“Cookies and Scream” in Camden made me wanna scream -but not for more cookies

photo from cookiesandscream.com

Are you heading to Camden for a gluten-free cookie?

-Don’t bother.

We recently had my husband’s brother staying for a few weeks, and as always when we have visitors, my husband prides himself on scoping out new and cool places to see. His favourite is to find new spots to eat, a hobby that has indisputably grown in popularity since I found out that gluten hates me.

Ever since I met my husband, just over 4 years ago now, he has always put a great deal of effort into locating little surprise elements for us. In fact, I think most new places we’ve been in the last 4 years can be put down to his due diligence in the art of googling.

The other weekend was no different. We were going to Camden with his brother, and he had his sights set on some golden gluten-free nuggets for pit-stops (how convenient for me, right!).

“Cookies And Scream”

photo credit: cookiesandscream.com

One of these pit-stops was “Cookies And Scream” -A vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and low-cholesterol cookie hangout, in the form of a kiosk in Camden Lock Market (London). I was very excited to try this little place out, to say the least. I’m a huge cookie fan (and a fan of all other things sweet for that matter), and the idea of a dedicated gluten-free cookie kiosk was just about too much good to handle. I was there with bells on!

As I mentioned, “Cookies And Scream” takes the shape of a kiosk, in an alternative Camden “food court”. There are communal seats throughout, and a few at the counter. The line-up was nothing but promising -a decent sized queue is always a good sign, and the selection was modest, but very tempting.

If you’re the kind of customer who expects polished design and uniformed staff, then “Cookies and Scream” (or Camden for that matter) won’t be your thing. But if you’re happy to put up with a bit of rough-and-ready for a sampling of crazy-meets-cool, then this is your place. In terms of “Cookies And Scream”, just like their baked goods, the kiosk has a “homemade feel” rather than a shiny branded exterior. Any seasoned Camden-goer would expect nothing less -it’s a world of kids-gone-wild in a punk-meets-thrift-shop kinda way. And that’s the appeal after all. It’s what makes Camden Camden.

Whether you’re a happy-go-trashy style junkie, or just a gluten-free tourist looking for some cookie love, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Cookies that made me scream for help

Behold the magical cookies.. what do you mean you're not tempted?

Behold the magical cookies.. what do you mean you’re not tempted?

“Cookies and Scream” promise “a wholesome full flavoured and beautifully textured alternative to regular produce”, and state on their website that their “customers return time and again”.

I commend them on their vision, and I’m all for it. After all, it’s seriously right up my alley. Anyone who can make sweets from healthy ingredients and with a conscience have got my vote (and undivided attention)! There’s no faulting the concept and their intentions.

But from their grand promise grows expectations. In fact, I was practically giggling my way to the counter in pure anticipation! You see, it’s alright not to be a superstar, but if you promise you’re gonna be amazing, people will probably expect you to deliver..

But I don’t think they do deliver at “Cookies and Scream”. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t impressed. In fact quite a bit less than impressed, seeing as my “double chocolate salted caramel cookie” was so dull and odd tasting (and definitely tasted nothing like salted caramel), that I only ate one bite, and my “peanut butter choc chip cookie” was undercooked -no uncooked, in fact. It totally went in the bin!

A hard peanut to swallow

Just in case you don't believe me. Do you think I would throw out a good (or even edible) cookie?

Just in case you don’t believe me. Do you think I would throw out a good (or even edible) cookie?

I was so disappointed! I had carried my cookies in a bag from Camden to St. Albans in eager anticipation of a night-without-the-husband, chick flicks and junk food evening, and then I couldn’t even eat them! Can you imagine! I mean, I would have eaten them, even if they were quite a way over on the lousy side. I’m in no way fussy with sweets. But I threw them out!!

I really have not been known to throw out a perfectly good cookie. In fact, I think my sweet tooth is actually stronger than my survival instinct.. But I could not eat these!

And no, it’s not a vegan thing (I could see you thinking it). I eat (and make) plenty of delicious vegan food -cookies included. I’m afraid it is actually a cookie thing.

On that note; cookies are about the single easiest thing to get right in baking, not to mention the quickest way to a customer’s heart. I have no idea how they messed this up, but let’s just say they were experiencing a momentary lapse in perfection, and to make it worse a blogger came along and did a secret review. How’s that for a crappy day! -Still not half as bad as mine though; staring at my treat in the bin on my girls night in. But who’s keeping score.

On the bright side..

Cookies and Scream Camden Gluten-free London Review -"Cookies that make you scream.."

The brothers stuffing their faces with delicious ice cream sandwiches. No complaints here!

The ice cream sandwiches my husband and brother in law ordered however, went down a treat. The soy ice cream was rich and lush, and the oat-based cookies were tasty. I tried it and loved it, and my husband had a self-proclaimed “food moment”.

Thumbs up then for the ice cream sandwiches, but it’s a bit below par that a company with “cookies” as part of their name can’t get the damn things right. Also, as a “bonus”, the girls behind the counter couldn’t spare a smile to save their lives.. And I put on my best sugar-high grin and all 😦

My coeliac cross to bear

As a coeliac I sometimes feel compelled to act all graciously grateful for every gluten-free product introduced into the market. After all, I AM grateful for anything that expands our options! However, I have to pull myself together and remember that they are businesses, not gluten-free charities. I’m allowed to not like them.

I might have met these chicks on a bad day, but I have to say “Cookies And Scream” to me, was more like “Cookies that make you scream”. I’m sorry guys.

-Have you had a different experience of Cookies And Scream, or perhaps a similar one? Or, do you perhaps know of a gluten-free cookie joint that sells GREAT cookies?

Speak up -everyone’s interested!

4 Comments on ““Cookies and Scream” in Camden made me wanna scream -but not for more cookies”

  1. I had exactly the same experience as you! I live around the corner and I can’t bring myself to go back a third time. Twice bitten?
    The first time I went I wanted to try their donuts. It was mid-week so they didn’t have much on offer (and no donuts). The staff were a tad abrasive but I thought she was having a bad day so instead I tried one of their ‘award winning’ brownies. As any coeliac knows, brownies are easy. They’re dense anyway and easy to sub ingredients. Their brownie was meh. I ate it, but frankly I’ve had better. Hell I’ve even made better. Not worth the £.
    But desperate for one of their donuts, I went back.
    This time the staff were downright rude. Chatting to regulars and serving customers out of order based on who they liked the look of. And certainly don’t point that out unless you want your head bitten off. Customer service is not their strong suit.
    But I’d made the effort to go so I got my donut.
    You know what it tasted like? Brownie. I’m not kidding. It was dense, nothing like a donut and a waste of calories.
    I’ve had good gluten free donuts before. Glutenfree Bakery in Queensland makes excellent ones that I can buy frozen in Sydney. Cinnamony, fluffy goodness.
    What I had in Camden was not a donut.
    At least you only went once. Every time I’m in the lock market I think ‘fool me twice…’


    • Thanks for your input Katherine! I can absolutely relate to what you’re saying! Such a shame, because they do a good job of getting your hopes up 🙂 It’s great that you shared your own experience, I’m sure a lot of people appreciate a second opinion!

      Were you visiting the UK or do you live here now? Or is it the other way around perhaps 🙂


  2. I love love love love cookies and scream, in fact when I was living in the UK I would get the tube in (aaaaall the way from MORDEN) just for their milkshakes, cookies, brownie, blondies… in fact everything is great!!! I had never experienced the staff being rude either, I always (many times i went) found them above average friendly even for London 🙂


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