A five-storey, 600,000 cubic feet industrial space is transformed for this walkthrough exhibit.
A buzz surrounds this Kensington Park Road store in London, England. The building itself draws second-looks and plenty of Instagram posts thanks to its beautiful exterior, which is adorned with black and white hand-drawn illustrations and an interior filled with simple fixtures and a chessboard-tiled floor. But what really has visitors enchanted is the whimsical biscuits on display.
Biscuiteers Boutique and Icing Cafe’s colourful, hand-iced English cookies come in a seemingly endless variety of surprising designs: there are reproductions of Paddington Bear and the Queen, plus there’s always a variety of seasonally themed treats and miniatures of adored items from British popular culture, such as its sold-out box set of biscuits inspired by all the trappings of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding.
The result: wandering into the store is like stepping into a fairy tale—even though you are still in the Notting Hill area of London.
“It was the design aspects of [biscuits] that were really the point for me,” says owner Harriet Hastings, whose biscuit-making career started in 2007. “You can create anything out of them.”
After working in publishing and marketing for 10 years, Hastings, along with her husband, Stevie Congdon, started Biscuiteers in the kitchen of his catering company. Twelve years later, she is still creating with care. Each biscuit, from baking to design, displays a precision and quality that impresses both taste and sight. Biscuiteers uses the best possible ingredients, sourcing locally where possible, to make cookies flavoured with chocolate, vanilla and allspice.
“The texture of the biscuits is between the snap of a gingerbread and the crumble of a shortbread,” says Bryony Lockhart, a senior merchandising executive with the company.
Hastings and Lockhart work with senior designer and corporate icing manager Lucy Simmons to create the design of the biscuits. Like the fashion industry, Hastings releases new designs each year. Her Valentine’s Day collection for 2019 includes designs inspired by Pop Art.
Each biscuit goes through a three-stage icing process. The icing artists—many have a background in fine arts—start by outlining the design. The outline is then filled in with icing and placed back in the oven to harden. Finally, the intricate details are added—from Peter Rabbit’s whiskers to Little Miss Sunshine’s freckles.
It’s this attention to detail that has enchanted the public to photograph, taste and gift Biscuiteers’ creations. The company now has two locations—the Notting Hill store, which opened in in 2012, and another in upscale Battersea—and ships to more than 104 countries.
“We’re creating a world of thoughtful gifters. One biscuit at a time,” says Hastings.
Whimsical Creations at Biscuiteers
The Cultural Biscuit
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is represented in biscuit form.
The Romantic Biscuit
Biscuiteers’ box set for Valentine’s Day includes Pop Art-inspired iced lips, hearts and words.
The Literary Biscuit
Paddington Bear is among the fictional characters who have been expertly iced.
[This story appears in the January 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]