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These London bakeries are staffed by properly skilled artisans; peoples dedicated to honing the fine art of pastry, meticulously folding layer upon layer with oh so much butter.
Sure there's a Sainsbury's on every corner that can provide a thoroughly unromantic cheese twist at a moment's notice, but don't you deserve better? You're a stand-up sort, you recycle, you've held open a few doors recently. Cripes if you're not allowed the pastry life then who is?
Originally a stall on Broadway Market, Violet (Claire Ptak) has upgraded to this postcard-perfect brick-and-mortar outpost whilst also pumping out cookbooks left, right and centre. Her cupcakes are gorgeous; her cinnamon buns a lip-smacking delight - there isn't a cake this lady can't do, she even made a lemon and elderflower number for Megan and Harry's big day.
Ollie had been dreaming of opening a bakery for years until he finally settled near the canal in Islington. All pastries here are handmade in the morning (which means head baker Florin has to get up at around 2am to laminate his croissants). His plain croissant is faultless but it doesn't stop there. This is a place where a maple and bacon croissant is possible; or one with... wait for it... peanut butter, raspberry jam and banana slices.
There may only be a brief window on Saturday when you can get your hands on the Little Bread Pedlar’s stuff, but trust us, it’s worth it. Roll out of bed and down to Spa Terminus for some seriously devour-worthy pastries, ridiculously light and airy and fresh out of the oven. Get in between 8.30am and 2pm for sourdough loaves, croissants, quiches, and signature pastries like the Parma Rose - parma ham wrapped in a nest of croissant dough.
In an arch of E5 you'll find this cafe - a busy hub where affluent Hackneyites come in for their routine cup of joe, fresh lunches and cakes and treats. In another arch, you've got their store, which is all about artisan goods at appropriately inflated prices. And then the mill itself. They're nailing croissants, cinnamon rolls and their little known savoury sibling the cheddar and marmite roll. It's pastry magic.
This Japanese bakery and café is all clean modern lines, proper neat and tidy, with a perfectly presented selection of patisseries. Choosing between all these parcels of wonder really is tricky, there's all sorts of tarts, buns and cakes on offer. Try a simple matcha roll or go big with a 'choux trios', which looks like three joined up profiteroles filled with whipped sesame, matcha and azuki custard.
Another bakery in a railway arch... well if it ain't broke. Yeast Bakery specialise in 'viennoiserie' which means all sorts of pains au chocolat, pains au raisin, brioches feuilletées and the elusive kouign-amann: an obscure Breton bake made with layer upon layer of pastry, butter and sugar. It's a pretty laborious process but you end up with something resembling a caramelised croissant. It really is summin' else.