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Dee Light Bakery

Balham

By Tania Ballantine

There’s a reason supermarkets put the bread section near the entrance (or a big fat fan) – few things are more enticing than the smell of baking. Add a small play area for little ones (the locale is full of ankle-biters), some farmhouse chic styling, and it’s no surprise this bakery and café is wildly popular.

The counters are groaning with food fresh from the ovens: think giant gingerbread men, iced buns and millionaire’s shortbread alongside pastries and posh muffins (blueberry and almond, spiced apple). There are clever creations too, such as a cold ‘breakfast pie’ made of bacon, sausage and egg, or our savoury croissant – a dense, meaty sausage slathered in wholegrain mustard and folded into an envelope of beautifully rendered, golden puff pastry.

Equally simple, yet effective, was a slice of quiche, marrying the full flavour of a strong, creamy goat’s cheese with chunks of red onion, all over a buttery base. Only a slightly overcooked chocolate chip cookie showed their fallibility.

Busy periods create a real problem with crowd management. At the weekend, service was at breaking point, with the well-meaning staff barely able to cope with demand. The seats are uncomfortable too: the long banquette is raised high off the floor, making you tower, despot-like, over your companion.

Go for a take-away espresso (Allpress roast) and something baked in a box. Then get out. Fast.

 

Venue name: Dee Light Bakery
Contact:
Address: 14 Ritherdon Rd
London
SW17 8QD
Opening hours: Open 8am-5pm Mon-Fri; 7.30am-4pm Sat; 8.30am-4pm Sun
Transport: Tube: Balham tube/rail or Tooting Bec tube
Price: Meal for two: around £20
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