The power of social media: reviewing the viral “Humble Crumble” in Borough Market, London


Katy Leverett (she/her) reviews Humble Crumble, the viral Borough Market stall specialising in all types of Crumble, and can confirm it is definitely worth the hype

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Image by Katy Leverett- Humble Crumble

By Katy Leverett

About a year ago, my Instagram “for you” page was flooded with content from a new viral eatery in London: Humble Crumble. I’m not sure whether it was the pastel colour aesthetic, or my obsession with desserts, which meant the Instagram algorithm decided to show me these Reels. However, for about a month every day while I sat scrolling mindlessly, I saw aesthetic and appetising videos of people eating takeaway crumble. I was mind-blown that such a traditionally messy dessert had been developed into a street food, and that it looked even tastier than a homemade crumble.

Humble Crumble has two locations, one in Borough Market and the other in Spitalfields Market, both in London. According to their website, their crumbles are made “with both people and the planet in mind”. Humble Crumble pride themselves on sourcing artisan and local ingredients that change with the seasons to produce a delicious crumble every time. Thus, depending on what time of year you go, the crumble fruit may be different. They list all the sources of their ingredients on their website for full transparency, and all the takeaway items used to serve the crumbles are completely biodegradable. Their pink aesthetic is definitely “Instagramable” and their own Instagram page  highlights this. And what’s more, they don’t just batch-cook giant crumbles. Each person’s crumble is individual, and you can tailor it specifically how you’d like it – you can even have a bowl of just fruit, or just crumble topping if you wish (they do different types of crumble topping, too!) Moreover, you don’t just get crumble, toppings range from frozen custard to torched marshmallow sprinkled with meringue and rose petals. They also cater for vegans, providing vegan crumble toppings and custard.

So, inspired by my Instagram algorithm (which clearly knows me too well!), and a love of crumble, I vowed that if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would get myself to London and try a Humble Crumble. Naturally, this did not happen for a while, until this past summer on a trip to Borough Market. However, despite meandering around Borough Market for a few hours, much to my disappointment, the group I was with decided they were not invested in finding Humble Crumble; this was mainly because we couldn’t actually find it. It was our first time visiting Borough Market, and there aren’t any signs around saying “Humble Crumble this way!” I elected to find it at a later date when I had more time to search.

Thankfully, this opportunity came recently, when I was visiting a friend from home in London. Electing to peruse Borough Market for lunch, we both vowed that we would make it to Humble Crumble (thankfully I was with a fellow dessert lover this time!). Although struggling to find it again, we navigated around the back of the main market to Winchester Walk and soon found Humble Crumble (due to the enormous queue snaking around the back of the stand and down the road). Slightly astounded, but aware that this is what happens when something goes viral, we joined the back of the queue, fully committed to our cause. Whilst we did wait about 25 minutes in the queue (this was a Friday afternoon), it did seem to move quickly for its length and soon we were at the front.

When we reached the front, we had to order ourselves on a tablet screen. There was no opportunity to look at a menu in the queue or online, as their menu changes with the seasons. Having the tablet made the process a bit simpler as you could see all the options and not be faced with the panic of trying to construct your crumble verbally to the poor cashier. The pricing was very reasonable, especially being in London, with a regular-size crumble costing £6.50 and a large crumble costing £8.

We waited about five minutes before a friendly server called us over to talk us through our toppings. Having seen the torched marshmallow on Instagram (and because sadly they had sold out of frozen custard), I elected for this and some meringue and rose petals; definitely going for the ‘aesthetic’. The base was apple and mixed berry, with a shortbread crumble topping. My friend had the same crumble but had a hot custard topping with almonds. The “Crumbrulee” was also an appealing option, being a crumble with a blow-torched custard topping. The possibilities on the menu were endless: from a granola-inspired topping to having just fruit, just crumble, topping it with yoghurt or even chocolate drizzle. Being able to construct your own crumble made the experience even more exciting.

Having collected our crumbles, which were thankfully served on a tray as well as in a tub to help prevent any overflow landing where it’s not wanted, we moved over to the side to fully enjoy. We snapped a couple of photos to capture the moment, (and prove we’d actually been!), and then tucked in. Silence ensued as we devoured our crumbles, fully appreciating all the flavours. The marshmallow  complimented the crumble topping beautifully, and the fruit was delicious. It was warm enough to eat, but not too hot as to be inedible. The crumble was also just the right size: the tub looked a little small but I was pleasantly full after finishing – it was certainly  bigger than it looked. Whilst I have to admit my grandmother’s will always be the best crumble I will ever eat, I cannot deny that Humble Crumble now has a special place in my heart. I will definitely be going back to sample the frozen custard, as I’m completely fascinated by the concept!

Often when something goes viral on social media it is overhyped. However, this is definitely not the case with Humble Crumble. I would highly recommend a trip to Humble Crumble when visiting London if you have the chance. Although there may be a queue, it is reasonably priced, ethically sourced and, most importantly, incredibly tasty.

Image credit- Katy Leverett