Over the last couple of months, London has seen an upsurge of new bakeries and patisseries opening their doors. We have chosen a selection of old classics, newcomers and exciting new concepts.
Hammersmith has moved into the fast lane with Patisserie Sainte-Anne – an on-trend French patisserie-café. After running a bakery for the last 20 years, the owners arrived in London and now make their couture collection of beautifully presented pâtisserie and bread on site in West London.
After several visits, we reckon their tart aux pommes is the best we’ve tasted in London. Nothing beats its crisp puff pastry base, slathered with smooth Bramley purée and precision-sliced apple topping. Other highlights include éclairs crammed with seriously chocolatey crème pâtissière, and a moreish autumnal fig and pistachio sponge tartlet.
204 King St, London W6 0RA | 7 am – 7 pm Tuesday to Saturday | 8 am – 6 pm Sunday
The array of cakes and desserts displayed in the windows of Ottolenghi delis across town is awe-inspiring. You can’t really go wrong with the cakes, which change daily, but if you can get it go for a passion fruit meringue tart and the cheesecakes are perfection. We enjoyed a salted caramel and hazelnut one. The Spitalfields location is the biggest Ottolenghi venue and is one of our favourite sites.
50 Artillery Ln, London E1 7LJ | 8:00 am – 10:30 pm
French artisan patisserie and boulangerie Orée launched its first UK bakery café on the Fulham Road back in February last year. It’s impossible to miss, with the windows brimming with fresh produce, freshly baked bread and pastries.
Once you’ve also been tempted into filling your breadbin with floury loaves (gluten-free or otherwise) you may as well go the whole hog and try out some of the cakes. You won’t regret it. The chocolate cream-filled éclairs may be gluttonous, but they’re worth every single calorie, while the sweet raspberry tart is filled with ripe fruit, a model vanilla pastry cream and flavoursome flecks of pistachio.
277 Fulham Rd, London SW10 9NY | 7 am – 7 pm
Most non-vegan people might be put off when they hear the term “vegan cake”, the stereotype that comes to mind is often some kind of brown, dry seeded lump masquerading as a cake. However, Ruby’s of London creates cupcakes that are just as delicious as butter filled original.
As well as being 100% vegan, and often gluten, sugar and nut-free, Ruby’s philosophy is that “Mother Nature knows best”, which is why all ingredients used are also natural. All wheat flours used are 100% Organic and she always uses fair trade products. What is surprising is that the costs stay down, these little beauties are no more pricey than any other artisan cupcake. For all these reasons, the bulk of Ruby’s clientele are not even vegan, she says they just come because they simply love the cakes.
5b Greenwich Market, London SE10 9HZ | Tues – Sat 9 am – 5.30 pm | Sun 9 am – 1 pm
Dominique Ansel bakery – aka the home of the Cronut – arrived in London back in October and people lost their minds. Ansel’s Cronut changes monthly with February’s coming packed with Raspberry Jam and an Orange Blossom Ganache.
If you don’t want to stray too far from the doughnut family, try the ‘DKA’, a caramelised deep-fried croissant that’s actually overtaken Cronut sales in the US. Another must-have is the Welsh rarebit – a Guinness-Worcestershire sauce-cheddar concoction created especially for London. Arguably the best dishes are the sit-down-and-eat-with-a-fork puddings.
Our personal highlight was the banoffee paella: another UK-only creation, it’s banoffee pie turned upside down and built in a paella pan to caramelise the bananas and keep the buttery, deliciously salty crust crumbly.