Gail’s of Exmouth Market and Failed Vikings

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How do you spend your bank holidays? Relaxing? Adventuring? Getting out of the city? I turned my weekend around. Saturday became Sunday with its obligatory trip to the supermarket and Sunday became Saturday, with its cake trip and discovery of another new area of London Town.

A rather hungover start I have to admit but I made it to Central London before 12! A success for any weekend when you like a lie in as much as I do. A lovely brunch in covent garden to catch up with a fantastic friend and a walk kicked off the day, followed by more walking to the British Museum.

I wanted to see the Viking exhibition but we had to stop for more food on the way from a bizarre cafe down the road. Then we arrived only to find the exhibition was sold out. No Vikings for us! Not ones to be put off we spent some time looking at the Africa area. The BM is a truly wonderful place and however often I go there I still manage to find something I haven’t seen before. I feel I could have whole holidays there just looking at its treasures. I didn’t even go to see the Roman section which showed great self control. That is a section I know well already. I marvelled at African masks and bronze plaques from cities that used to be large and powerful.

We had our fill of culture, or as much as one with only half a nights sleep can take, and went off in search of cake. We walked to Clerkenwell and found Gail’s – an entry in the book – in a lovely quiet street called Exmouth Market. I love finding parts of London to explore that aren’t rammed with people on a weekend. That peaceful road away from a tube stop that only locals use. When people say to me they don’t like London because it is too busy I say they haven’t been to the right bits.

Gail’s was quiet and the big table filling the centre of the room was scattered with tempting morsels. We immediately picked out the best looking sausage roll we have ever seen. Then chose a piece of cake each, although it was a difficult choice. I had a flourless chocolate cake which was moist and dense and squidgy. I accidentally put my arm in it, because that’s just the kind of person I am, and I’m still trying to get the chocolate off my jacket. It wasn’t as chocolatey as I would have hoped. It had all the promise of texture but there was no big chocolate hit. Charlie had the white chocolate cheesecake which was a traditional American style. Well baked and a good chocolate flavour that would have left it rather plain otherwise. The stealer of the show however was the sausage roll. I know this is a cake blog but that was the meatiest, juiciest, herbiest sausage roll I have ever eaten. Ok I made up the word herbiest but I mean it. That not so humble looking sausage roll, packed with meat and served with homemade tomato sauce far outshone it’s cake rivals.

Ratings:
Cake: Me 4 Charlie 5.5
Atmosphere: 4.5 – nice modern layout inside but our table was too cramped outside.

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Post scriptum: having written about that sausage roll makes me want to eat it again! I will have to try and recreate for dinner tonight.

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