Open for just a few months, The Cakehouse has quickly become my favourite place to relax with some coffee and cake. It’s far too easy to wander in, notice all the beautiful baked goods arranged on the counter and find yourself asking for a slice of particularly fetching-looking cake. I go there for a warm welcome and a cosy corner to plan and daydream.
The Cakehouse serve Monmouth coffee, huge wedges of what is arguably the prettiest red velvet cake in London and a baked breakfast with eggs, mushrooms, sausage, and bacon all bound together in a spicy tomato sauce (the latter is £8.50), plus other breakfast and lunch dishes, like scrambled eggs, sandwiches, and sweet, milky porridge. All cakes are freshly baked on the premises.
‘We only serve the food we love to eat, so we can vouch for our products,’ says Meibel, the owner. ‘Our ingredients are seasonal and, wherever possible, locally sourced.’ Because of this intelligent approach, the prices are kept very reasonable, with all coffees £2 (regular size), big slices of cake for about £3, with sandwiches from £4.95.
…she’s faced with an abundance of carrots at the local market…
Growing up on a farm in Yorkshire, Meibel understood first-hand the role that well-chosen ingredients play in good quality food, taking particular care to use free-range eggs and cook with British seasonal fruit and vegetables. If, for example, she’s faced with an abundance of carrots at the local market, they’re turned into freshly blended juice and delicious baked goods. ‘We made carrot cake all week,’ Meibel says. All the cakes are baked on the premises.
The Cakehouse started like this: after quitting her hectic career in fashion, Meibel continued diligently working, only this time honing her baking skills in her home kitchen. When her baking output grew to a prolific scale, she set up a cake stall in Camden during 2009 and established the Foodilicious brand. Her first customer at the stall was Renzo, the owner of a café in Kentish Town.
…she bakes cakes for private customers…
This meeting was fortuitous: several years on, in 2013, Renzo’s café became The Cakehouse; the two friends worked together to make sure the change went smoothly, and Meibel became the new owner. In addition to running the coffee shop, she bakes cakes for private customers and the Foodilicious Cakes market stall runs on Saturday and Sunday at Camden Lock West Yard. It’s a wonderful local enterprise.
She’s not stopping there, though: Meibel is full of ideas for the future. Inspired by the strong café culture in Leeds where she attended university, she envisions the café as a clubhouse that brings together the community. Indeed, the Cakehouse is already being used as a venue for the Kentish Town Book Club on a weekday evening, and Meibel encourages her customers to contribute recipes and ideas, steadily establishing the coffee house as a local hub.
…a very welcome opening on Kentish Town…
The Cakehouse is a very welcome opening on Kentish Town. Beautiful cakes and great coffee aren’t a life staple, but fostering a sense of community is. If you put the two together for good effect, then so much the better.