There is nothing quite like a local bakery. A place you can pop in to grab a coffee, breakfast, a treat — or sit in for a tea, enjoying the aromas of freshly baking bread — can brighten the darkest of days. There is no shortage of these coveted establishments across the capital, and, likely, you might already have your own favourite. These are ours; we highly recommend planning a visit to each at some point this autumn.
The Connaught Patisserie, Mayfair
This beautiful, jewel box patisserie is located just to the side of The Connaught. Just opened, a staple menu of croissants and morning pastries complements a rotating seasonal cake selection that is truly exceptional. We recommend trying the Connaughty Hound, the hotel's emblem reimagined as a cute and delicious chocolate hazelnut cake, or The River Café's signature Chocolate Nemesis cake, which is exclusively available onsite.
Little Bread Pedlar, Bermondsey
Open for ten years running, Little Bread Pedlar has grown from a delivery service to a full-blown operation, selling their goods out of their bakeries and in several other cafes throughout London. A commitment to top-line ingredients is apparent in the flavour of each pastry — the Pain au Chocolat is one of the best we've had outside of France — as well as the award-winning sourdough loaves.
St John, Neal's Yard
Beloved for bread and pastries alike, the bakery portion of the Michelin-starred conglomerate that is St John is, as expected, of the utmost technique and quality. The doughnuts are as light as a cloud, thanks to a lengthy proofing process, and filled with an array of custards and housemade jams. Be forewarned, they regularly sell out at all of their locations — go early to avoid doughnut disappointment.
One of the pioneers in sourdough bread making, Poilâne, has truly perfected the craft. Strict adherence to their signature recipe and ingredients, including sea salt from Guérande and cooking in wood-fired oven results in an unparalleled level of consistency. A selection of classic French pastries is available as well.
Part of The Boundary Hotel in Shoreditch, this bright and buzzy all-day canteen has a larder in the front, a coffee bar and an onsite bakery. Whether you're sitting for breakfast or tea with a friend, working all day, or grabbing something on the go, there is a wide selection of classics and rotating specials from which to choose. The brioche is light and fluffy, the chocolate and pistachio croissant decadent but still great for breakfast. Try them all.
Courtesy of master baker and James Beard award winner Shaheen Peerbhai, Miel features classic baked goods alongside innovative flavour combinations. Open all day, the morning viennoiserie menu gives way to sandwiches and tarts, all accompanied by beautiful pâtisserie with seasonal flavours such as quince and hazelnut. Sourdough, biscuits and homemade jam are available throughout the day.
Islington favourite Pophams might be best known for their Bacon & Maple croissant — if this is indeed the pastry you crave, arrive early, and expect a queue. We promise, though, it is worth the legwork. Should the aforementioned special be gone, you can't go wrong with any of the other options. Even the bread is truly fabulous. Their newer Hackney location serves homemade pasta as well, during the evening by reservation.
For more information on the above bakeries or for additional recommendations, please contact your lifestyle manager.