West Hampstead to lose Bake-a-boo cupcake shop and popular pub

PUBLISHED: 14:31 04 March 2016 | UPDATED: 14:31 04 March 2016

Zoe Berkeley founded Bake-a-boo. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Zoe Berkeley founded Bake-a-boo. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Sad news from West Hampstead as a street known for its mix of independent shops and cafes prepares to lose two of its cornerstone businesses. Tea room Bake-a-boo is to close its doors for the last time on Sunday May, 29, while The Alliance pub is in the process of being sold by brewery, Greene King.

The Alliance in West Hampstead is to be soldThe Alliance in West Hampstead is to be sold

Bake-a-boo and its pastel-coloured, bunting-covered tearoom sprung up in Mill Lane 10 years ago, after being founded by Zoe Berkeley. Ever since, the intimate space has always been bustling with people sampling her colourful cupcakes and high teas. The tea room particularly caters for those with food intolerances and allergies, with as many gluten-free and dairy-free cakes on offer as normal treats. But despite her success, Zoe is to hang up her apron to head back to university, where she will train to become a nurse.

On her online blog, she wrote: “I now want to leave on a high when the business is strong and we can leave some sort of tiny legacy in West Hampstead.”

Just a few steps down the street lies The Alliance, a true local which serves up hearty, gastropub-style meals, and is packed with drinkers on big sports days, as well as every Thursday for its (pretty tough) pub quiz.

But there’s a question mark over its future now it is being sold, with fears that it could be turned into luxury housing.

Greene King has said it is being sold as a pub.

But community activists aren’t taking any chances, and want the drinking hole to be given status as an Asset of Community Value (ACV), which would give it an extra layer of planning protection against redevelopment.


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