There's something unbeatable about the combination of a winters day so cold it freezes the tears that tiptoe down your face and a bakery where hand thrown ceramic mugs of foamy bitter chocolate and feather light pastries marry together in the very definition of cosy. The recently opened Pophams in Islington is a peachy example of why I truly love baked goods. Warm loaves that spill puffy clouds of steam into the air upon tearing into, tangy sourdough with soft gaping craters that beg for salted butter to drip through them, viennoiserie whose almost transparent layers of gossamer fine pastry create the perfect place for plump jammy berries or sharp citrus curd to find a home...swoon.
Here at Islington's newest artisan bakery which is just a short walk from the hight street, darkly crusted sourdough has a dreamily punctured texture that sandwiches perfectly around ham, cheese & sweet, mild mustard while the Rosemary & Sea Salt Plait has such a dainty texture you could almost be forgiven for wondering if you actually ate it at all were it not for the flaky crumbs of evidence that guiltily litter your jumper.
Peanut Butter, Jelly & Banana come together in a nutty, sweet, sticky and immaculate piece of viennoiserie architecture..honestly, these are knife edge perfection layers to give anyone a touch of pastry OCD. Fine tiers of rich, airy pastry fold around both the sort of thick peanut butter that sticks your chops together and a sweetly sharp raspberry jam, heavy with seeds & the flavours of sunshine while sliced banana crowns the whole glorious affair an absolute delight.
Don't leave without undoing the top button of your waistband and free-falling face first into the Rhubarb, Cardamom & Custard Croissant. Tangy, creamy and held together by shards of pastry that shatter in your mouth leaving your teeth to sink into rosy pink stems & a luxurious custard flecked with whispers of the aromatic East, this is a beautifully modern take on one of the nation's most cherished flavour profiles.
In the interests of impartiality, I guess I should flag up to you the less impressive aspects of Pophams...
...there are none. With their baked goods, their lovely service & their cosy style, Pophams is practically perfect in every way.