Who doesn’t love the smell of just baked bread? It ranks up there with sizzling bacon, freshly washed sheets and cut grass – but better (ok, maybe on par with bacon). Here at Le Cool we’ve put together our top bakeries, from Islington to Bermondsey, Hackney to Bloomsbury. Guaranteed you’ll want to spend your dough in them.
Coeliacs and those following a gluten-free diet are probably well-versed in the difficulties of finding genuinely good bread they can eat. But Beyond Bread is filling that gap – and more. This airy Upper Street café (which also has branches in Selfridges and Fitzrovia) serves artfully constructed freshly baked patisserie, cakes, loaves and an excellent selection of brunch and lunch dishes. Much of the mouthwatering selection matches gluten alternatives in quality, so it seems a shame to grab and go. Bag a table in the leafy garden area and savour the can’t-believe-it’s-not-gluten cinnamon bun.
267 Upper Street, N1 2UQ, +44 (0) 2071 833 213 Megan Carnegie-Brown
Sourdough cake, that’s what makes this takeaway craft bakery unique. They sell an array of slow ferment options, including Bara Brith (a Welsh tea time fruit cake) with honey and black tea, and apple with toasted hazelnut block. Not to mention a host of other delicacies ranging from Irish soda bread with molasses and seeds to savoury buns.
35 Colonnade, Bloomsbury, WC1N 1JA Laura Evans
Golden Gate Cake Shop
Many Chinese bakeries seem to operate on the principle of saying yes to any baking request, not matter how outlandish. Golden Gate manages to turn oddities into delicacies, offering up an astounding array of pastries, from seaweed pork floss to char siu via red bean cake and frankfurter, cheese and chilli buns.
13 Macclesfield St, London W1D 5BR Tom Medwell
Pophams is an unassuming kind of place located on a quiet Islington backstreet. Croissants are the order of the day, in varying shapes and sizes and filled with all manner of glorious things – think pistachio cream with ground almonds, walnuts, honey and rose water (proceeds going Bake for Syria) or seasonal blood orange and chocolate custard. Fancy something savoury? Check out their rosemary and sea salt plait.
19 Prebend St, N1 8PF Laura Evans
Stokey’s Luminary is not just an top-notch bakery and café, it’s also a social enterprise, a project designed to offer women from an economic and social disadvantage the opportunity to build a future. Take your pick from bread (unmissable is the onion and rosemary focaccia), traybakes and buns (did someone say cinnamon swirls??). Pull up a pew and enjoy your delights whilst admiring the monochrome chequerboard flooring, or take them away with you.
71-73 Allen Rd, Stoke Newington, N16 8RY Laura Evans
It may only be open to the general public on a Saturday and Sunday, but this bakery arch in South London’s Maltby Street Market makes it to the list by virtue of its doughnuts alone. Filled with custard, chocolate, lemon curd or good old jam, these are tiptop sugary treats. Let’s not forget the other offerings such as buttery Eccles cakes, melt in the mouth madeleines (try and catch them still warm) and their famous sourdough bread.
72 Druid St, London SE1 2HQ Laura Evans
What was once an old stable is now a delightful bakery and cafe serving both eat-in and take-away options. Founder Matthew Jones’s passion for quality baked goods at its heart, featuring a grab-and-go selection of pastries, cakes, and sandwiches served in Bread Ahead’s classic breads: sourdough, ciabatta and brioche.
21 Beak Street Soho, W1F 9RR Laura Davies
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