Dessert and Cakes around London

Dawn Koh, co-founder of Chalk Farm – Roomorama blog

City Guide: London

After graduation from Singapore American school, Dawn had the opportunity to enroll into Central St Martins in London, followed by London college of fashion and lastly Le Cordon Bleu. Later, she opened Chalk Farm with her brother, a modern cake company.

Not only does Dawn love baking and cooking, but she also loves fashion, travelling, and the arts!! She is a big film and music buff.

What kind of traveller are you?

When I was younger I was definitely an anxious traveller but as I got older I definitely became more comfortable, laid back and way more adventurous!

What is your favourite destination to date?

I have been very blessed to have travelled many places since I was a child but up to this date, my ultimate destination would be London. I remember the first time I travelled to London when I was a child I just thought it was beautiful. I love everything about it.

Can you tell us where you eat, drink, party, and shop there?

When I am in London my first stop for food would be The River Cafe. It is my favourite restaurant. I also adore St Johns Bread and Wine for their donuts, Eccles cake and everything is so delicious!!! Borough market for its wide variety and Yauatcha for good Chinese dim sum!

For some fun, it's great to go to Meat Liqour which is a no reservation restaurant and bar. Good burgers and drinks! Great music too! I love to shop at Liberty London and Dover Street Market. Honestly you can find so many lovely quaint shops all over London.

Tell us how and why you started Chalk Farm.

We started because of my brother, Bryan. He is my true inspiration and he is a chef and a baker too. We are both the directors of Chalk Farm. He taught me so much and helped me gain knowledge before heading to Le Cordon Bleu London. I honestly had no idea how to cook or bake and one day I just realised I had to learn so I thought since I was in London for the past 5 years, why not enroll in the toughest culinary school and see if I survive? It was a good move! Travelling has definitely helped, as I get to taste so many wonderful flavours and try new ingredients on my trips. These do inspire us, but we like to adapt them into our own version with a twist.

As a baker, what are your favourite spots for sweets?

I remember when I was around 8 and we went to Rome, I can't remember where we stayed but there was a little bakery outside our hotel and it made the most delicious Palmiers. In London, I love all the pastries from St John, cakes and ice cream from The River Cafe!! Hands down a winner for me all the time.

For avid bakers, where are the best places for baking tools?

I have visited Jane Asher's store in London and it was wonderful how there are so many options but of course we are lucky to find them here too. I am also very grateful that as a student at Le Cordon Bleu, each student is presented with a wonderful knife and pastry kit!

What are some of your must-dos when you travel?

I must watch a local film! I am a huge film buff and I love foreign films. Thank goodness for subtitles! Hahaha Aside from going to a few Michelin star restaurants, I adore the small, hole in the wall ones! I try to soak up the atmosphere as much as I can.

What are your 5 travel essentials?

My journal, my camera, sunglasses, my phone of course! And few good pairs of shoes!

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