People who happen to walk through the beautifully preserved 19th century streets behind Waterloo station, are likely to be familiar with Konditor & Cook, a bakery and cafe that opened up in this very same location on the corner of Cornwall Road some 25 years ago and since then, has grown to be one of London’s most iconic cake shops.
Konditor and Cook is the creation of expert baker Gerhard Jenne. Born in Freiburg, Germany, Gerhard’s first introduction to baking he says was licking the bowls after his mother had baked her delicious Apfelkuchen.
In 1993 Gerhard found a small bakery in Waterloo that was for sale and Konditor and Cook was born. Over 20 years later and Konditor & Cook now have legendary status in London as the makers of delicious, beautiful cakes using only the finest natural ingredients. They have six shops across London.
Some of those cakes are skilfully decorated to create real masterpieces, often too good to cut (well, for a few initial moments anyway).
The shop in Waterloo did not have an area where customers could sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee with their cakes; up until now, they offered instead a selection of daily savoury dishes for the take away market of local crowds, and apparently the’mac & cheese’ was incredible.
Yet cake is the core of their business so over the course of a couple of weeks in early 2018, they refurbished the back room (where the savoury food was available) and turned it into a cosy, attractive period room where a fireplace and the existing, age-wonky wooden floor add great charm.
The Gin & Tonic was great, a soft sponge topped with a G&T glaze and a lime zest shaving.
A gooseberry jam sandwich makes up their Gooseberry & Elderflower creation, where the fruit jam is in the middle of a flower sponge, and the whole thing is finished by a creamy mascarpone and elderflower frosting.
The cakes are available in all the Konditor & Cook shops, but do visit the Waterloo branch for a bit of history as well as cake bonanza.