Inspired by the markets and patisseries of Paris, Poppy Smadja
started Poppy's Kitchen -selling seasonal salads and tarts at various farmers' markets across London. Having honed her skills at St John
and The River Café
and, hankering after the delicate confections made at places such as Jacques Genin
and Sadaharu Aoki
, she went on to develop Poppy & Sebastian -now based at Spa Terminus
It is from here Poppy makes her delectable tarts and, sells them every Saturday. Shallow, sweet short crust cases hold domes of fruit jelly, covered in flavoured crème patisserie or, glorious infused custards hide centres of marshmallow, caramel and nougat. Decorated with flowers, herbs or fruit, it seems a shame to tuck in, and destroy such beautiful creations.
Topped with a regal purple and black pansy, I tried Le Snickers Tart which, incidentally, helped Poppy win the baking category at this year's Young British Foodies
awards. Rich chocolate biscuit crumb held a layer of liquid salted-caramel peanuts, a dome of nougat flavoured custard, Jivara chocolate mousse, finished with a glossy coat of chocolate sauce.
Sat on a concrete step behind some lock-ups; I must have looked half deranged, as I made light work of demolishing this quivering, delicate beauty. With plans for a pop-up soon in Kingly Court
, what a wonderful refuge awaits not so far from the shopping crowds.