Before I went to London, I made a plan for everything. I even listed the must-see (must-eat) cupcake bakeries and cafes. When I got there though, not everything went as planned and I ended up not following the plan, simply because there were so many shops and cafes to stumble into that I didn't need additional ones. Even though I hadn't planned about going there, I was pretty sure that I had read about Patisserie Valerie in my Rough Guide to London but when we decided to go there, it just disappeared from the book! I found it, 10 minutes later, under the name of Patisserie Valerie at Sagne, which sounded a little weird, but that didn't stop me. (An hour later, while browsing my shopping map for where to go next, I found another Patisserie Valerie there, the one that I saw first and wanted to go to.)
Patisserie Valerie was founded in 1926 by Madam Valerie in Soho. It was an instant success. That was the only shop until 1993, when Sagne joined them. Sagne was founded by the Swiss chocolatier and patissier M. Sagne in 1921; now this Marylebone cafe is called Patisserie Valerie at Sagne and that's the one I visited. Right now, there are 19 Patisserie Valerie cafes in London and another 12 in other British cities. From what I've read on Tripadvisor, that seems to bother some people because the service isn't what it used to be and the cakes aren't the same either. I can't judge though; this was my first time there.
Patisserie Valerie on Marylebone High Street is (conveniently) located within walking distance from Oxford Street, a few minutes north of the Bond Street tube station. It's a nice walk, but unfortunately not long enough to burn all those calories! Except you're carrying 20 full bags of clothes, shoes or whatever you can buy on Oxford Street. Then, maybe, it's enough.
I really liked the exterior of the cafe, but they only have three tiny tables outside and there was no room, so we had to go sit inside. It was a little crowded with all those tables and chairs, but since there were almost no people in there, it was manageable. First, I checked what they had on display and yes, their selection of cakes is amazing. Not just cakes, but everything else too. Cupcakes, macarons (2£ for one macaron, seriously, who pays that much for one bite of anything?), profiteroles, donuts, eclairs, cheesecakes, croissants, muffins, smoothies... In addition to all that, they also serve real food - breakfast, lunch, brunch - sandwiches, eggs, porridge, soups, omelettes and salads. Thinking about this, I just want to go back there right now. After eating chocolate cupcakes for two days I was a bit fed up with it, so we chose the Black Forest cake (for me) and the Double Chocolate cake.
Don't they both look delicious? And trust me, they were. My Black Forest cake had just enough cherries for every bite and ahh, I enjoyed it. I really did. I don't usually order Black Forest cakes anywhere because they are always so high and full of whipped cream and I hate that. (Also, I usually don't like their cake:cream:cherries ratio. I would prefer more cherries.) This one wasn't. It was just perfect. The only weird thing was the chocolate decoration on top, which was disgusting. The cone, not the Patisserie Valerie sign (isn't that a nice touch?). But who cares about decorations. I want cake! (And I got it.)
The chocolate cake was, well, chocolate. It even had a half of a profiterole on top of it. By the time that I tried it, I'd had enough of chocolate for that month and I really wasn't objective. It was good though, I can't say it wasn't. You even get a special cream-colored Patisserie Valerie napkin, which I didn't use, so I could bring it home. Every piece of cake costs about 4£, while the cupcakes and the macarons cost 2£. The whole menu is available on their website. If you're in London, you have a lot of money and you don't know where to spend it, I would suggest coming to one of the Patisserie Valerie cafes. Every day. There are 19 of them in the city after all, so they can't be very hard to find!
Patisserie Valerie - Marylebone
105 Marylebone High Street