Disclaimer: I by no means think myself qualified to be a critic, everyone's tastes are so different, and what one person likes another might detest. This post is simply a list of bakeries that I went to, really enjoyed and want to recommend.
I have been to London quite a few times recently (it was where I was born, and where I have lots of friends, so I kind of think of it as my second home), which has given me the opportunity to tick a few must-go bakeries off my hit-list.
Crumbs and Doilies
Hidden in a small alley just of carnaby street, this place is famous for it's beautifully decorated, delicious cupcakes. I went for a Malteser cupcake and a caramel brownie. The Swiss meringue butter cream on the cupcake was deeply malty and not overly sweet. The cake itself was chocolaty and moist. The brownie was a squidgy, gooey delight. I can't wait to go back.
This place had been on my hit-list for a while. They sell a selection of tasty sweet treats, but it was the bread I was after. I have heard foodies rave about there signature sourdough, the 'Hackney Wild' for a while, and I was desperate to try it for myself. Once there, I opted for a sourdough bread roll, which was chewy and satisfyingly sour. I took home a 'Hackney Wild', which didn't disappoint and was great toasted with some peanut butter.
Situated near whitechappel, this family business has been baking for over 100 years .
I went for an Oreo 'Crodough' (cronut by another name), which was sweet, light in texture and moreish. One of my friends went for a rainbow bagel, which looked amazing. Apparently they colour the dough and then twist it all together before baking.
Horniman Farmer's Market (Forest Hill)
This market is just down the road from where a couple of my good friends live, and is filled with a wide range of local produce. I bought an olive loaf from Aston's Bakehouse, which I had toasted with some cheese the next day. We also tried some chocolates from Chocolates By Eloise. She had some really different and interesting flavours (raspberry and fennel and earl grey to name a few) I went for basil and a milk chocolate salted caramel.
I have followed the Gail's chain on social media for a while, and have always been really impressed by their amazing displays. My first trip there didn't disappoint, I enjoyed a savoury brioche filled with tomatoes and goats cheese and a small sugared cake that for the life of me, I can't remember the name of (should have written it down, but I was too busy greedily shoving it in my mouth).