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Eton mess

An Eton mess from a London pub, England

What: A “mess” of meringue pieces, whipped cream, and strawberries, this beloved summer dessert is named for Eton College, a distinguished public school for boys some 35 kilometers west of London, where it’s believed to have originated in the 1930s. Occasionally, chefs add a sauce to tie it all together, but there’s really just the three essential ingredients. It’s surprisingly satisfying for such a simple dish.

Where: Our Eton mess came from The Marquis Cornwallis (31 Marchmont St., map), a seasonally focused neighborhood pub in Bloomsbury. Unfortunately, the restaurant does not always offer it; see “Alternatively” for more places to try it.

When: Mon-Thurs, noon-11:30pm; Fri, noon-midnight; Sat, 10:30am-midnight; Sun, noon-10:30pm

Order: This layered Eton mess (£5.25), made with a sloe gin sauce, was for “adults only”—and adds a handful of red and black currants in the middle—but it otherwise stuck to the main formula. The sweet meringue pieces added crispy texture to the soft pile of whipped sugarless cream on top; we mixed it all up together for a true “mess” experience.

Alternatively: Look for this dish during the warm months at quality pubs and British-leaning restaurants, such as Draft House (multiple locations including 206-208 Tower Bridge Rd., map) near Tower Bridge and Shoreditch’s Albion Cafe (2-4 Boundary St., map). You can also get Eton Mess at some bakeries; the terrific Konditor & Cook (multiple locations including 10 Stoney St., Borough Market, map) mini-chain is usually a good bet.


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