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Sticky toffee pudding
A dish of sticky toffee pudding from the Holly Bush Pub in London, England

What: One of our all-time favorite British puddings/desserts out there, sticky toffee pudding consists of a dark sponge cake (with the key ingredient of chopped dates) soaked with sweet toffee sauce—a butter, sugar, and cream concoction that’s impossible not to love. While its origins are unclear, it was likely invented during the early 20th century in the Lake District of northwest England, from where it quickly spread and achieved “British classic” status in no time. One bite and it all makes sense.

Where: Our pictured STP hails from the top-notch Holly Bush Pub (22 Hollymount, map) in gorgeous Hampstead, not far from sprawling Hampstead Heath.

When: Daily, noon-11pm, though food is served: Mon-Fri, noon-3pm and 6pm-10pm; Sat, noon-4pm and 6pm-10pm; Sun, noon-5pm and 6pm-9pm.

Order: This is a gastropub with a changing seasonal menu, so if you see the sticky toffee pudding (£5.75) on offer, grab it! The sweet, soft cake swims in caramelly toffee sauce and—here’s the kicker—is topped with a buttery dollop of Cornish clotted cream, adding a cooling, extra-creamy contrast to the rich, dark, syrupy cake. It’s a heavenly end to a meal here, which might include pork and sage sausage rolls, fish pies, smoked wood pigeon, or a host of other delicious things.

Alternatively: This is a pretty popular pudding, widely offered at gastropubs—like The Wells (30 Well Walk, map) in Hampstead—and traditional British restaurants, such as the venerable Rules (35 Maiden Ln, map) in Covent Garden. Draft House (multiple locations including 206-208 Tower Bridge Rd., map) also usually carries it, served with caramel ice cream.

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