On a prime spot at the fashionable end of Clapham Common, Madeleine (formerly called Macaron from 2006-2014) is one of several cafés with a handful of outside tables serving the constant traffic of Commoners heading from Clapham Old Town to the tube. It’s also the best of the bunch, not just because it looks so recognisably French, but also because all the baked goods are made in the in-house bakery.
Help-yourself viennoiseries are displayed at the entrance; the croissants and pains aux chocolat are highlights. Rustic breads are displayed on countertops, while excellent French pâtisserie, from citron tarts to vibrantly coloured macaroons, are kept behind glass.
Savoury snacks – such as filled baguettes, croque-monsieurs, quiches – are the preferred choice of those eating in.
The interior and exterior have also had much tinkering over 2013/2014 in an attempt to improve the slightly awkward layout and look (with only mixed success). An experiment with a buffet menu in the evening was promised, but also never took off.