When you live in a capital where there are bakeries by the dozen, it’s hard to know where to choose! London is awash with sweet spots, from plaited loaves, to baked goods to cakes that look like they’ve fallen for heaven. Sweet tooth or no, there’s something for everyone when it comes to London’s bakeries, and we want a piece of all of them! So why not give one of them a visit? It’s a piece of cake!
Kova Patisserie boasts a whole lotta green, primarily in the form of matcha, matcha and more matcha! The Soho based Japanese patisserie specialises in hand made cakes with Japanese twists, that can be coupled with Japanese teas. Yum! As well as being aesthetically pleasing, the bakery bakes in styles of Mille Crêpes, Strawberry Shortcake and Roll Cake. So, if you’re never one to turn down tea and cake, it’s a great place to sample the latest café culture from East Asia, alongside trying cakes in colours you might not necessarily sink your teeth into otherwise!
A place with cakes as pretty as its name, Lily Vanilli is a cutesy spot that will have you putting on the pounds just by looking at the delicacies. Located just off Columbia Road, the bakery features a seasonal menu that’s rustled up weekly, awash with cakes, juices, pastries, soups, sausage rolls and brownies galore. If you want a wedding cake to be the envy of all your friends, it’s the perfect spot; with cakes curated to your needs, from floral patterns to cakes with popcorn pouring off the top, its a tasty option. Lily Vanilli have also produced a Bake #BakeforSyria recipe book with a host of recipes, some of which have been passed down by generations.
We had some Cutter & Squidge Biskies in the office the other day and my, oh my! Charlotte in the office is one of their biggest fans and champions their salted caramel Biskie which, she informed me, is made using vegetarian marshmallow. Alongside Biskies, tray bakes and other sweet tooth enticers, there’s the Potion Room, a place where guests can enjoy food and “magical potions”, joining a potion master to learn potion-making secrets in an immersive environment. Sounds very Harry Potter-esque if you ask us!
In a day and age where the rainbow aesthetic rules the world, Hummingbird Bakery have hit the insta-trending nail on the head with their sumptuous cakes. From Rainbow party cakes to double rainbow cakes, to mermaid selection boxes, the cakes not only taste good but look cake-tastic too. However, Hummingbird Bakery is actually most renowned for their red velvet cake – (I’ve tried it, and trust me it’s delicious)! Fun fact: red velvet cake is actually a rich chocolate-flavoured sponge cake with a distinctive reddish colour! Humming Bakeries can be found in six spots across London, so there’s no excuse not to try!
The Old Post Office Bakery drags you in purely from the scent wafting down the road. Filled to the brim with pastries, cakes and bread, the bakery has a very sweet story at the helm. Opening up quite literally in a post-office on Lyham road in the early 1980s, its kept its place in society as a trusted staple on the bakery front, with lusted over pains au chocolat and sourdough!
For more fabulous sourdough sanctuaries click here
All Crosstown’s doughnuts are made onsite using a hybrid sough dough which gives them a stronger crumb and breadlke texture. All the jams, compotes and fillings are also made in-house using quality ingredients. Crosstown opened its first shop in Soho in 2015, since then they’ve expanded to three further stores in Shoreditch, Camden and Victoria offering their unique coffee/doughnut combo across London. Their doughnuts are available to buy in Wholefoods or at 30,000 feet being served in the Business Class sections of Air New Zealand flights.
Unless you’re on the continent or paying through the nose in super swish restaurants over here, the closest you’re likely to get to top notch, freshly baked choux pastry is the freezer section at Iceland. And as we haven’t seen an Iceland in the environs of South Kensington, it’s a good job that top pastry chef Joakim Prat (head pastry chef at L’Atelier Joël Robuchon, The Greenhouse) chose the location to open up his specialist patisserie Maître Choux. A staple of every patisserie in France, choux pastry is a light dough that rises in the oven, leaving the inside soft and hollow and the outside golden and crispy and come next month visitors can expect delicious éclairs, choux and chouquettes (empty choux pastry casings that are traditionally eaten in France for breakfast or as a snack, so we’re told) all baked on site.
It’s mainly a shop but there are still a few seats in which to kick back and enjoy a cup of thick hot chocolate made to the Basque recipe of Joakim’s grandmother and if you’re not happy with pret-a-porter pastry you can up the ante and order bespoke created designs.
If you’re a fan of all things Scandi, Nordic Bakery is quite the hidden gem. The Scandinavian-style café is a peaceful escape from the hubbub of the city serving savoury Nordic bakery products and whole cakes can be ordered to take away if given 48-hour notice. So if it’s time to have a little you-time, Nordic Bakery is a real delight.