Do you want your lardy cake hot or cold? It wasn’t a question I’d ever expected to field, let alone answer. I didn’t have an answer. Actually I did – cold obviously.
“Really?” my friend asked incredulously. “I always have mine warmed up, it’s the best way.”
Who knew there was a best way? Who knew that Lardy Cake was a big deal and who knew that Blake’s Kitchen had this whole lardy cake frenzy going on anyway?
As if Clanfield wasn’t gifted enough in the eating stakes with the newly arrived, celebrity ridden, hugely popular Double Red Duke in situ, or The Clanfield Tavern over the road which does a scorching Sunday roast, but no they had to triumph in the bakery/post office hierarchy as well.
“blake’s is a community hub with the odd lardy cake hunter thrown in for good measure. You can spot them a mile away furtively calculating another slab, gabardine Mac intact”
No ordinary dusty shop and counter for Clanfield, no instead it houses Blake’s Kitchen, which has been a family bakery for three generations and has now expanded to include a buzzing cafe with people brunching, lunching and lardy caking. Oh and the village post office as well.
The freshly baked Lardy Cakes are not only available by the square to eat in, but also whole to takeaway. Who would want to eat a whole one? We nabbed the last one at lunchtime in its entirety as we left. The sourdough bread had already sold out. This place is good.
The staff are lovely too and served us at the counter of the light, airy premises where people worked, chatted, families gathered, children giggled. It’s certainly a community hub, with the odd lardy cake hunter thrown in for good measure.
You can spot them a mile away furtively looking at the counter to see if they can fit in another slab before they depart, gabardine Mac intact.
“Do you want anything else except cake,” was another prize-winning question asked by our waitress
It turns out I don’t like my lady cake warm, too greasy, I like it cold and more doughy, like a gooey Chelsea bun, but that’s just how I roll.
The cinnamon buns looked pretty good too so we had one of them, oh and the cakes were divine, although they’d pretty much been demolished when we arrived. “Do you want anything else except cake,” was another prize-winning question asked by our waitress.
We could have had the soup of the day – a winter veg and Kelmscott smoked bacon – or the buttermilk pancakes with streaky bacon, marscapone and maple syrup, or the Ramsay black pudding muffin with a Blake’s hash brown, fried egg and house brown. And a Kelmscott pulled pork, Blake’s barbecue sauce brioche or a cauliflower cheese, pickled red onion and sourdough toastie. And that’s just the specials.
There is a fly in the ointment – for some strange reason, which only encourages the frenzy, lardy cakes are only available on a Thursday
Not wonder Blake’s has got a site at Soho Farmhouse just down the road, just the right crowd for the goodness bowls of brown rice, cashew pesto, coronation chickpeas, grilled garlic and lemon chicken, halloumi. Shall I go on?
“I wasn’t here for goodness. I was here for full lard and boy they fulfilled that criteria”
But I wasn’t here for goodness. I was here for full lard and boy they fulfilled that criteria, accompanied by some stunning coffee which was so good I ordered three cups.
There is however a fly in the ointment – for some strange reason, which only encourages the frenzy – lardy cakes are only available on a Thursday. Don’t ask me why – ask them. So if you want to get down there I’d get a move on. It is after all THURSDAY.
Go to https://www.blakeskitchen.com for more details.