The Cake Shop: Customer Announcement

After 17 unforgettable years, the London Review Cake Shop is closing its doors – its ovens, tea chests and Kilner jars – next month. Look out for news of farewell plans, including a special late shopping evening on 8 August; until then, a few words from Terry:

‘Farewells are bittersweet, and bring reflection. I’ve been looking through photos, collecting my thoughts, and thinking back to the beginning of it all: 2007, when publisher Nicky Spice and editor Mary-Kay Wilmers decided to open this space, a doorway in the history section which led into a narrow light-filled room. They imagined a contemporary version of the literary coffee house, a place where the living word – conversation, discussion, debate – could flourish alongside the written word on offer in the bookshop and the magazine. A place where food and drink could be another form of expression, another way to tell stories and bring knowledge and ideas to life.

Coffee, cocktails, ferments, pick-me-ups and restoratives, pickles. Handmade wholemeal hippie pie-crusts, surprise ingredients sourced from local supermarkets, £100-per-kilo teas. Experimental salads. Concepts lifted from high-end gastronomy transformed into lunch baguettes. Mealworm dukkah and strawberry butter. Korean waffle BLT…

Looking back at our menus, I can see the unmistakable influence of all my amazing teams – each team member helping to shape the identity of the shop through their individual interests, passions and tastebuds. I’ve been so inspired by the people that I’ve worked with over the past almost two decades; it’s thanks to them that this small space has been able to punch so high above its weight, vibrating with high energy, hard work and fun. It has been a hub, an essential yet irreverent expression of the LRB culture, bringing people together from all parts of the business and the city’s cultural scene. As time went on customers turned into regulars, shared stories, brought us book recommendations and gifts: apples, Libyan mountain thyme, Soviet champagne. Many became friends. A lot of people wrote books there, or their theses, in the quieter hours in the afternoons. Some customers wrote to us regularly all the way through lockdown. I made so many people’s birthday cakes.

The Cake Shop was also meant to be enjoyed – and it has been, by so many people, in so many different ways. Now that it’s closing, I want to say: thank you.’

Opening hours remain the same until we close:

Tuesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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