TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY AND I AM TRYING TO ORDER A CAKE IN HIPSTER HACKNEY BUT I AM SCARED
So today is my birthday (45!) and a few friends are coming home to celebrate. Since I moving in a week time, everything is packed so I decided to order some takeaway and a cake. But I live in Hackney which is great and also a pain in the arse when it comes to dealing with very simple things in a place where hipsters have turned simplicity into an alleged engineering endeavour. Ordering a cake because in the land of the hipsters a cake is not just a cake but a symptom of identity construction and we are not talking about mine but Violet Cakery’s owners.
So I googled ‘Cake’ and ‘Hackney’ and I landed on Violet Bakery which is a cake shop nearby Broadway Market. The first thing that caught my attention was the tone of its, how to call it, ‘manifesto’:
‘I’m Claire Ptak and along with running my bakery-café, I am a food writer, food and prop stylist, recipe developer and consultant. Violet is my small bakery based in East London. I started my business as a market stall on Broadway Market
, cooking from home before opening the café in 2010. All of my cakes are baked with organic flour, sugar, milk and eggs. Many of the other ingredients are organic as well, like our Madagascan vanilla pods and pure cane molasses. Limited edition buttercream icings that adorn our birthday cakes, cupcakes, and fill whoopie pies and biscuits, change with the seasons. They are made by whipping up butter and sugar then gently folding in fresh fruit purees, melted Valrhona dark chocolate, freshly brewed espresso, home-made flower cordials or dark caramel made with sea salt’.
I thought: ‘fair enough’ so I sent her an email which automatic response took me to her blog where a picture of her as a conflation of a mormon and a baltic soviet apparatchik warned me. These were not just cakes but polenta and gluten free beacons of purity and rightness. Warned enough about the seriousness of the matter at hand, I started reading her blog where both her and her partner (see the steely patina of he skin) warn us again that this is not just a blog but a platform for podcasts where ‘inspiring women’ both circulate and are interviewed. Actually the ones that are interviewed are some who had interviewed people such as Zadie Smith or my friend Phoebe Philo.
There is something Prussian in the mormon attitude of these hipsters’ feminism and I am starting to get a bit fed up of it with its claims. It is distopian WASPisms of the worst kind. Postmodern pioneerism taking ‘paying the rent’ as a triumph. I think I will take the bus and go to Patisserie Valerie instead. J A T