Aux Merveilleux de Fred
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Are you a window-shopping cake-fancier? Then what’s going on behind the polished plate glass of this bakery will prove irresistible. The eye-popping pastries are kneaded, rolled, shaped and piped in the display windows, causing so much distraction there was a Bugaboo pavement pile-up on our Saturday visit.
Fred’s eye-candy includes meringues topped with flavoured whipped creams: chocolate, coffee, caramel, hazelnut, sold individually (from £1.70) for instant gratification or in pretty presentation boxes. If you able to exercise a modicum of self-restraint, there are also brioche buns flavoured with chocolate, raisins or sugar to take home for later (from £1.90). These two lines are the main raisons d’eat at Fred, though there are also frou-frou celebration cakes, just as creamy and fancy.
Fred isn’t really a sit-down kind of place, though it does have a coffee machine and a few high stools. There’s a branch in South Kensington (not to mention dozens in Paris and across France). Fred really is the owner’s name, and his cakes really are merveilleux.