French days often start with a short stroll to a nearby boulangerie or pâtisserie – a café if there’s time – coffee, a croissant, maybe a little fruit juice. Fresh breads and pastries are a way of life across the Channel, and the habit is one we’re happy to replicate.
Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent bakeries in London offering their own fine viennoiserie. Here’s half a dozen of our favourites:
1. Aux Pains de Papy
A stone’s throw from King’s Cross, this authentic French boulangerie pâtisserie sells fresh baguettes, traditional pastries, and a selection of harder-to-find delights including flaky Paris-Brest and fragrant bugnes.
2. Comptoir Gourmand
A classic style boulangerie pâtisserie, Comptoir Gourmand sells fresh pastry, sweet viennoiserie, and savory bakes, all handmade in French fashion.
3. Little Bread Pedlar
The Little Bread Pedlar’s Bermondsey home is only open on Saturdays, with a range of delicious pastries, cakes, brioches and more available to buy. If you’re looking for a midweek fix, you can find their viennoiserie in several cafés and shops across the city.
4. Beyond Bread
Think hot-out-the-oven bread, light-as-anything brioche, and delicate pastries filled with crème pâtissière. Beyond Bread produce gluten-free favourites that never compromise on quality. If you miss breakfast, head over in the afternoon and pick up a sandwich or melt to make up for it.
5. Cake Boy
Cake Boy is a boutique pâtisserie bear Wandsworth. Master pâtissier Eric Lanlard changes the menu at least weekly, so there’s always something new to discover. Savories are divine, but if you’re looking for a sweet hit, Cake Boy’s take on the traditional pain au chocolat is unmissable.
6. Dominique Ansel Bakery
The home of the Cronut, Dominique Ansel Bakery has ascended to icon status thanks to its array of innovative and traditional treats. You should – if they aren’t sold out – try the Cronut. Also sink your teeth into the ‘DKA’, a caramelised, deep-fried croissant, and grab a canelé before you leave – the chewy, custardy pastries are hard to find outside of France!
Whether you're spending a week in London or just passing through, make sure you grab something fresh and sweet from one of these spots. Get there early enough and enjoy it indulge on the go - there's no wrong way to eat pastries.
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