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Sourdough Sophia

24 Middle Lane

London N8 8PJ Greater London, United Kingdom

When your commitment to great bread means you’re willing to spend between 15 and 30 minutes queueing in the rain, then Sourdough Sophia is for you. As the name suggests, the specialty here is baked goods, and while their baguettes and loaves are reason enough to make this a destination, you shouldn’t snooze on their (pre-order only) chocolate babka, expensive but fun specials like a pretzel croissant triangle sandwich with smoked salmon, herby shmear and apple, a Ferrero Rocher-inspired cruffin, or a 10/10 sausage roll. If you want to skip the queue, all of their baked goods are available for click and collect, however their excellent Gentleman Barista coffee is not.

Available to pre-order from their website.

The chocolate babka from this popular Crouch End bakery is subtitled a ‘croissant loaf’ which means they use a laminated dough over the more usual brioche/challah dough. The results are airy, buttery, crispy layers that beg you to start pulling them apart as soon as you leave the shop. While not necessarily an improvement on babkas you’ve eaten before, it’s a compellingly flaky twist. Perfect for those times when you’re just not quite in the mood for the yeasty depth, and rich, eye-rollingly chocolate-y punch of some of London’s other babkas.

When your commitment to great bread means you’re willing to spend between 15 and 30 minutes queueing in the rain, then Sourdough Sophia is for you. As the name suggests, the specialty here is baked goods, and while their baguettes and loaves are reason enough to make this a destination, you shouldn’t snooze on their (pre-order only) chocolate babka, expensive but fun specials like a pretzel croissant triangle sandwich with smoked salmon, herby shmear and apple, a Ferrero Rocher-inspired cruffin, or a 10/10 sausage roll. If you want to skip the queue, all of their baked goods are available for click and collect, however their excellent Gentleman Barista coffee is not.

Or, Dunn’s bakery is a Crouch End landmark, and their croissant is one of the best we’ve had in London, or, for those with a sweet tooth, La Gelatiera is the place to be. Their fresh, small batch, limited edition gelato flavours like honey, rosemary, and orange zest, and basil and chilli are way better than that mint choc chip lurking at the back of your freezer.

Sausage roll

“For some it’s a sound, a smell, or a song. For Proust it was a madeleine dipped in tea. But all I needed for a long-forgotten past to nostalgically unfurl itself from my memory was this sausage roll from Sourdough Sophia in Crouch End. As any of my coworkers will tell you, I’m old. And the straightforward honesty of this sausage roll took me back to a time before massive out-of-town supermarkets were a thing, when every suburban parade had a greengrocer, a butcher, a baker, and when a sausage roll in a grease-stained brown paper bag was an essential and eagerly anticipated treat from any trip to the shops. I won’t go into how this sausage roll begged me to dismantle it like I used to when I was a kid, devouring first the flaky pastry wrapping before slowly, gleefully, nibbling at its innards. Suffice to say, in ten days’ time, when I’m allowed to meet a friend or family member for a park bench picnic, this perfectly formed little thing will be my snack of choice.” - OJF

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