There are many cake shops and cafés running along Acland Street as anyone familiar with the area will tell you. However, Monarch Cakes is the only one that made me feel inherently more cool for having walked into it.
What initially drew me in was the incredibly adorable cupcake tower in the window which for me distinguished the shop from it's nearby competitors. Yet once we walked through the doors it was like entering another world. On the left is a bookcase that spans the entire shop that is filled with books and magazines most with quirky titles.
The shelf is also filled with memorabilia and photographs of the owners and their families which makes you feel as though you haven't stepped into a café but into someone's living room. Various pastries and cakes line the counters, and of course I ordered one of the cupcakes from the window.
I'll admit it was almost so cute I couldn't eat it. The other desserts we ordered were all beautiful as well as our incredibly rich hot chocolates. The staff, the rumoured descendants of the original owners, were all very hospitable and friendly. Monarch's also came recommended to me as having extremely good coffee however we didn't have time to try it so it's not set in stone.
While the drinks and desserts were all applaudable what I really liked about this place was the warm and personable atmosphere. Check out their website which explains their history and showcases all their varieties of cakes.