Since I moved to London, and no matter how many maps I peruse before leaving home, I developed the habit of getting lost in Bloomsbury. Regardless of where I’m coming from or where I’m going, I’ll always stop at some Tavistock Place or Gower Street corner, completely clueless about which direction to take. Brunswick Square always pops up in front of me in a completely unexpected way, and it’s by accident, and not on purpose, that I found out how to get from Russell Square station to Euston in about ten minutes. Ditto for the British Museum. At the beginning, I’d have sworn that it was on the Russell Square side of Bloomsbury; I only know it’s not because I once had to walk there from Tottenham Court Road.
You may think this sounds pretty hopeless, and you’re absolutely right. I’m still wondering if I will ever learn. You can probably imagine what a relief it is to finally have a phone with a Google Maps app, and how reassuring it was, on Saturday afternoon, to consult it while walking around Bloomsbury.
Not getting lost was one of the many highlights of Saturday’s stroll. Life’s been treating me quite well, recently; a few things worth celebrating happened, and to me, there’s no better way of celebrating good fortune than sharing it with the people I love. This time, I decided to treat my partner to a cup of tea and a slice of cake, to which he obviously didn’t say no. Hence Bloomsbury: our destination was a deli-patisserie that goes by the name of Fork, right off Tavistock Place.
Of course, I had done my research. I devoted a few lunch breaks to looking for a nice café that serves delicious desserts, and Great Little Place’s tip-off suggested that Fork could be what I was looking for. I headed there with a feeling of uncertainty, not knowing what I would find; more afraid, perhaps, of disappointing my partner, whom I had dragged there from West London, than of finding that reality wasn’t meeting my own expectations. What I found, instead, is that I had no reason to worry. Fork was exactly what I was looking for, and ticked all the boxes, from “nice café” to “delicious desserts”.
The space is cosy enough to give you a warm, homely feeling, and big enough to not get too crowded, even though only one table was free when we arrived. I could easily picture myself spending a whole afternoon there. Laptop on one side, a cup of coffee on the other, relaxed and focused and inspired to get some writing done. I’d love to try that, actually, as I haven’t found my “writing spot” here in London quite yet.
When it came to ordering, we faced a challenge, as there were plenty of sweet treats on display. There were croissants, Portuguese Pasteis de Nata, a Carrot Cake that looked extremely inviting – and, as if this wasn’t tempting enough, Orange and Almond Cake samples. We took one. It tasted great.
The choice became much easier when we saw the four big scones on the far right of the counter. It’s written in the books (or, at least, it will be as soon as I write one): you simply can’t resist a scone at teatime. Not when it comes with two different kinds of jam, and a teapot of Earl Grey.
The price was also very reasonable. Had we gone to one of Bloomsbury’s more well-known cafés, the same amount I spent at Fork would probably have been the price per person, and the portions would have been half as big. The only downside is that they don’t accept card payments, so make sure you have some cash on you, or you’ll have to queue at the Brunswick’s cash point before enjoying your treats.
My Cash Point Mission didn’t take long, and tea and scones were already on our table when I returned.
They came with Strawberry and Rasperry jam – two of my favourites. Both were excellent, and I struggled to decide which one I liked the most. In the end, Raspberry won the pageant. A pageant that involved several spoonfuls of strawberry jam, to make sure my judgement was as accurate as could be.
I hope I’ll have a chance to visit Fork again, perhaps at a different time of the day. I’d like to try their coffee, as they use Monmouth Coffee beans, and I love Monmouth Coffee with all my heart (but then who doesn’t?). They also sell Monmouth Coffee packs, England Preserves jams (the ones that came with the scones) – and, surprisingly enough, Italian pasta: the exact upmarket brand my mom always looks out for during her local supermarket’s promotions.
I’m also curious about having lunch at Fork, as the savoury food I saw on display looked very tempting. In particular, I set my eyes on a Spinach and Feta Quiche I won’t forget so easily…and who knows, maybe next time I’ll feel bold enough to sign the Fork Wall of Fame!
Fork Deli – Patisserie
85 Marchmont Street
London, WC1N 1AL
020 7387 2860