Hello everyone, hope you’re good! So my weekend in London came and went so fast as I knew it would, and tbh I’m feeling mixed emotions about the whole thing which I will be sharing with you throughout the posts haha. I’m only going to post two separate posts on the weekend, Part 1 on the Hello Kitty pop-up café and Part 2 on Hyper Japan. Let’s start!So on Thursday evening Pixie’s fiancé picked me up and took me back to theirs; we went to Kaspas: Gelato and Dessert House and I ordered a crepe with chopped banana and strawberries with Belgian chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream on the side! I also got a strawberry bubble shake (very similar to bubble tea but milkshake with the bubbles instead of tea) with strawberry bubbles which was very nice but the portions were so big, it was impossible to finish it all! After that we just went home, got ready for bed and went to sleep.We got up bright and early the next morning, packed the rest of our stuff and got ready; ofc obligatory selfies are a must!The train to London went smoothly, and this time I wasn’t worried about catching the tube at all; got myself a tube map and Pixie an Oyster card, and even helped a gentleman who was struggling with English money (good deed done for the day). Unfortunately the Bakerloo line isn’t currently stopping at Paddington station, it would’ve been an easier journey if it had but instead we had to swap a couple of times until we got to Oxford Circus. They always say things look further away on the map than in real life, well this time turns out the map was right…I thought Soho was pretty close to Oxford Circus (I still don’t know London very well so I am not accustomed to other stops that would’ve been closer) but turns out it required a fair bit of walking to get to where we were going.We got to the Cutter and Squidge bakery a little late but luckily they hadn’t cancelled our booking; the place was decorated with Hello Kitty as soon as you stepped inside and everyone was really friendly, they even took our suitcases and put them in the store room out of the way. They showed us to the seating area downstairs that was decorated to look like a garden; there was white table furniture, potted plants, and vines decorating the ceiling and pillars that were intertwined with fairy lights and had little fruits ‘growing’ from them. It was really pretty, though shame the lighting was a little dark as the pictures didn’t come out very clear.The service was really prompt; we hadn’t even had much time to get our cameras out to take photos of the deco before someone had brought us Mimmy’s Pink Lemonade which was really nice and refreshing, not artificial tasting and came in a milk bottle with a Hello Kitty straw.Shortly after they approached us with a decision on our tea, we both chose English Breakfast tea which was also swiftly brought out to us. Within moments of our tea being served, they brought out our food which was served in dim sum boxes, 5 stacked on top of each other, which you were supposed to eat from the bottom up; so in order of the boxes to be eaten, this is what we were served:
- A selection of sandwiches – salmon and chives, red onion and mature cheddar, hummus and red pepper, and cream cheese and cucumber (in the shape of Hello Kitty).
- Scones – Cheese scones with cream cheese and relish spread, and Hello Kitty crackers.
- Cake selection – Cutter and Squidge’s famous ‘biskies’ in Strawberry Milkshake flavour, small square of chocolate fudge brownie and Hello Kitty pink vanilla biscuits (in the shape of Kitty’s head).
- Sweet selection – Small berry-flavoured jelly in the shape of Kitty’s head), pink lemonade marshmallows, chocolate-dipped strawberries and chocolate cake truffles.
- Cake selection – Chocolate flavoured cake, white vanilla cookie (in the shape of Kitty’s bow) with chocolate and matcha dipping sauces, and apple crumble mousse.
So that is what you get; 5 dim sum boxes to share between two people with one of each item per person in bite-sized portions.
Disappointed. It was a real shame that everything was mass-produced and you couldn’t choose the selection yourself.
- I don’t like salmon or hummus and I can’t take red onion, so the only sandwich I was able to eat was the cream cheese and cucumber (which I’m not a massive fan of also but it was the only thing edible for me).
- The cheese scones were actually pretty nice and Pixie said the crackers were yummy too but I didn’t eat them because they had relish between them and I don’t like relish lol.
- The biskies were REALLY sweet, like super sickly sweet. Pixie tried them and I watched her face screw up, so I knew to scrape the majority (for which there was a lot) of the filling onto my plate before eating and it was sickly even then. The chocolate fudge brownie was pretty standard, and the biscuit was okay although somewhat greasy? It’s the only way I can describe it…
- The berry-flavoured jelly was berry? The taste was so weak that we debated what it was and settled on peach, it didn’t taste like berry at all. Pixie tried the pink lemonade marshmallow but screwed her face up again because she found it sour, I didn’t try one nor did I try the truffles.
- The white vanilla cookie was pretty pleasant, especially dipped in the sauces. The apple crumble mousse was cinnamon flavoured which I hate so that was a no from me after a couple of mouthfuls, and the chocolate ‘mud pie’ cake I didn’t eat.
So for £40pp (£80.00 in total for me because I was the one paying for it), it definitely wasn’t worth it. I know it wasn’t their fault that I didn’t like a lot of what was put in front of me but that’s why it was such a shame that you couldn’t choose the selections yourself. I also found the food to be very bland; like, the cream in the biskie was supposed to be strawberry flavoured, but to me the taste of the ingredient overwhelmed the actual flavour. So “this cream tastes like cream” rather than “this cream tastes like strawberry”, and I found it to be that way for pretty much everything including the apple pie mousse, the berry jelly and then cheese scones. I think had it of been richer then it would’ve been much nicer, but that’s just my opinion and I’m sure there were lots of people who thought it was a very nice meal.
Despite it being a disappointment, I will comment that it was still nice for the novelty purpose and experience of having afternoon tea which I’ve never done; this also being the first official Sanrio pop-up café in Europe made it very special. Another thing is that although it was very expensive, you could ask for more of whatever you liked on your plate and have an UNLIMITED amount of it, and anything you couldn’t eat they happily boxed and bagged for you to take home which is what we did with everything that we left (so all the bits that I didn’t eat but would still like). The staff were very attentive, asking often if there was anything that we needed or anything they could top up, and they brought everything to us promptly.
We had planned to take it back to the hotel to snack on later after visiting Hyper Japan, but not only did we not have a mini fridge in the room (we did last time) but I was so disappointed with the food that I wasn’t even fussed to try the things I hadn’t yet tried. The only thing Pixie ate from what we took away was the cheese scone as a snack, and the rest went in the bin >_<.
Needless to say I won’t be doing that again, definitely not for £40pp Hello Kitty or not. When I wrote a post a little while back about visiting, Jenikya commented and told me that they were really let down; of course I was concerned that it would not be to my expectations but after reading her review I felt like it was mostly to do with the service rather than the food itself, so hoped that my experience would be better than hers (sorry you had a rubbish time Jenikya! You can find a link to her review in the comments section of this blog post. Although the service was great, it was the food that was the let-down for me! Actually, looking at her review I see some vast differences in the food we received; for example, my jelly was almost clear but hers was dark red which suits the ‘berry’ flavour it was supposed to be and her truffles were white whereas mine were dark chocolate?Anyway I shelled out the £80.00 and Pixie purchased a Cutter and Squidge x Hello Kitty colab tote bag and a pin badge for me. I had considered purchasing some of the other confectionaries available for the bakery but after the disappointment of the food I decided to save my money.
Overall thoughts – 2.5/5 stars. Yeah…
So that’s it for this blog post, it’s such a shame that the HK café was such a flop but hey, you don’t know until you try huh? It made for a new photo opportunity haha and it would’ve been nice if they had a bit more Hello Kitty merchandise to purchase as well, though we did get free stickers for attending. If you went to the Hello Kitty pop-up café, care to tell me your experience? Next post will be on the actual Hyper Japan event so stay tuned! Until next time~♥