Arch 385, Geffrye St.
Fabrique is a chain of Swedish bakeries that have recently set up shop in the UK. Haggerston is the original UK location and my favourite. It is set in a railway arch in Hackney. They serve a variety of traditional Swedish baking, including my preferred choice—cinnamon and cardamom buns. Come Easter, they also sell my all-time favourite, the Semla, a cardamom bun filled with marzipan and whipped cream. The bakery became so popular that they have now spread their wings and opened shops throughout the city.
47 Wilton Way
Violet is run by Claire Ptak, one of the most talented bakers that I know. Her little bakery, thankfully close to my house, is utterly darling and has been a staple for me since I moved here in 2010. The design of the shop—both cosy and perfectly formed—makes it feel like a bakery appeared inside a home. Come the summer months, my favourite thing is a long lunch break with one of the stellar savoury options, sitting outside and soaking up a little of the elusive British sun. Claire’s baking is simple in form (think cupcakes and layer and loaf cakes), but that simplicity belies the incredible flavour of her baking. (Check out her Cardamom Rhubarb Shortcakes in our Jan/Feb Issue.) There is little that makes me as happy in the winter as a slice of her sticky gingerbread cake.
8 Southwark St.
London’s most famous and probably biggest public market, this place is an institution and should be on everyone’s list to visit. It can get very busy with tourists on the weekend, so a weekday visit is much more convivial—and when I am likely to pop by. You can pick up everything from fruits and vegetables to your wine, cheese, and meat. There is also a stand for Bread Ahead Bakery, which makes the best doughnuts in the city. Once you’ve bought all the food you can carry, there is another whole dimension to the market. It is surrounded by restaurants, including the Instagram-famous Padella (definitely worth the wait) and El Pastór, bars, and even a wonderful cookware store. Borough Market is one of the gems of London and one of my favourite places in the city.