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Toad Bakery

  • Restaurants
  • Camberwell
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
  1. Toad Bakery (Photograph: Caitlin Isola)
    Photograph: Caitlin Isola
  2. Toad Bakery (Photograph: Caitlin Isola)
    Photograph: Caitlin Isola
  3. Toad Bakery (Photograph: Caitlin Isola)
    Photograph: Caitlin Isola
  4. Toad Bakery (Photograph: Caitlin Isola)
    Photograph: Caitlin Isola
  5. Toad Bakery (Photograph: Caitlin Isola)
    Photograph: Caitlin Isola

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Poor Frog Bakery! When this new Camberwell pastry spot was little more than a tadpole, chef Adam Handling fired off a cease and desist order – apparently, it was infringing on the trademark of his restaurant The Frog. One legally-mandated name change later and Frog Bakery is no more. But although I'm sure the paperwork is a nightmare, its brand new incarnation Toad Bakery seems to be taking everything in its web-footed stride.

Wander down Peckham Road of a Saturday and you'll see a long, orderly line of chic pastry obsessives queuing on this unassuming tree-lined street. The atmosphere's a little excitable, a little tense, a little fraught with the awareness that lining up to pay nearly a fiver for a croissant is a faintly nuts thing to do. And it is! But pastry nirvana requires investment, and your time and money will be amply, deliciously rewarded by the golden, immaculately laminated wares produced by bakers and owners Rebecca Spaven and Oliver Costello.

All over London, bakers are torturing the innocent croissant into weird and elaborate forms: cronuts, croiffles, truffle croissant burgers. But there's still novelty to be found. My friend let out a little gasp when she saw a fresh-out-the-oven cornbread croissant on Frog Bakery's stack of metal trays. It's a genius invention. It's a perfect croissant on the outside, no funny business, but the gorgeously buttery layers are wrapped around rich, meltingly cheesy cornbread – the salty older sister that the almond croissant wishes she could be.

The saffron buns were more trad, inspired by a Cornish classic. They looked unremarkable, but were absolutely worthy of notice: somehow both moist and fluffy inside, rich with eggs and fragrant saffron. The yuzu jaffa cake was gigantic, damp and rich in a way that wouldn't be for everyone but was definitely for me. And the chocolate sea salt cookie was a moreish, not too sweet joy. I'd call it addictive, but I'm sure that if I went back another day, I'd get hooked on something else. Part of the joy of this place is the ever-changing line-up of pastries, constantly being handed fresh out of the oven and onto the counter.

Toad Bakery also offers sandwiches made with its dense, moist sourdough, and an ever-changing chalkboard line-up of coffees with tasting notes – because nothing makes you feel quite as enjoyably pretentious as pretending to detect a hint of apricot in your artfully made brew. There are metal tables and chairs for perching outside and on a sunny weekday you might just manage it. But really, it's time the Toad Bakery made another amphibian transformation, into a sit down café with ample room for at least some of its crumb-covered fans.

The vibe A cult Camberwell bakery with heavenly pastries.

The food Creative croissants and sourdough sandwiches.

The drink The house brew is single origin Pharmacie coffee, served up alongside a rotating line-up of guest filters and teas.

Time Out tip There are vegan options but you'll need to get there early to bag yours.

Alice Saville
Written by
Alice Saville


44 Peckham Road
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