Today, I finished work (technically, I’m in tomorrow, but I’m only in with Lee and I’m going to spend most of the day going through piles of paper and throwing away cryptic post its) and I’m so excited and optimistic to be moving on to pastures new. Whilst my job isn’t at all profound like finding cures to something or engaging young minds, I do feel like I’ve achieved something and I’ve made some wonderful friends for life.
My colleagues, very kindly, bought me the lovely present of The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook which is an amazing book of seriously ‘wow’ cupcakes and pies and brownies. I’m super excited about getting stuck into it and doing some baking!
And with cake on the brain, I went for a cup of coffee with my friend, Sean, as a mark of us both having left the company twice now. We went to the Quarter, previously visited here, as it’s close to home but doesn’t require me to do any washing up or hoover or anything that would make our house presentable for guests!
I love meeting Sean for coffee and a chat because he makes me howl with laughter. He can be a grumpy little arse but god, he’s funny and so with much amusement and sharing scandalous and scintillating gossip, we ordered a coffee for him, a San Pellegrino for me and went to look at the amazing fridge of cakes. I would loved to have taken a photo of the amazing fridge as this is the thing that really makes the Quarter but the window is reflective and you’d probably have ended up looking at a photo of me taking a photo..
I chose the Red Velvet Cake because I’m desperate to find out quite what it is that makes it so special, is it just the food colouring?, and Sean chose the apple and cherry pie with custard.
The Red Velvet Cake was delicious but it wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped. The contrast between the red cake and the white buttercream is always striking and feels like a really special occasion cake. The flavour of it was much like any vanilla-ery cake and the cake itself was quite dry, perhaps it could have done with the addition of some cream… It was nice but I felt that perhaps I’d sold myself short and I should have gone with my first choice of Key Lime Pie. I feel like I’ve been unkind to the slice of cake but I’ve had better from the Quarter!
Sean’s Apple and Cherry Pie was the definite winner. Thick and lovely pastry filled to the brim with fruit and compote and with a good helping of custard, I didn’t try it but I could tell from the noises he was making that it was amazing!!
Whilst the Quarter has always been a classic for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake, they have now started making their cakes in house and I’ve heard from a few people that the cakes aren’t quite the same since… It would be a shame if their massive expansion, over the entire of Hope Street/Falkner Street, stretched them too thin and the essence of what they do best was lost. They’ve reshaped the deli and that now looks like an afterthought. Notably, the prices are going up further and further with every visit. I’ve been recommended to try Bold Street Coffee instead so I shall make that my next mission.
It’s a local treasure and it would be a sad day indeed if the Quarter lost its simple great style.