On Thursday night I had a sudden craving for waffles and raspberries. Now having been Heavenly Desserts numerous times before, and been impressed (after the initial teething problems on the first visit), I decided to pay them a proper visit and actually review the desserts they have on offer.
Now Preston is in the North West, where the culinary scene (outside of Manchester) still leaves A LOT to be desired. Places have opened (and closed) but none as of yet, have gained cult status. Sure the takeaways are plentiful and some I’d even go so far as to say, are great, but in terms of dining options where you can sit down and have a great meal, there is a huge void to be filled. It seems finally over the years, a few decent places have opened up (Marco & Carl), but seriously in decent restaurant food terms, Blackburn and Bolton have stormed way way ahead (are you listening restaurant/ food developers?). Even Leicester finally has decent halal places to eat now, which is amazing since five years ago, takeaway was really the only option.
Heavenly Desserts, is a dessert parlour imported from Leicester. I have always heard great things about Heavenly Desserts (with it being one of the first of many dessert parlours to open up in Leicester, and it has never seemed to lose its status over the years). So when I heard it was coming to Preston, I couldn’t help but be a tiny bit excited (I know franchises are not necessarily the same as the original).
Walking in to the parlour, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the interior. The white marble and opulent gold and brown gives an air of exclusivity and the feel of a slightly more upmarket dessert chain. We were ushered in quickly and I noticed that the downstairs section was incredibly full for a late Thursday evening.
As we made our way upstairs there were two large booths and a small corner table empty. The manager (I would presume) pointed towards a table that seated four people in the far corner. Firstly there were five of us, which meant the table would be a tight squeeze. Secondly, it was right in the corner of the dessert parlour (how would I take pictures in such a dark corner?). I mean I’m well aware we’re not the most photogenic bunch, but nobody puts baby in the corner! After a quick frown, my husband called out to the manager/waiter if he could have one of the two large empty booths instead. At first he seemed reluctant to even consider it as they were reserved for a large party in 45 minutes time, but assuring him we would be quick (this was only a dessert place hardly a five course meal, and I was with my mum and husband so I was hardly going to chatter for five hours) he let us be seated. A few minutes later he came and urged as to order quickly as the food takes a while to come and we would only have a few minutes left for actually eating the desserts. Now this sort of pressure of rushing us in and out annoyed me even more and the service left a really bad taste in my mouth.
Extremely annoyed with our treatment so far, I opted for an American waffle with raspberries and nutella and Madagascan Vanilla Gelato, whilst the others chose an American waffle with white chocolate sauce, a Fererro Rocher Sundae and a White Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. For drinks we opted for a coke as I have had a bad experience with the Mocktails prior to this visit.
Once the desserts came, (post me taking a million pictures of each item!) a deathly silence fell over our table. The waffle, was crispy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside. The sweetness was balanced perfectly with the Nutella and the tartness of the raspberries. The gelato (not always needed in my opinion) was creamy and sweet adding a touch of coolness to a very warm dessert. Half way through the waffle, I was quite full (after having chunks of the other’s desserts) and I decided the portions were quite large. For people with a small appetite you would most definitely have to come on an empty stomach.
The cookie dough was baked to perfection, with the sweetness of the dough being balanced with a slight saltiness and decent white chocolate chips. The gelato added creaminess and a refreshing touch to the freshly baked cookie dough. The portion is the perfect size for a solo eater. I could find no fault with this cookie dough and would even go so far as to say that this is probably one of the best dishes Heavenly Desserts has to offer.
The Fererro Rocher Icecream Sundae was also a decent mix of waffle cone, Fererro Rochers and Ice cream, within a sundae glass. Although I find too much hazelnut chocolate sickening, this had the balance verging on almost too nutty flavoured but just about getting away with it. Oddly enough, I’m a huge fan of Fererro Rocher the chocolate, but the flavoured ice creams are just not that appealing to me. My husband, being a big Fererro Rocher Ice cream fan, finished the sundae within minutes. He thought it lacked some ice cream as it had a lot of wafer/cone and chocolate. A drink was most definitely needed after this dessert (which brings me to the point of not offering tap water in the parlour! Although I am not a fan of tap water, it should be offered to all who want or desire it especially since the dessert prices are quite high for a chain located in Preston).
Overall, if not for the poor service from the table manager, the experience would have been quite great. The desserts are nice (probably the best available in Preston until it gets some competition from Kaspas which is opening soon). A small sticking point is the prices which are to say in the least quite extortionate (as high as a London dessert parlour) as I seriously doubt the rent is as high. I am quite confused as to why they opt to charge as much. I understand they want to maintain an air of exclusivity but charging high prices for the sake of it will only work for as long as there is not much competition. Coming here will cost at least £10 per person.
Also, about the table which was reserved for 45 minutes later, the guests had still not showed up 30 minutes after their allotted time. Maybe the manager should not disregard walk in paying customers who are physically present, for potential reserved table customers, especially as they have not put a deposit down for a table. I am confused as to why a dessert parlour would reserve tables in the first place as dessert is a quick and easy light snack at the end of a meal and table turnover should be pretty quick anyway. I sincerely hope it was royalty they were reserving the table for! For the service we give 2/5, yes the corner table really did annoy me, and the food deserves a 4/5. Overall a 6/10 is quite solid for a dessert parlour with service issues. Oh and if you like to split the bill, this place unfortunately does not accept split bills (I have no idea why).
Have you been to a Heavenly Desserts recently? What did you think? I’d love to hear your comments below.