Baker’s delight! The ones we love (in honour of GBBO)
Bake Off is back on TV so time to drag out the food mixer. Can’t be bothered? No, quite right. Here are some brilliant bakeries instead.
It’s Bake Off season and boy are we ready for it this year – the reliability of great bakes (now common parlance thanks to GBBO!), good humour, and pure simple TV-shaped joy.
GBBO is – by far – my favourite show on TV and the televisual equivalent of an open fire and hearty bowl of stew on a freezing February day. It warms the cockles, so it does.
Anyway, I don’t know about you but now it’s back on the box, I’ve got a hankering for pastries and cakes with ‘a good crumb’. Here’s Muddy’s pick of the best bakeries in Surrey.
Sweet Passion Cakes, West Byfleet
If your a sucker for the sweeter side of baking, then make sure this artisan baker in West Byfleet is on your radar. The name says it all really – and with gorgeous creations like Continental style patisserie cakes layered with fresh cream, vanilla cream or chocolate ganache and fresh fruits, it’s easy to see why the talented team have gained such a loving and loyal following. And on the first Sunday of each month there’s a chance to really indulge at one of the Sunday afternoon teas. Books a must! Or you can simply pop in for coffee and cake.
Chalk Hills Bakery, Horley
From running a pub to baking artisan bread, Chris and Rosie Robinson wanted to put a decent loaf on the table. And so they did. Their bakery started in an old tractor shed just over 10 years ago and they’ve developed a firm following in that time selling at farmers’ markets and food fairs throughout Surrey and beyond. Patience is the key, they say. They specialise in making real bread by hand using long fermenting, traditional methods and kneading each loaf by hand. The range includes sourdoughs, focaccias, ciabattas and traditional farmhouse loaves.
Bachmanns Patisserie, Weybridge and Thames Ditton
Patisserie, chocolaterie, bakery – could there ever be three more lovely words in the world? No we think not. And when you roll them all together, not figuratively, not literally, what you get is Bachmanns Patisserie in the heart of Weybridge as well as in Thames Ditton. Offering new levels of decadence with their gorgeous handcrafted desserts, gateaux, chocolates, pastries, breads and croissants, this award-winning patisserie was founded in 1989 by Ernst and Marilyn Bachmann bringing a delicious dose of the Continent to England.
Butter and Cream Cakes, Milford
Mary Berry would be proud! What started as a market stall at Guildford’s North Street market grew into a bakery in Milford, and now even has it’s own spin-off café, Eliza’s Tea Rooms at Secretts Farm, where you can dine in and enjoy coffee and these gorgeous cakes baked by hand each day using ingredients your grannie would recognise. And all iced so beautifully they almost look too good to eat. Almost.
Swiss Bread, Richmond
This independent artisan bakery in Richmond has been open little more than a year bringing us baked delights using traditional methods from Switzerland. It’s gathered up a pretty dedicated fan base in that time, offering up a wide and unique selection of baked goodies and sweet treats – think Swiss classics like plaited Zopf butter loaf and Burli bread as well as Rye sourdough and Spelt bread, whole cakes including a Swiss chocolate cake and a Black Forest Gateau, and pastries like the Berliner (a classic doughnut) and the Weggli, a classic Swiss roll. There are a few tables if you fancy eating in. Who fancies a traditional cheese fondu?
GAIL’s Bakery, Reigate, Richmond, Guildford, Godalming and Farnham
GAIL’s is the artisan bakery that’s taking Britain by storm! Okay, perhaps that’s an exaggeration – but only a little one. Seriously? Have you tried their cinnamon buns? So who is Gail, you might ask? She’s Gail Mejia, a baker who in the 1990s gathered up some of her best baker buddies to form a business called The Bread Factory baking traditional loaves for London’s top restaurants. A few years later Gail meets Tom Molnar, an American living in London who can’t find decent sourdough, and they join forces. Hello GAIL’s Bakery and the best cinnamon buns you’ll ever devour.
The Christmas Bakery, Worplesdon
An oldie, but a goodie – The Christmas Bakery has been in the same family since 1860 when James Christmas started producing baked goodies alongside groceries and meats. These days, it’s all about the ovens and what comes out of them with a delightful range of breads, cakes and pastries. As well as the original bakery in Worplesdon, there is also a bakery in the village of Ash. This is craft baking using traditional methods and original family recipes at its best.