I can't look at myself in the mirror right now. I spent $200 on a Cronut." Now, these were the days before news of the famous Cronut has reached London's shores. I wasn't yet familiar with its inventor, Dominique Ansel, and I certainly wasn't aware that lines were stretching through New York City that had people queuing for up to four hours to get their hands on the famous bakery item. Let me be clear, the Cronut itself wasn't priced at $200 - nowhere near, as Dominque Ansel's prices aren't far from normal bakery prices. My friend, who freely admits she is eccentric and insane, paid her assistant's roommate $200 to stand in line and retrieve a fresh Cronut. Yet, she claims to this day that it was the best $200 she had ever spent when it came to investing in a trend... and she works in fashion!
And now, dear reader, the Cronut creator has come to London. On Friday, September 30th at 8am, Dominique Ansel's first UK bakery will open on London's Elizabeth Street. Only, this bakery is featuring a hell of a lot more than just the famous Cronut. This evening I spent the night sampling the menu that will be available for those hungry for a real treat. From a chocolate chip cookie cup filled to the brim with milk to the frozen s'more that's torched right before your eyes, this is a foodie's dream destination, and that's just scratching the surface. Fans of Dominique Ansel will find countless London limited edition creations ready for the tasting. Those born without a sweet tooth won't be left out, not to worry! The bakery will also offer savory bits and bobs from the Welsh Rarebit Croissant to the Kedgeree Croquettes.
My advice? Start queuing now. This IS the new London must see (and eat).
17-21 Elizabeth Street
London SW1W 9RP