This desserts and sparkling wine bar is the first London site for celebrated Spanish chef Albert Adrià and is found at the glamorous Hotel Café Royal, where Adria hosted his 50 Days pop up in 2016 (in which guests were served a 30-course dinner). This time around, Adria’s menu is much shorter, but no less luxurious. The space boasts gold walls and marble-topped tables, while a wall of Champagne proudly displays everything from crisp English sparkling to Italian prosecco.
The desserts are surprisingly light, meaning it’s easy to sample a few on your visit. Fruity options such as mango rendered into the shape of a flower are enjoyable, but it’s the more indulgent desserts where Adria’s technical brilliance shines. We were also pleasantly surprised by the prices, which although not exactly cheap, are a bargain for the area.
Standouts include an edible ‘cork’ branded with Cakes & Bubbles name, which is served on a bottle of Champagne that has been cut in half and plated with gold. The bite resembles a miniature swiss roll and features a hollowed-out, coffee-flecked sponge filled with frozen chocolate ice cream. Elsewhere, a delicate flower-shaped biscuit of coconut and chocolate is cold to the touch having been dipped in nitrogen, while a gold-embossed egg flan (sitting in a golden eggcup) is elevated to another realm entirely by the sticky pool of caramel sauce secreted at its bottom.
We’d recommend finishing off with Adria’s famous signature cheesecake. This half-sweet, half-savoury dessert is presented as a miniature wheel of cheese, tied up in a branded ribbon. Using real cheese (coulommiers, to be exact) the cake is wrapped in a shell of hazelnut and white chocolate, resulting in an intense, creamy finish. Cakes & Bubbles won’t be everyone’s flute of Champagne, but you’ll have difficulty finding such technical, whimsical desserts elsewhere.