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DALHOUSIE ell, just where to start? One minute the dashing Derek Taylor (right) is living in downtown Toronto organising events for American Express or singing along to Gladys Knight at a midnight baking session … the next here he is in SE19, charming the pants off everyone and promoting the delights of polenta to anyone who’ll listen. It really is all about the cake for Dalhousie (pr. dalHOW-zee, named in honour of Derek’s last Canadian address). His undoubted favourite is an old-fashioned chocolate cake but subtle twists a-plenty can be found in the glass cabinet (pecan fans, check out the brownies). But this is no place for the ubiquitous rose-covered tea set: with a welcome breath of fresh Canada air Derek has brought us sleek, neat, white, ergonomically-designed tableware in a sleek, neat, white, Elle Deco setting. Think Instagram. Think Pinterest. In fact, think of when you’ll next want to treat your best friend to a really nice calm cuppa with a slice of Victoria Sandwich as This Is The Place to take them. Over two floors, Dalhousie caters for two kinds of cakey experience. Downstairs – spacious and light thanks to its huge front window – is simple with its pale floor, marble tables and mix of banquettes and aluminium chairs. Open and uncluttered, the architectural drawings on the walls add to its industrial feel. Upstairs is a bit less like other coffee shops in Crystal Palace. The split-level first floor features an ontrend pale grey décor, open brickwork, upright radiators, metalwork stairways and a polished wood floor. Steel chairs continue the industrial theme but alongside them

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The Transmitter Issue 40  

A South London Magazine

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