La Creperie de Hampstead reopens to queues of customers
- Credit: Polly Hancock
La Creperie de Hampstead reopened on Sunday to long queues of pancake-hungry customers, after a week-long closure for the installation of a new kiosk .
Owner Edward de Mesquita said he was delighted to see locals had missed La Creperie after a short hiatus.
He said: "It's almost like it's not really mine. It's theirs. It belongs to the local community. They love it. It's a local gem to them."
"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."
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 on Easter Monday, the well-loved unit was in pieces. "Has there been a fire?" one concerned customer asked Edward.
There hadn't been. Instead a new purpose-built trailer replaced the old unit as it was "falling apart" after 44 years in use. The previous trailer started off when Edward, who lives in South Hampstead, toured around the country selling crepes in 1978.
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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.
"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 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.