Friday, 24 September 2010

Kinky cupcakes

Soho has to be one of my favourite areas of London. Both seedy and stylish, it is home still to brothels and grotty shops selling joss sticks and tacky underwear of a highly flammable nature, yet up against the insalubrious are excellent restaurants, popular bars and expensive boutiques. When I lived in southwest London I would walk from my office down to Piccadilly through Soho's streets, wiggling along passages lined with adult cinemas and coffee shops, my eyes taking in a hundred things. If I felt like an early morning leg-stretch I would do my West End wander in reverse, pottering through Berwick Street as the market's stall-holders unpacked their vans, and arranged their bread, fruit, and handbags of suspect origin beneath their striped tarpaulins.

I miss this rambling, grubby place. My commute north rarely allows me down to Soho any more. But last week I found myself heading further south, back to one of my former residences, and, accompanied by the Accidental Ally with whom I have quaffed many a cocktail in Soho, my feet followed a familiar path. A while ago said Ally had forwarded me an article on Patrick Cox, the shoe designer, who has recently diversified, somewhat surprisingly, into baking. (Maybe these economically challenging times are hitting harder than we realised!)


And here in Soho this designer-cum-cake-decorator has set up shop, or rather bakery. But, aware of his surroundings, great care has been taken to ensure that any potentially incongruous twee-ness has been avoided. No checked tablecloths and fine china with kittens skipping merrily across it here.

The wares of Cox Cookies & Cake are displayed in the window more like the ladies of Amsterdam's red-light district than the patisserie of Paul's. Neon lights edge their cake-stands which guard the doorway to the black, shiny cave of cupcakes within.
Marilyn Monroe's red lips pout from atop one batch of glittering cakes. Next to her black sugar skulls, cushioned by a bed of equally black buttercream, glint evilly behind the glass counter. For those who like their confectionery a little more, well, Soho, there is an entire range of body part cupcakes - with names like Titty Cake, Bum Cake and Beef Cake I will allow your imaginations to describe those...

As old areas of our city are continually being done up and changed it is nice to know that some proud places are retaining their heritage, however seedy that heritage may be. And here in Britain, who doesn't like a little tea and cake...with a side order of naughtiness?

Cox Cookies & Cake on Urbanspoon

*** unfortuantely Cox Cookies & Cake has now closed ***

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