Thursday, 24 April 2014

Margate: The Cupcake Cafe

On a very blustery Bank Holiday Friday we found ourselves with friends in Margate and decided to stop off for coffee and cake in one of the many cafes. Quite a few were closed, one that I especially wanted to try out, but we came across the girly looking Cupcake Café with its candy pink lettering and pink painted door which was open.

Upon entering what feels like a young girls bedroom - lots of flowers, pinkness and clutter, we headed to the counter where a delicious selection of cakes were displayed. The lass on the till took us through the cupcake options - curly whirly, crunchie, lemon, chocolate and many more. I was tempted by the coffee cake but went for a cupcake as they looked divine and it seemed apt. All coffee options are espresso based and the usual selection available, with some cold drinks available too. Settling ourselves around a table near the window, we awaited our order while gossiping and taking in our surroundings.

Although the café has a large inside area, the seating is rather cramped and we squashed the four of us around a dainty little table by the window. Surprisingly for a Bank Holiday it was very quite with only three other tables occupied and we noticed many tables had not been cleared of empty cups and crockery. The décor however had been planned and thought about, the colours vibrant pinks and blues, the tables and chairs mismatched with lots of posters, bunting and retro styled wares on display.

Our order arrived promptly, hot chocolate with Baileys and an Oreo cupcake for Tester No 1, white chocolate with raspberry cupcake and cloudy lemonade for Tester No 2, hot chocolate for him and a flat white and pecan and maple syrup cupcake for moi. It all looked scrumptious, the latte art on my flat white was very professional with the cupcakes all presented on dainty vintage plates.

We all tried a bit of everyone's choice and the hot chocolate with Baileys was OK if a bit watery. However the Oreo cupcake just tasted of vanilla and was very boring. The plain hot chocolate that Ollie had was so awful and wish-washy that he went and asked for a shot of Baileys to pep it up. Even then it was no way as good as the hot choc we had at Brunch, which tasted of velvety rich chocolate and came with whipped cream and a flake.

My cupcake looked amazing but tasted of vanilla with no flavour of the pecan or maple syrup whatsoever. I know its only a cake but I was disappointment as I would have gone for my fail safe coffee and walnut had I not been tempted by the great presentation of the cupcakes. The flat white was even more of a mistake, obviously they think a flat white is a latte and definitely need to take a trip to Loaf or Brown's Coffee House to experience what a flat white should taste and look like. The Cupcake cafes coffee was stale, watery and tasteless so much so I left it after only two sips, such a waste.

Now the White Choc & Raspberry cupcake had by Tester 2 was the best of the lot, very white chocolaty and the fresh raspberry on top added a fantastic sharp bite to the smooth icing. The lemonade was great, but it was in a can so nothing to do with the cafes expertise.

On the other side of the cafe was more seating, but again quite squashed in the corner to make room for the items on display. It felt that it didn't really know whether this area was a cafe or a gift shop, and as such no one used this area in the hour we were here.

The Verdict?
The actual decor of the cafe once your in and have taken it all in is great, very well designed with fresh colours, wooden clad walls, chalk board menus and good looking cakes. However, the flavour of our cupcakes were bland (apart from the White Choc) and the hot drinks were honestly terrible. It seems such a shame that they have gone to so much effort with the style and layout of this cafe, but haven't back it up with good coffee, flavoursome cupcakes or good customer service. It most definitely appeals to gals rather than blokes, which if you were a solo lass you would feel very comfortable coming in here on your own. Overall we will not be coming back here, but will be finding somewhere that does good coffee and cake instead.

4-5 Market Place
Town Centre

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