La Creperie de Hampstead
77, Hampstead High St | http://www.hampsteadcreperie.com | ingested Sept 20th 2009
You’re probably thinking “why the long queue?” (…even the little JackRussell seems to be patiently waiting in line for his turn). However, Londoners from all walks of life, young and old, man and dog, have been queuing happily outside this tiny white hut off Hampstead High street for the past 29 years – all waiting to sample what is simply the best crêpe there is this side of the English Channel.
The Art of Creperie
This long-standing North London franchise serves a wide selection crêpes and galettes, prepared by slick, native French operators who manage to execute the art of Crêperie with flair and precision despite being squeezed like sardines inside their small caravan-cum-kitchen. What really gets to you as you wait in line is the heavenly smell of butter and eggs as the crêpe mixture sizzles over the hot crêperie irons. Soon, the filling of your choice is piled on top of the crisp layers. Choose from the archetypal Crêpe Complete (Ham, Cheese and Soft Egg) to some of the more sinful super-size-me-fillings (Belgian Chocolate, Caramel, Walnuts, Banana, Rum, and the list goes on..). When crisp and golden brown, the Crêpes are folded over skillfully into triangular parcels, served piping hot in their trademark tear-away packages.
Sat on the roadside benches by the high street, we dived into two of the savoury options – the Complête and the Mushroom, Tarragon and Cheese Crêpe. Absolutely delish and reminiscent of the ones sizzling along Montemarte’s street-corners. It was a pity the queue doubled in length by the time we finished or we would have double-backed for one of the sweet ones (Banana Cream dream with Cointreau..mmm…)
If you’re craving a good crêpe, don’t bother with the Eurostar weekend getaway. Judging by the devout following, this mighty little Crêperie will still be around for the next 30 years to come.