Friday, 5 March 2010


It looks like the place that Hansel and Gretel discovered, doesn't it? A deceptively cute, oldy-worldy cottage promising gingerbread and evil witches and a dark and scary wood.....

Actually, it's in the heart of Soho - Soho Square, to be precise - and just around the corner from the famous Groucho Club, where I was having tea. The club's name was inspired by a quip of Groucho Marx: "I don't want to join a club that will accept me as a member." Of course not.

Over carrot cake and lemon cake (the carrot was better) I chatted with the always entertaining
RICK STROUD  who I met when we did the Cheltenham Literary Festival together.  He has since become a literary pen-pal and always cheers me up whenever I'm blocked.  Check out his book about the MOON. The club is warm and cosy, the chairs blissfully comfortable and there are lots of famous faces to pretend not to notice!

I've never made carrot cake before - and wonder which is the world's best recipe...?


  1. An attractive place indeed! As an ancient building set in a modern place.
    Oh...thank you for Groucho Marx’s quip – reminded me the opening scene of Woody Allen’s film “Annie Hall” where he says this phrase compared to himself! Love his films.

    I’ve checked Rick Stroud’s book – so fascinating. I like the subject.

    I have made a carrot cake before – precisely with carrots and almonds.
    I’ve been swimming so much this morning and had no time - but thanks to your post I feel inspired and I could spend some time in the kitchen… xx

  2. Is there the comment...?

  3. Dear Sharon,

    did you have a little peek inside the intriguing cottage? I remember seeing it many years ago but never did--a Soho pub calling me away most probably. I do hope it's not just full of lawnmowers...

    Can't help much on the carrot cake front but three names spring to mind: Jamie Oliver, Marks & Spencers, Sainsburys.

    Have a nice weekend,


  4. Sharon --
    The Village Baker's Wife has recipe for carrot cake. Anna Scamans called the Queen of carrot cakes when she had it once at my house.
    Carrot cake is sinfully easy to make.

  5. No, Rachel - I didn't look inside. How remiss of me! However, I plan to return there mid-March and shall do so then....

    Thanks, Michelle. Will look out the VBW recipe. I discovered a Delia low-fat version online - or do you suppose that "low-fat carrot cake" is an oxymoron?

  6. That is something out of my imagination. I want to live there and the pigeons seem to agree with me. :)When you visit my little house would you please take photos of all the angles.

    Can't help with the carrot cake. Though my sister is sampling them at every cafe. Will let you know how it turns out if she gives up and bakes one herself.