Leading food writer and guru, Stephanie Brookes, tells us where to find the best choux pastry and poppy seed bloomer
There’s something so comforting and reassuring about finding a really good bakery.
As a child, I remember visiting our local bakers and being transfixed by the sweet and savoury delights behind the counter. I always opted for a classic chocolate éclair, and even now, I still have a soft spot for this familiar and much beloved sweet pastry treat. My love of all things baked has continued to this day, and when I come across a bakery which clearly takes great pride in their work, I want everyone else to know about it, too.
We’re a nation of bread and pastry lovers, that can’t be denied, and we’re fortunate enough to have such incredible quality all around the UK. It goes to show that while food fads come and go, the sight and smell of freshly baked goods just can’t be beaten. Here are some of the very best bakeries which I hope will delight, inspire, and even prompt a visit or two…enjoy!
Cuckoo’s Bakery – Edinburgh
If you are lucky enough to live in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, and you’re something of a sweet tooth, you are probably well versed in the delicious treats of Cuckoo’s Bakery.
This delightful bakery has already won the title of ‘Best Cake in Scotland’ back in 2014/15 and more recently in 2015/16. As well as sumptuous celebration cakes, and the classic cupcake, they also offer a range of gluten-free cakes with flavours that include Banana & Sea Salted Caramel and Sticky Toffee Pudding.
150 Dundas Street
Evershot Village Bakery – Dorset
Time-honoured tradition and quality are all hallmarks of this well-known and much loved bakery. Hand-made by their expert team, this bakery keeps their loyal customers and visitors alike in constant supply of some of the finest breads and pastries. Evershot Village Bakery
is one of the oldest bakeries in the country, and are very proud of their heritage, still creating their much-loved breads from traditional recipes.
26 Holyrood Street
Bageriet – London
On a quiet little side street in the heart of bustling Covent Garden is home to one of the city’s best bakeries: Bageriet
. This bakers specialises in traditional Swedish breads and out-of-this-world sweet pastries. Their extensive menu is a sight to behold but if you’re a first time visitor, you must try their Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) accompanied by a cup of coffee. Their speciality breads are outstanding, but take home a Barkis which is a white bloomer covered in either pumpkin, poppy or sesame seeds – great for sandwiches! It’s the perfect place to take respite from busy, central London - if only there was one on every street.
24 Rose Street
Loaf – Birmingham
Back in 2009, Loaf
started out as a community supported bakery which has since grown into an incredibly popular and well-loved local staple. Providing their loyal customers with some of the finest rye and wheat sourdough (their speciality!) and ensures no artificial additives go into their recipes – this bread is the real deal. Loaf are also involved in giving back to the community. If they find they have a surplus of baked produce at the end of the day, the items are given to local charities to distribute where needed.
Loaf Bakery and Cookery School
1421 Pershore Road
Botham’s of Whitby – Yorkshire
This well-renowned family bakery has been in the Botham
family for five generations. It is still family run to this day with the same care and attention to preserving their original recipes. A must-visit is their delightful Skinner Street tearoom which serves a delectable selection of cakes and cream teas. They also offer their best-selling Ginger Brack and Plum Bread. If you don’t live near the town of Whitby, don’t despair as you can order a wide selection of their baked goods, biscuits and teas from their online store.
Skinner Street Shop & Tea Room
35/ 39 Skinner Street
Violet Cakes – London
This charming little bakery
in trendy East London first started out as a stall on Broadway Market (which is still there every Saturday) and has since grown to be a much sought-after bakery for their delicious cakes, all containing high quality, organic ingredients. This place is perfect for a decadent brownie, or one of their famous American-style cupcakes. And, with such a tempting display in their shop, you know you will have to buy a slice of cake for the journey home!
47 Wilton Way
Baltic Bakehouse – Liverpool
Famed for their award-winning sourdough, Baltic Bakehouse
, have made their mark on the Liverpool food scene with their fresh, daily bakes and pastry treats. They are incredibly proud of their baking process, never cutting corners, with some of their recipes taking over 72 hours. They also deliver delicious sweet treats including jam and custard-filled doughnuts, almond bakewells and the decadently sounding chocolate-salted caramel tart. For amazing variety and quality, this bakery should be on your to-do list.
46 Bridgewater Street