10 French pâtisseries to visit in the UK for a flavour of France
- Credit: Archant
Sample the authentic sweet treats at these delicious French pâtisseries across the UK - in case you needed an excuse for a road trip!
English Rose Bakery
Don’t be deceived by the name; this pâtisserie makes some of the best macarons outside of Paris. The signature creations here are divine Chambord macarons made with white chocolate and raspberries, and marbled with the famous French liquor. Although they don’t have a traditional shop, you are welcome to collect your treats directly from their kitchen at the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street, where the macaron magic happens.
If you’re a fan of Bake Off: Crème de la Crème, these guys might ring a bell – they got to the finals of the BBC show in 2017 and for good reason. Relax in their café in the Welsh city’s Maindy district and enjoy watching the culinary goings-on in the open kitchen as you eat. Our go-to is the Banana in Pyjama: banana mousse, pineapple cremeux, mango jelley and coconut dacquoise.
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With four well-respected sites across the Scottish capital, La Barantine has clearly found the recipe for sweet success. Arguably their most photogenic café is La Barantine Victoria in Grassmarket, near the Royal Mile. Go here for an afternoon of people-watching and pudding-sampling – the salted caramel éclair topped with hazelnuts is a delight.
Macarons & More
This East Anglian pâtisserie, owned by former Masterchef finalist Tim Kinnaird, has been making a name for itself in the bakery world thanks to its unique macaron flavours – chocolate orange or hot cross bun macarons, anyone? But the shop, in the Royal Arcade, has also been gaining fans thanks to its gorgeous marshallowy meringues and wide variety of brownies.
The oldest patisserie in London, this chintzy establishment on Soho’s Greek Street has been creating cakes since 1871. It’s an icon of the French food scene in the capital; famous fans include Alexander McQueen and Lily Allen, who had her wedding cake made by the team. Pick up one of the towering fruit tartlets or the gateau Saint Honoré to taste the hype for yourself.
Choux pastry may be the bane of many an amateur chef’s life, but this South Kensington patisserie have well and truly mastered it. They have three main offerings: éclairs, filled choux balls and chouquettes, crispy and hollow choux balls topped with sugar. Try the choux balls filled with a divine blackberry cheesecake or the Spanish raspberry pink éclair with delicate rose water.
In the north Oxford suburb of Summertown you’ll find some of the university city’s best cakes and croissants. Owner and Head Patissier Hervé returns to France every year to work with other elite pastry professionals and bring new ideas to the kitchen. The croquant valrhona, topped with a tasty macaron, is a highlight from the cake cabinet.
The French Village
This popular Belfast mini-chain has two establishments: a café-bistro on Botanic Avenue and a Pâtisserie and Brasserie on Lisburn Road. If you don’t fancy one of the delicious brasserie meals, select a treat from the bulging pastries menu; the chocolate and salted caramel delice, fraisier, and pear and frangipan tart are all worth sampling.
Le Delice de Malvern
A little piece of France in the Midlands, Le Delice has been charming residents of the Worcestershire town with its pâtisserie, charcuterie and fromage since 1999. Treat yourself to one of the towering Religieuses or a Royale, a tasty chocolate and hazelnut concoction. Look out for the giant millefeuilles too!
This pâtisserie-café in the southern seaside resort is only a minute from Brighton railway station – in case you needed another excuse to visit. As well as a gorgeous selection of French-themed sandwiches and salads, you can get all the sublime classics that made you fall in love with French cakes like the opéra and raspberry délice. Also try the Mademoiselle Macaron, with lychee, raspberry and rose bavaroise, and pistachio Chantilly cream.