Primrose Hill's unwavering appetite for cake shops never ceases to amaze me. Clothes shops and galleries along Regent's Park Road are closing, making room for more and more cake shops. So I was intrigued to see a tiny coffee shop, set slightly away from the main thoroughfare, rammed with customers. Why this particular one over the many others? My curiosity led to the discovery of The Little One, a cute Brazilian coffee shop.
From the outside, nothing would suggest it was Brazilian. A sign tells customers it serves Monmouth Coffee, cakes and pastries. Once inside I saw that, as well as muffins and cakes, The Little One serves traditional Brazilian food: pão de queijo (little cheese bread), coxinhas (a chicken snack) and pastel de nata (a cream-based tart). But, unlike many Brazilian outfits in the UK, there's no green, yellow and blue colour palette (the cafe - there is a bench and two chairs around a tiny table inside - has a simple, black interior) or reference to the Brazilian flag. On the big black board inside, no link between Brazil and the snacks I've just listed is explicit.
Only the name - The Little One - could very subtly suggest a Brazilian connection, but even then, you'd need to be familiar with Brazilian culture and the suffix "inho", which Brazilians use incessantly to make something sound small or cute. For example, a cafezinho is a "little coffee". Just a photographic display on the front door, chronicling the cafe's history (it started off as a small van just over a year ago) and culminating in a small thank you card, gives the Brazilian identity away to an unsuspecting customer. I can certainly recommend the pao de queijo - super cheesy.