When I think London I think of my family heritage, literary greats, beautiful architecture, AND amazing London bakeries (of course)! Being on the low sugar bandwagon lately, I have been making an effort to reserve bakery binges and evenings spent devouring entire sleeves of digestives for my trips to London. At least then I can indulge at some of my favourite places.
When meandering around London and popping on and off the tube, navigating the streets and packed shops, it’s easy to feel that you've earned a sit-down, some tea, and something sweet. It doesn't take much convincing for me to stop and park myself at a cute bakery for an Earl Grey fix.
These bakeries serve up amazing cakes, delicious squares, comforting tea, and are too cute for their own good.
Crumbs and Doilies
1 Kingly Court, Carnaby St, Soho, London W1B 5PW, UK
Nestled in a narrow alley in Soho you'll find Crumbs & Doilies. This bakery was founded in 2006 by Jemma Wilson, better known as Cupcake Jemma, a YouTube sensation with a massive social media following who grew her online presence into a brick and mortar baking empire.
Crumbs & Doilies is small and simply adorable. Tattoo inspired design details and a counter overflowing with whimsical baked creations make this bakery unique, youthful, and fresh. It's high-end of course (just look at the prices and the address) but it doesn't feel stuffy or pretentious. It's comfortable and easy going staff are welcoming and it's a space you feel relaxed in.
Not only is the little spot home to some incredibly delicious baked goods, but it also has enough seating that you stand a chance of getting a spot. Essential when you are looking to rest your weary feet.
We tried the Unicorn Cupcake, Peanut Butter & Jam Cupcake, and a Gingerbread Square. In addition to "regular" items, there were also Gluten-Free and Vegan options available. They also have mini versions of their larger cupcakes. So, if you just want to taste something sweet without eating an ENTIRE cupcake, you have that as an option.
See photos below of the amazing C&D baked goods!
116 Ebury St, Belgravia, London SW1W 9QQ, UK
Peggy Porchen knows what she’s doing. When it comes to tea and cake there is really nowhere more pleasant to sit down and people watch than the adorable outdoor seating at Peggy Porschen.
In addition to the general people watching of Belgravia, at PP you'll witness a neverending stream Instagram photoshoots by bloggers MUCH more committed to matching outfits than me. Think pink velour tracksuits picked especially, I'm assuming because they perfectly match the colour palette of the bakery. That's commitment, people.
The cakes we tried here absolutely amazing. The buttercream, details, and flavour combinations were decadent and indulgent. To read more about Peggy Porschen (prices, logistics etc.) see my post on Indulgent Tea Spots in London here!
Not only is the service excellent and the cakes and tea on point, but it's also probably the prettiest bakery you can visit in London. If you're in the mood for pink, cute, floral everything, be sure to stop by here on your next London visit.
Borough Market, Cathedral St, London SE1 9DE, United Kingdom
If you're after a yeast doughnut done right, pop over to Bread Ahead. We visited the location in Soho and the one located in Borough Market. The Borough Market location had a long counter loaded with doughnuts and a military operation in place for dispensing them to the long line of people.
We were able to get some of the last flavours available on the day we went, and the line behind us was huge. Usually, a crowd of people lined up at a place is a good indicator of how delicious it will be. This was 100% true for Bread Ahead.
We tried the Classic Jam Doughnut, Honeycomb, Cream-Filled, and Chocolate Filled flavours. All were amazing. All were consumed. Just take a look at the photos of my stuffing my face. It was bliss.
In terms of cute factor, the Soho location is adorable, featuring a jam-packed display case full of sandwiches and sweet treats.
The Hummingbird Bakery
133 Portobello Rd, London W11 2DY, UK
Always absolutely packed, The Humming Bird bakery is a long-standing American style bakery in London, with 6 locations in London alone.
The location in Notting Hill is notoriously busy, at least based on the times I have been there. As there is usually a line, so I recommend grabbing what you’d like and then continuing to stroll Portobello Road with your treats in tow. If you can go on a day when the full Portobello Road market isn't on, it is likely much less busy.
This last visit it was jammed, and as I had been there a couple of times before I let my parents head in without me (hence no photos of the treats inside).
The Hummingbird Bakery is a pretty spot with whimsical and creative baked goods. Think pink, unicorns, Oreos, sprinkles, M&Ms, and all that jazz. I mean, even the coffee cups are ADORABLE.
Honourable Mention | In Pret We Trust
They are everywhere. Just walk and you'll pass at least 3. Promise.
While not a traditional bakery Pret A Manger was the lifeblood of my last trip to London. We were a large group of 5, all with different eating schedules, preferences etc. Pret was the perfect spot to seek refuge from the cold, get a tea, latte, whatever.
Freshly prepared food, from small snacks to full-blown salads and sandwiches, they had it all and kept us going.
I cannot tell you how many Prets we stopped in, snacked in, warmed up in, laughed in, checked emails in, made emergency bathroom stops in. Pret, you're a gem.
It's also where my husband hid out and napped while waiting to surprise me at a London pub. They really do it all!