October 2008
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Cinnabon rolls into London

America’s favourite sickly sweet, highly calorific roll of lard has come to London.  Hello Cinnabon my old friend!

I discovered this by accident yesterday when I just happened to be walking through Picadilly Circus, killing time after a meeting which turned out to be much shorter than I expected.

In fact I carried on walking right through to Leicester Square past the venue where the World Series of Poker Europe is current taking place.  You’d think I might have been a bit more interested in that than I actually was, particularly with time on my hands.  Apparently not.

It’s still a travesty that the Empire’s iconic marquee sign was torn down to make way for the dullest casino frontage you could imagine.  At least now that there’s a major international event taking place, they made a bit of an effort to hang a nice big purple vinyl banner over the balcony.  Classy.

Anyway, Cinnabon only has a tiny store on the outside of the Trocadero, but it still smells as gorgeous as I remember when you walk past.  Which I did several times before taking the plunge.

"You want four?  In a box?".

I didn’t think my order was too complicated, but it took a while to sink in.  The store is pretty new, and this could possibly be the first take-out order they had.  Turns out they did actually have boxes.  I knew this because I’d seen them, right there on the front of the counter.  I can’t imagine who put them there though, because the staff seemed oblivious.

They also didn’t have any bags big enough for said boxes.  But never fear, I got an awesome improvised handle made out of sticky tape.

I’m absolutely positive that must be how they do it in America.  Yeah great, I’ll fit right in walking through the West End with that stuck to my fingers.  Fortunately I managed to squeeze the box inside my laptop bag and it didn’t travel too badly.

They were definitely similar in shape to their American counterparts, but seemed to be lacking in the addictive white sugary gunk department.  The stock photo on wikipedia confirmed that I remembered this right: we’re definitely getting stiffed on the good stuff.

And the reason for that?  Of course it’s the Great British business model of trying to squeeze every last penny out of customers by selling them something extra that costs next to nothing and should already be part of the deal.

In the same vein as Burger King charging 20p for a little packet of ketchup with your £5 meal, Cinnabon have decided that pots of their trademark sugary goodness are 50p each.

It can’t be long before somewhere introduces a pay-per-napkin policy.

I’m pretty sure that the last time I had a box like this in America, they just threw a handful of those pots into the bag (yes, they had bags).  I kinda OD’d on the stuff (needing an extremely greasy cheeseburger afterwards to dilute my blood sugar levels) so I remember that there was a lot of it.

Anyway, I ate one at night and I felt my pulse quicken almost immediately and it kept me awake for hours so they still have the same active ingredients.

£3.50 each or £10 for 4, in case you’re interested.  Not cheap, but a very pleasant way to get one step closer to coronary disease.

5 comments to Cinnabon rolls into London

  • Lee

    There’s another one on Oxford Street, south end opposite zavvi. I bought a box of 4 and got the gunk thrown in free!

  • Jo

    I was so pleased to hear that Cinnabon had returned to the UK and visited the branch at the Trocadero last week. I too preferred the ones I had in Toronto and found that they were a lot cheaper over there. They must have gotten used to people asking for a box because I had no problems and I had a pot of the butter thrown in, although I did notice that they were 50p each if bought separately. However I would definitely go there again.

  • Kevin

    I had no idea they were expanding 🙂 I’m so happy, I’m down to London at the weekend now!

  • Marina Berglund

    You must really loathe yourself to eat something as disgusting as that…

  • Hello!

    Condé Nast Traveler recently launched this blog and my editor Eimear Lynch linked to you today.

    Love your blog!

    Lisa Gartner

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