New era for La Creperie de Hampstead
- Credit: Edward de Mesquita
Residents were shocked to see Hampstead's favourite crepe stall in pieces on Monday, but fear not, pancake fans.
A purpose-built unit has now replaced the 44-year-old trailer, and with a fresh menu on the cards, a new era of La Creperie de Hampstead has begun.
Since 1985, La Creperie has been lovingly flipping crepes and galettes outside the King William IV pub. A mainstay of Hampstead High Street, local celebs, including singer Harry Styles, have frequented the small trailer.
But on Easter Monday, the well-loved unit was dismantled.
"Has there been a fire?" one concerned customer asked owner Edward de Mesquita, who lives in South Hampstead.
"So many people made the most incredibly lovely comments to me about how [La Creperie] is an institution. At least four people use the word 'institution'. 'An institution,' they said. 'It's really that's what Hampstead is.' It was brilliant," Edward said.
He wanted to replace the old trailer as it was "falling apart" after 44 years in use. The previous trailer started off when Edward toured around the country selling crepes in 1978.
The new kiosk is a permanent unit weighing two and half tonnes. It has running hot and cold water, better refrigeration and is designed to look exactly like the previous trailer. It even has a fake wheel on the front.
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"The idea is it looks exactly the same," Edward explained. "That's what I wanted. I wanted people to come along and not realise that. It looks the same, but it's not. It's much nicer."
The logistics of the operation were challenging, but each crew member has been lovely, Edward said. He hopes La Creperie will be back up and running by the weekend.
The crepe stand owner recently went to a trade show that inspired him. He hopes to adapt La Creperie's menu in the coming months.
"I found some new products that I'm going to be doing. I'm going to work on it. There's a few things I want to import. There are all sorts of new products that are coming on the market," he said.