Maison Bertaux is a slice of France, or better, of French patisserie in the heart of Soho and claims to be the oldest bakery in London. Whether this is true or not, it is an institution for those of us who have a sweet tooth and definitely worth a visit.
Maison Bertaux, 28 Greek Street, London, W1D 5DQ, +4420 7437 6007
St. John Bakery
St. John Bakery has done so well that the business has expanded from bread to wine. Besides the original shop in Maltby Street, you can find other St. John’s branches such as the bar and restaurant, and bread and wine, spread across the city. However, the bakery’s best treat continues to be the seasonal jam-filled doughnut.
St. John Bakery, 41 Maltby St, London SE1 3PA, +4420 7553 9844
Bread Ahead’s stall at the Borough Market soon became famous, especially thanks to their delicious doughnuts. However, this is not the only thing this bakery has to offer. You’ll also find a wide range of naturally-fermented sourdough bread and a variety of loaves. Moreover, if you are keen to experiment and want to try making your own products, the bakery even organises doughnut, pizza and gluten-free bakery workshops at their headquarters in South London.
Bread Ahead,3 Cathedral St, London, SE1 9DE, +4420 7407 7853
The facade of Bake-a-boo is painted a shocking pink and perfectly matches the colourful cupcakes cluttering the tables inside the tearoom. The choice is vast and suits every diet: gluten-, egg-, dairy- wheat- and even sugar-free creations are ready to be tasted. This is the best place to enjoy good pastries without breaking your regime.
Bake-a-Boo, 86 Mill Lane, West Hampstead, London NW6 1NL, +4420 7435 1666
According to American tradition, the best cakes are covered in buttercream icing. Californian owner Claire Ptak uses only seasonal fruits to make her cakes, which are utterly delicious. The bakery’s large offering also includes brownies, banana bread, cookies, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls. Tasting is believing when it comes to Violet Cakes.
Violet Cakes, 47 Wilton Way, London, E8 3ED, +4420 7275 8360
Dreams come true just by looking at the shop window of Ottolenghi, who present an astonishing selection of sweets and pastries from European recipes, with a tendency towards Mediterranean delicatessen. Particular attention is dedicated to the choice of products and their combination of flavours. The Ottolenghi confectioners have, in fact, a special consideration for tradition, as much as they are keen to experiment.
The Old Post Office
Born in 1982 among the walls of a former post office this bakery went organic before all the organic fad even started. The bakery is run by a German psychotherapist whose aim seems to be to provide the community with handcrafted, flavourful loaves. The selection of organic sourdough breads is impressive; simple rye, rye with sunflower seeds, caraway, sesame and much more. This is a destination for true bread lovers.
The Old Post Office, 76 Landor Road, London, SW9 9PH, +44207 326 4408
Parisian-looking Balthazar Boulangerie finds its home in pretty Covent Garden. Not only the environment is refined, but also the taste of the well-crafted products. There is an array of bread shelved on the golden-tiled walls to admire and of course, to taste.
Balthazar, 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5HZ, +4420 3301 1155
Bread, brownies, tarts, cakes, take your pick. The options are countless in this East London bakery. Framed by the arch of London Fields rail station, E5 Bakehouse is a gem in this vibrant neighbourhood and exactly the right place to find some sweet solace in the daily grind.
E5 Bakehouse, 395, Mentmore Terrace, London E8 3PH, +4420 8525 2890
The London offspring of the Stockholm chain, Fabrique bakery is located in Hoxton and has also opened a second branch in Covent Garden. All products are baked according to traditional methods which require, above all, time. From the time it takes for the sourdough to trigger the key chemical reactions to the time the bread needs to cook to perfection in the Fabrique’s stone oven. The result is a timelessly good bread. Not to mention the finest Swedish cinnamon buns, which are a must-try.
Fabrique, Arch 385, Geffrye St, London E2 8HZ, +4420 7033 0268