La Crêperie de Hampstead is a London institution. It’s a place I’ve been meaning to write about for a while now but I’m always too excited to remember to take any photos.
It serves up the best crepes I’ve ever eaten. Fact.
It was sometime back in 2007 when my good friend Danny first introduced me to this little stall, manned by native French chefs, that’s been parked outside the King William IV on Hampstead High Street since 1980.
This time, I went with Carolina to introduce her to the glory that is La Crêperie de Hampstead.
I’ve been back many, many times over the last six years and it’s always the same debate: sweet or savoury?
There’s inevitably a queue. Sometimes you’re lucky and it’s only 10 minutes, but I once waited for an hour and a half and still thought it was worth it. It just goes to show how tasty they are.
The chefs navigate a tiny kitchen space with effortless efficiency while I consider the sweet versus savoury dilemma. I settle for a minute delicious spinach, garlic, cheese and ham option. Hmmm….
But no, it has to be sweet this time. Milk chocolate, banana and rum it is – my all time favourite. And Carolina goes for the same.
You can smell the butter as it slides across the hot griddle, bubbling as it spreads. The batter is poured on top and spread to the edges where it sits for a few seconds until it is flipped and golden brown.
It’s transferred to the second griddle for toppings.
There, it is loaded with chocolate chips.
They melt into a gooey puddle.
A sliced banana is slipped into place on top.
This is covered with a good swirl of rum and then folded up neatly.
Once it’s in a little triangle shape, it’s deposited into the cardboard crepe holder and handed over with a fork.
We settle on the pavement nearby and discuss our creative projects and an upcoming Cornwall retreat. Life is good.
And so are the crepes.
They are fabulously messy and I drop a glob of chocolate on my trousers. We laugh. It blends in. I’m having a blissful sugar high and don’t mind one bit.
Eventually we finish and head next door for Summer fruit smoothies.
Carolina’s review? “Best crepes ever”.