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A small but perfectly formed Swedish bakery.
Bag one of the eight seats in this little Swedish bakery-café, order one of its excellent flat whites and a soft, sugary brioche pretzel – sockerkringla – and presto: you have fika (the Swedish concept of stopping for a chilled-out coffee, cake and a chat).
Stick with the sweet stuff here and you can’t go wrong: there are all kinds of danish pastries and buns, and a bewildering array of cakes and fancy tarts, from the gaudy princess cakes (marzipan-covered sponges) to bite-sized chocolate-drenched macaroons (Sarah Bernhard) or the yielding almond tarts with cinnamon and apple (äppelmazarin). Seasonal specials appear throughout the year: go in the weeks before Easter for semlor (cardamom-flavoured buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream); in winter, expect the likes of (delicious) blueberry soup.
The place looks a treat, too. The pretty window display lures punters in; once inside, the smell of baked goods, the rows of neatly stacked own-made jams and crispbreads, and the vintage Scandinavian sugar canisters on the tables do the rest. Everything is made downstairs in a space no bigger than the café, and that includes the bread. The small selection runs from a white poppy seed bloomer to a dark rye, but my absolute favourite – worth making a special trip for – is the moist, fruity blackcurrant rye. Given the quality of the bakery goods, it’s a shame that the savoury lunch options are more humdrum, just regular rolls with a limited choice of fillings. It’s a small grumble. Come here for cake and happiness is guaranteed.
24 Rose Street
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Square|
|Price:||Lunch for two with drinks and service: around £30.|
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