These were the decisions I had to make as I grew up. My cash strapped parents enjoyed eating out so this is how they managed to keep the bill under control.
As a child this was a complete no brainer. My sweet tooth was legendary, as illustrated by copious empty cans of condensed milk that lay under my bed, or the mysterious missing blocks of marzipan and tubs of glace cherries around Christmas time.
Nothing was too unctuous or too sweet. But as with all things in life, age has dulled the need for such sweetness, I no longer eat Ice cream and ate very little fudge this summer. I now positively dislike sweets and biscuits and I am so calorie conscious that if I am to indulge I want good quality chocolate, not cheap crap from Cadburys. The one think I am a sucker for is peanut M&M's they hit the spot every time.
So what started with "a pudding please" has now ended with a plate of cheese and fruit.
Over many many years I have concluded that whilst most restaurants lavish time and money on the first two courses very few bother with the last. I have eaten so many disgusting puddings I have all but given up bothering to order one. Exceptions to this rule was the ubiquitous rice pudding at the Ivy which I could have eaten three times a day. A cliche I know but it got that reputation for a reason.
Recently my faith in puddings was neatly defibrillated back to life by the St Ives Tate Gallery cafe, the food is excellent and I shared with mother, quite frankly the most memorable bread and pudding I or mother for that matter, had ever eaten. If you are there, go, it is truly scrumptious.
Second on my success list is the Princi bakery, this has been on my 'must go' list for ages but last Friday after a disappointing visit to see Richard Long at the Tate Britain, I do question his work, it is poetic and driven by the right ideals, but the retrospective lacked the intimacy that I know he is capable of. There was far to much emphasis on text and dialogue and not enough on the physical relationship he has with the environment.
A grueling search for Leyla's cousin via a disappointing trip to Liberty's fabric department and I was in need of some serious reviving. No better place for a pot of jasmine teas and a slice of heaven can there be than this bakery cum cafe. Leyla ate the biggest cream cake I have ever seen, I managed half of my amaretto sticky chocolate cake and stashed the rest for the next day. This place has now become a 'must go to' destination and it has slightly revived my deeply buried sweet tooth.
I recently stumbled across an interesting food blog
which has some interesting reviews as well as a lot of other foodie related stuff.