I took my dear friend John there for lunch, and we snagged a great table at the back where I could watch all that was going on in the pastry kitchen as we munched on our lunch.
We chose to share a sandwich and a couple of salads, which were both totally delicious. I think it was a cheese and roasted veggie sandwich, and a pasta salad with a really tasty broccoli salad.
We saved room for some cake, which we had to sample! I chose an amaretto cheesecake and a chocolate cupcake with praline buttercream. The buttercream was to die for, and I really loved the oaty crust on the cheesecake.
I then ended up saying hello to the chef, Bea, and I'm so glad I did as they were nice enough to offer me an afternoon of work experience. So I dashed off to the Burkenstock store and snapped up some chef shoes and showed up the next afternoon.
Despite her formidable reputation, she was an amazing teacher, and incredibly patient with me. My first test was to quickly weigh out eggwhites and sugar for meringues. I didnt take too long to do that, so it was on to the next task, whipping up some gluten free orange cakes. These were a snap to make, and totally delicious, I was lucky enough to taste one. It was a simple mixture, which didnt even need any frosting, totally delicious and moist.
I then set to work piping meringues, which I found really tricky, but after being corrected several times, I managed to get it right, and set about piping tray after tray of meringue, which eventually winged their way to selfridges (oooh!!).
Even though it was just an afternoon, I had a fantastic time, Bea had created a really great atmosphere with the people working there, I met two people, Naomi and James, who were both really nice, and it felt like fun to work, which is important as its often a very long day in this kind of business.
I would love to think that this could be my job one day, although its so much better paid being a chemist than a cook/pastry cook/cake artist! Its lovely to visit a bakery like Beas, where quality ingredients are of the greatest importance and attention to detail is impeccable.
Be sure to check the bakery out if you're in London, and also try a lesson with Bea, she's a great teacher!