September 01 2010
As if Harvey Nichols’ Fifth Floor weren’t already a sybarite’s redoubt for the food-obsessed, with its rows upon rows of exclusive and exotic prandials and pitch-perfect espressos at the café, now – for a brief but delicious time – it’s going to be heaven for the sweet-toothed as well. Starting on September 13 and lasting for two months, pastry chef Claire Clark will inaugurate a pop-up patisserie adjacent to the Food Hall – a slick, industrial-kitchen-style space replete with the imaginative and delectable treats with which she made her name at that Napa Valley temple to haute gastronomie, The French Laundry.
The treats themselves are equal parts masterful craftsmanship and sheer whimsy, with joyful flashes of childhood in the colour and taste combinations. Strawberry marshmallows are hot pink with a jolt of fizz; humble Jaffa Cakes are given an Amadei Toscano black chocolate centre and macaroons get a glamorous upgrade.
For the first four weeks of the pop-up, the Fifth Floor restaurant will also host an afternoon tea with Clark’s creations as its central showpieces (this was originally a two-week event but has now been extended until October 10). Sandwiches, scones and clotted cream will be accompanied by peanut butter s’mores, bubblegum marshmallow pavlovas, and, for the wheat-intolerant – or just the health-conscious (what are they doing here?) – a rhubarb-and-spelt cake. Even the tea, with an Earl Grey base and lavender infusion, is, like all the sweets, unique – and everything is available for purchase (tea, £3.95 for 125g; cakes from £1.25), packaged beautifully in signature pale grey boxes.