Crepes Suzette at The Ritz
Let us begin with one of the most luxurious dessert experiences of all, classic crepes Suzette cooked and served in the spectacular dining room at The Ritz. Invented by accident at the Café de Paris in Monte Carlo, this dessert is made from delicate crepes, bubbled in caramel and flambéed in booze (Grand Marnier). This all happens tableside, cooked by a waiter with a gleaming silver trolley and very short eyebrows. It’s a spectacular show, it tastes heavenly and it’s something every Londoner should experience once (to be honest, every single dessert here is a joy, particularly the Gateau St. Honore).
The Ritz, 150 Piccadilly, W1J 9BR. Price: £36 for two people
Baba au Rhum at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester
Another classic dessert here: the rum baba. Basically, it’s a cake, but it’s a cake that has been completely soaked through with hard liquor, and often filled (as in this case), with folds of softly whipped cream. The cake itself here is infused with citrus, and there are five different rums to choose from, because why not? It’s also served in an elaborate lidded bowl, as is traditional. That comes on a silver tray, naturally.
Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester, 53 Park Lane, W1K 1QA. Price: £20
The Paris-Brest at Clipstone
A newcomer to the luxury dessert scene, this has been all over every London food lover’s Instagram feed. The circular choux pastry filled with a praline cream of dreams is the kind of cake you want to curl up in a dark corner with, growling at anyone who comes near. The praline is almost buttery and so thick you won’t know whether to lick it or smear it all over your face like a rich night cream. What? There’s only one word to describe London’s cake-of-the-moment and it is this: glorious.
Clipstone, 5 Clipstone Street, W1W 6BB. Price: £7 and worth every freakin’ penny (cheap as chips compared to most on this list, too)
Chocolate Millefeuille at Roux at The Landau
The bitter chocolate millefeuille is composed of five layers - American pecan brownie, two layers of Manjari chocolate cremeux, and two layers of tempered bitter chocolate (it's the tempering that makes it so shiny). The chocolate cremeux is basically an emulsion of crème Anglais and Manjari chocolate, which is then cooled and piped onto the dessert. It's finished with a candied pecan, salted caramel sauce and a scoop of maple ice cream, infused with star anise. Hello.
Roux at The Landau, The Langham, 1C Portland Place, W1B 1JA. Price: £10
The Rose and Violet Sundae at Fortnum & Mason
This ice cream sundae is every bit as beautiful as it sounds with its pink puffs and sugar coated flowers. A bowl of Fortnum’s rose and violet ice cream is topped with candy floss, rose petals, raspberry coulis and crystallised violets. It has lots in common with Fortnum’s rose and violet English creams, the store’s signature chocolates, subtly flavoured with natural oils. Very British. Very Fortnum’s.
Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1A 1ER. Price: £12
The Pistachio Soufflé at Koffman’s
Pierre Koffman is one of the greatest living chefs, and what better way to finish a meal at his eponymous restaurant than with his famous pistachio soufflé. It’s his signature dessert (a bit like the stuffed pig’s trotter is his signature savoury dish) and although recipes abound on the internet, it’s always going to be better coming from Koffman’s kitchen. The pistachios are ground to a paste before they’re cooked into the soufflé so it’s smooth and light as anything, but the pistachio flavour is intense. A true classic.
Koffman’s, The Berkeley, Wilton Place, SW1X 7RL. Price: £15
The Custard Tart at Taberna do Mercado
But it’s just a custard tart, we hear you say. Well, yes, but it’s the also the best custard tart in London. Slightly different to the original Portuguese set versions, the filling here is a deep yellow, the richest, ooziest of custards. Take a bite and it begins to gently escape from the shell, leaving you only one option – eat the rest sharpish and order another.
The Chocolate Glory at Bob Bob Ricard
To be honest, one could probably eat a shoe in Bob Bob Ricard and feel glamorous, but we’d recommend you try the Chocolate Glory instead. It’s a sphere of chocolate (a golden sphere, naturally), which melts before your eyes as your waiter pours over warm melted chocolate. Warm. Melted. Chocolate. As the globe disappears it reveals treasures inside, including chocolate Jivara mousse and passionfruit and orange jelly. It’s a very fancy way of eating a lot of chocolate all at once, really, which is something we can always get behind.
Bob Bob Ricard, 1 Upper James Street, W1F 9DF. Price: £12.50