Spotlight on Notting Hill - West London Bakeries by Lauren Cartridge

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Spotlight on Notting Hill - West London Bakeries by Lauren Cartridge

Diploma Student Lauren's less successful attempts at keeping her New Year's resolutions have led to some seriously delicious discoveries in Notting Hill, where she picks the best of big name bakeries and tries sweet treats in West London's hidden gems.

I feel as though I have blinked and we're already in the middle of January.

I, for one, am very good at making resolutions for the New Year and then failing miserably within the first few days; I claim I will eat better, drink more water and exercise regularly. Instead, I end up eating cake for breakfast. Through this failure, however, I have stumbled across bakeries that satisfy my sweet cravings and force me to accept that I am never going to be someone who chooses anything over pastry.

I am fortunate enough to live a stones throw from Notting Hill, and through my wanderings and adventures through West London, I have begun to fall in love with this neighbourhood.

Nestled on Ledbury road, Ottolenghi has created a perfect space for residents and visitors alike to enjoy beautiful food in a peaceful setting. Spoilt for choice, the savoury and sweet options are a delight. Beautifully constructed salads, as well as the extensive display of bakes and cakes, would make anyone's knees go weak! It is a real treat to be there.

I sampled the coffee and walnut mini cake, also sharing a pear and almond clafoutis. The recipe for the mini cake is featured in Ottolenghi’s new cookbook, Sweet, with which I have since baked and impressed my family (my Dad is a big fan of coffee and walnut).

It is no secret that I am obsessed with doughnuts so, when I found out about Happy Donuts on Portobello Road, I knew I had to make a special trip. With a wealth of flavours to choose from - Lemon Meringue, Caramel Custard and White Chocolate Matcha - there is something for everyone. After much deliberation, I decided on Peanut Butter and Nutella.

As a doughnut addict, I am quite particular about the ratio of filling to dough, and these ones lived up to all expectations. I believe that smaller, more independent places are always worth the effort of visiting because there is so much care in their work.

“As you enter, you are instantly greeted by the inviting smell of freshly baked bread”

If you continue all the way up Portobello Road and make your way on to Notting Hill Gate, you'll stumble upon Paul Rhodes Bakery. Founded by former Michelin-starred chef Paul Rhodes, there are two of these neighbourhood bakeries, the other of which can be found in Greenwich.

As you enter, you are instantly greeted by the inviting smell of freshly baked bread, where rustic loaves and splendid sourdough are displayed proudly in the window. A selection of tarts, both little and large, sit like jewels in the display cabinet - I am immediately drawn to the pecan tart. I have a weakness for pecans (I once had to give up Lidl’s bakery for Lent due to over eating their maple pecan plaits), so the mini tart was my first choice. I also decided to indulge in a Chelsea bun because clearly, one treat was not enough! Out of the two, the pecan tart came out trumps (I mean, I might be a little biased).

When walking around Notting Hill, I love searching out independent places and following recommendations from others. There is a great selection of well known bakeries, such as Ottolenghi, Gail’s and Fabrique, as well as hidden gems, like Happy Donuts.

I have often hoped to walk past a young Hugh Grant on my travels, however, as that is yet to happen, I will continue to frequent my favourite spots and hope that all the sugar isn’t going to hit me at once.

After all: I am just a girl, standing in front of a bakery window, asking it to let me try everything on display.

By Lauren Cartridge
Visit | Twitter: @lcartridge | Instagram: @letshavedessertfirst

If you'd like to create your own delectable teatime treats worthy of the best West London bakeries, join Edd Kimber - "the Boy who Bakes" - for his Afternoon Tea class this April and master biscuits and other dainty bakes! We also offer the Essential Professional Patisserie Skills for those looking to take their baking skills to the next level, covering all the fundamental techniques of patisserie in this fast-paced, intensive six week course.

Lauren Cartridge

Author: Lauren Cartridge


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