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A family-run French patisserie in Bermondsey.
Snuggled among the dining finery of Bermondsey Street, this bakery is the fourth joint of the family-run Comptoir Gourmand. Inside, it’s a shrine to dough – insanely good-looking baked things are enticingly laid out, surrounded by rustic wooden decor.
A croque monsieur came with satisfying griddle marks on the emmental, the creaminess of the cheese teaming up with the salty ham. The ficelle – a thin baguette – was so admirably fine it looked almost wand-like and the filling was ingenious: gooey mozzarella with walnuts, basil, garlic and olive oil. Then, a savoury pain aux poivrons – it looked like a raisin swirl – was a sleeper hit. Simple, sure, but it turns out that weaving bits of red pepper into the spirals of buttery pastry gives off a lovely, refined sweetness.
On to the treats. Say bye to the cronut – this place is all about the newer, sexier ‘brionut’ (a brioche-doughnut). The apple and cinnamon one was a delight: light, sticky and slightly spicy. Next, a pear danish was spot-on, while the lemon tart was lip-smacking – a perfect circle of crisp pastry beneath a cylinder of citrussy custard topped with wispy meringue. It was hard to eat something so beautiful.
Still, this bakery is slightly too small. Getting in on a Saturday lunchtime and finding a spot to stand, let alone sit, was kind of like playing the video game Tetris – only it involved humans instead of geometric shapes and, being humans, we were all madly jostling for space. Best to get your food to go, then.
96 Bermondsey St
|Price:||Lunch for two with drinks and service: around £35.|
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