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Fortitude Bakehouse

  • Restaurants
  • Bloomsbury
  • price 1 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Fortitude Bakehouse
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    Key & Quill
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    Fortitude Bakehouse
  5. Fortitude Bakehouse
    Fortitude Bakehouse

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A bakery and takeout café hidden down a mews in Bloomsbury.

London loves a bakery. From Greggs to Gail’s, we are a city enraptured by wodges of flaky pastry, bouncy little buns and heroically laminated croissants. But high street staples aside, what we truly lose our collective minds over are the bakeries that seem as though they’ve been lifted directly from a Richard Curtis romcom.

From the cobblestone Bloomsbury alley you have to walk down to discover it, to the artsy wooden butchers tables inside, an awning of Farrow & Ball’s bluest blue and a queue of good-looking customers with unnecessary hats stretching out of the door until closing time, Fortitude is a film set made flesh. Will you meet-cute the love of your life here? Perhaps not, but you will find yourself close and personal with some of the dreamiest looking bakes this side of Mary Berry’s personal larder.

Sizable bear claws, infused with almond and orange flower water, come with a Scarface-worthy dusting of icing sugar on top

With baker Dee Rettali heading up the kitchen since Fortitude opened in 2018, this pastry paradise sets itself apart from the rest of London’s craft bakeries thanks to Dee’s obsession with the flavour of Marrakech and her regular trips to Morocco for edible ideas. She’s not shy about sharing such inspiration in her refreshingly alt. bakes. On our visit, her way with yeasted innovation is there in the merguez roll with chunky chermoula and parmesan, the sausages poking suggestively from the croissant-ated hunk. For afters, why not chow down on sizable bear claws, infused with almond and orange flower water which come with a Scarface-worthy dusting of icing sugar on top.

With both sweet and savoury bakes on offer – though vegetarians beware, we could only see meaty takes on the latter when we showed up around 1pm to grab lunch – a salt beef brioche was yellow of roll and stacked of filling, packed with pleasantly wet coleslaw, pickles and aioli. Like everything else here, it was wrapped up in greaseproof paper like a 1960s school lunch for us to devour on a couple of small benches outside (this isn’t an eat-in joint). 

I then attempted to finish an equally hefty and tongue-coatingly gooey cherry and almond bostock – reminiscent of a slab of french toast infused with frangipane – and half-managed to conquer its crumbly, cakey delights. However, I was defeated by a sticky rhubarb danish, which was packed up and taken home to be devoured the next morning. Sweet teeth are well catered to at Fortitude; we passed on a boulder of a beignet only because we feared the ungodly amount of cream inside it would be impossible to finish while also leaving our dignity intact. But if sugar with a hint of spice is your poison, we can’t recommend Fortitude enough.  

The vibe A popular takeout craft bakery down a highly scenic Bloomsbury alley. Cute as a button. 

The food Moroccan-inspired bakes and pastries, with stacked lunch sarnies and sweet treats.

The drink Barry’s Irish tea is served alongside hot or iced Tangier tea, Marrakesh blue, or Tusli spice brews, as well as the full gamut of coffees. 

Time Out tip Can't decide on a pastry? Go for the one with the most fruit/berries in it, and thank us later.

Leonie Cooper
Written by
Leonie Cooper


35 Colonnade
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