But thankfully there are no witches in sight at Hans & Gretel.
If the Brothers Grimm’s tale of Hansel & Gretel taught us one thing, it’s that if you encounter a witch living in a house full of sweets, you damn well run in the other direction (unless you’re prepared to shove her into an oven, of course). Thankfully, you won’t need to do any of that at Camden dessert cafe Hans & Gretel, which offers extremely sweet treats without any looming threat of murder.
See also: Kensington’s wonderfully wacky house of churros.
Found in the heart of Camden Market, Hans & Gretel has taken quite the diversion from Germany’s Black Forest. The store is actually a Greek chain, with outposts in Cyprus and Turkey, and one which has picked up quite the decorative flair along the way. Not least in the fetching pink dirndls the staff were kitted out in when we dropped by for a visit…
In taking their inspiration from the fairytale, Hans & Gretel decorate their stores with gaudy candycanes, lollipops, and sweets, for a visual feast that’s expected to prove rather popular in these Insta-centric times. Punters are also invited to pose in the store’s ‘Candy House’, which looks like something you’d find on Grand Designs, if it was sponsored by Big Sugar.
Whilst the decor may be tooth-achingly sweet, it’s nothing compared to the range of treats that Hans & Gretel are offering. Their speciality are chimney cakes, which are neither German nor Greek – they’re actually Hungarian in origin, but since they’re also delicious, we’ll forgive the pick-and-choose approach to cuisine. Sweet, caramelised dough is toasted for crispiness, and then filled with ice cream and sweets for the extra sugar hit.
Elsewhere, they’ll serve waffle cones of ice cream and freakshakes, each festooned with an appropriately zany array of toppings. In fact, since Hans & Gretel boasts a pick n mix station, a candy floss machine, and an ice cream bar, they’re well equipped to send you zipping off on a sugar rush.
Unlike the real Hansel & Gretel, you won’t have to work hard to find it – the store is surrounded by lollipop-wielding statues that have already proved popular with the crowds. Spectacular design married to Insta-friendly desserts? If that isn’t a modern fairytale, then I don’t know what is…
Find Hans & Gretel at Unit 91, Camden Market (North Yard), NW1 8AJ. Nearest stations are Camden Town and Chalk Farm.
Also published on Medium.