Peggy Porschen is the fairy-tale, candy pink, and ultra-Instagram image-generating patisserie, based in the heart of Chelsea. As a well-known store in the area, we caught up with the retailer on the lesser-known products of the store, and a few items of know-how which will get you a table at one of the busiest café spots off the King’s Road.
Q: Tell us about your store, where you are located and how people can contact you:
A: We opened our Chelsea Parlour in 2019, following the tremendous success of our original location in Belgravia. Belgravia is a wonderfully quaint and cosy space for tea and cake, however, with Chelsea, I was able to create a special place that feels calming, serene and more spacious. I always loved the British tradition of Afternoon Tea and my dream was to evolve our next location into something that felt like a relaxed and beautiful tea salon.
At Chelsea, we have a much larger site where we have brought to life all the key features of our brand, alongside an evolved menu offering and detailed interiors. The dining area is much larger and we zoned the open plan space to offer comfortable cafe, lounge and restaurant-style seating.
We greatly benefit from tourism at our Belgravia Parlour – as ‘the original’ – whilst Chelsea is a greater mix of locals and Londoners. After the challenges in hospitality recruitment, we are delighted to have a steady and dedicated team in place led by our fantastic Parlour manager Riadh. Regular visitors love the relaxed atmosphere and our knowledgeable, friendly team.
Customers can visit for anything from a morning coffee to truffled eggs on toast or buttermilk pancakes for ‘all day brunch’. Our French toast has also proved hugely popular as has our classic dishes such as avocado, egg and smoked salmon offerings. Lunch and Afternoon Tea are also on the menu and locals who live or work in the area can put their King’s Road Privilege Card to good use with us during the week.
At Chelsea, we are also very proud of our dedicated events space on the lower ground floor. It’s a beautiful area for a private party and we’ve hosted all sorts of gatherings, from baby showers and birthday parties to book launches and corporate events.
Located at 219 King’s Road, we’re a 10-15-minute stroll from Sloane Square or a quick bus ride. We are positioned on a prominent corner of Glebe Place and given our sugar pink façade and seasonal displays, it’s hard for people to miss us. We were told once that since opening we’ve sprinkled fairy dust along the King’s Road!
We operate an easy-to-use online booking system where customers can reserve tables for brunch, lunch or afternoon tea and amend their details as needed. Layer cakes, cupcakes and party cakes can also be ordered online via our website for in-store collection.
For private events of up to 24 guests, we have a dedicated contact and we are always happy to help with any special requirements!
Q: Your famous fairy-tale façade and patisserie are well-known, but what do people normally come to your store for? (Particular item, photos, best coffee etc.)
A: We are enormously proud of our legacy in cakes and attract a broad spectrum of customers. From baking enthusiasts and locals who have followed Peggy’s rise to cake artistry fame from the beginning to customers who see us on Instagram and come as a destination visit from all over the world.
However, whilst some people may think of us as an Instagram location, it’s important to remember that we were never a brand that was built for social media. What you see in our seasonal displays is an extension of my love of cake and a desire to share this indulgence in beautiful surroundings; ultimately enhancing the customer experience.
We believe it’s this brand authenticity that has enabled Instagram to naturally work so well for us, and we’ve been blown away by how inspirational our pink and floral theming has been on a global scale. We always say, however, it takes more than a pink colour scheme and pretty flowers to keep people coming back! In this regard, it’s very much our mission to ensure our brand remains timeless.
I am very proud to say that since 2020 we have become well-known for our Afternoon Tea offering, and we change the menu with each season. We offer versions to suit vegan, vegetarian and gluten-friendly diets. We can also accommodate Halal dietary requirements and have a ‘little’ version of the menu for under-12s.
Q: What is it about Chelsea that keeps customers returning to your store?
A: The King’s Road is such an iconic, thriving and proactive location. There are always new events, exhibitions and occasions to keep bringing people back to the area. We are a brand that revolves around the seasons and we spend a huge amount of time developing our new collections and themes. For these reasons, there is frequently something new for customers to experience. We were delighted to win ‘In Good Taste’ at the 2022 Chelsea Awards and this is a testament to not just our patisserie offering, but all our menus across savoury and drinks. Our afternoon tea offering has become hugely popular as has our bespoke blend tea selection, developed by a London-based tea sommelier. We are also well known for our Buttermilk Pancakes and dishes such as our Luxe Prawn Roll always get rave reviews.
Q: For what reason did you open a store on the King’s Road?
A: I have always loved the King’s Road for its vibrancy, iconic status and artistic roots. As a cake designer and naturally creative person, I have always felt at home here. There is a wonderful mix of independent boutiques, fantastic fashion and interior brands as well as cafes and restaurants. It’s always lively and benefits from cute corners and pretty side streets, such as Chelsea Green and Pavilion Road. I often spend time in places like the Designer’s Guild and Anthropologie browsing or shopping. Essentially, it offers something for every hour of the day, it’s convenient and a great location for a nice day out.
Q: What do people not know about you that you wish they did?
A: I think lots of people don’t realise we have such a strong savoury menu offering and therefore may not instinctively think of us as a location for brunch and lunch. We are fully licensed and always have a seasonal cocktail offering, alongside wines and spirits. Essentially we are not just cakes. However, of course, for tea and cake, or indeed indulgent hot drinks, we offer our classic and seasonal menus. I believe the experience here is well-rounded and quite different from the hustle and bustle of our Belgravia Parlour.
We have a great front-of-house team in place and it’s a warm, welcoming atmosphere, people shouldn’t think that we’re only for a special treat as our menu is broader than that.
We’re currently working with the Chelsea Town Hall to showcase our event space as an intimate wedding breakfast location. Many people don’t realise we have this area available but it’s well worth remembering.
Q: Do you have any expansion of stores or products that you would like readers to know about?
A: We are underway with plans for international expansion and are currently finalising first locations in the Middle East to open later this year. We have a significant global following and this growth strategy has been a long-term ambition for us. Whilst the UK hospitality industry faces ongoing headwinds, we are in a strong position and excited for the future.
Q: What is your personal favourite menu item? / Your usual order and why?
A: For lunch, you can’t beat our Fancy Forager’s Toast, it’s so wholesome and warming; perfect for this time of year. For something sweet, I adore a slice of our classic Lemon, Raspberry & Rose Layer Cake, it won a Great Taste Award in 2019 and it just has everything I love in a cake: a light fluffy sponge and a zesty flavour combined with floral notes. I’d pair this with a pot of our Dreamy Afternoon Tea. It’s a black tea with raspberry, cranberry and rose buds…it’s truly dreamy in my opinion, hence its name!
Q: Where do you like to spend your time on the King’s Road – any other stores, services, restaurants/cafes, hotels etc.
A: Absolutely. I love Lavender Green for its fresh floral arrangements and Anthropologie for its homeware and fashion; as often seen in our lifestyle content shoots. I also spend time in the Designer’s Guild and our next-door neighbours, White Coco, has a lovely mix of fashion and lifestyle items.
I’m a big fan of the Red Cross Charity shop, it’s ideal for finding vintage china and other unique pieces. As a family, we love the Everyman Cinema and will go there quite often, probably before or after eating at Vardo on Duke of York Square; where there is also a fantastic Farmer’s Market on Saturdays. I have recently discovered Birley Bakery on Cale Street which makes delicious French patisserie and bread.
Peggy Porschen is based at 219 King’s Road, London, SW3 5EJ and open 10am – 6pm, Monday to Friday, 10am – 7pm Saturdays, and 10am – 6pm on Sundays.
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Photography – Paul Plews