It’s April 9th, opening day for Gail’s Artisan Bakery at 91 Dulwich Village. Big red balloons hover outside the entrance. Dulwich residents walking by with their dogs or their strollers stop to stare in the window, where all kinds of bread, buns and sandwiches are displayed. But that’s not all. As people wander in, they stumble upon an enormous arrangement of croissants, sourdough, hot cross buns, brioches and more.
Gail’s Artisan Bakery has 14 locations across London and is open for breakfast, lunch and tea. Head Baker Roy Levy spent time in Paris studying the art of French patisserie, and brought back a menu that includes San Francisco sourdough, croissants and pastries, cinnamon buns, sausage rolls, carrot cakes and a selection of sandwiches and salads. Everything is baked every morning and fresh out of the oven.
When I visited the bakery, the staff was very hospitable. Anna Goss, who works in marketing, said that their main responsibility was to “make customers happy and make sure they have a good experience.” During my visit, that ideal was certainly achieved. I received an entire pot of English Breakfast tea and my choice of a sweet and a savoury. I chose a cinnamon bun and a goat’s cheese and cherry tomato brioche.
The cinnamon bun was delicious. Coated with sugar, it crumbled in my mouth. It didn’t look like your normal cinnamon bun – it wasn’t covered with frosting, for example – but that made it all the more unique. In the past, I’ve found that the frosting, sugar and cinnamon all together created an overwhelming sweetness; however, Gail’s Bakery’s cinnamon buns had just the right amount.
The brioche was also good. The chunks of goat’s cheese along with the juicy cherry tomatoes sat in the middle of a soft bread. It was a wonderful afternoon snack, and a perfect combination of flavours.
According to Anna, Gail’s is mainly known for its bread. She said that people would visit, try their bread, and say, “Wow, they actually make good bread in England!” She recommended the French dark sourdough to any Dulwich bread fans.
Dulwich seemed like the perfect place to open up their new branch, according to Tom Molnar, co-founder of Gail’s. “Dulwich is such an exhilarating and diverse place and we can’t wait to bring truly good bread to the community.” A cycler, Molnar’s new ambition for Dulwich is for it to be the espresso destination of choice for Herne Hill Velodrome goers according to their Twitter.
Dulwich residents may remember that the location of Gail’s Bakery used to belong to a temporary art pop up by Londonart. It has recently been refreshed by Lou Davies at box-9 architects. The design takes inspiration from the local area, mixing clean and modern elements with warm, classical elements. Natural leather furnishings cover the bakery, and aged brass cage lamps hang above tables, which were made with reclaimed schoolroom iroko lab tops. Overall, the effect is a rustic feel, a comfortable atmosphere.
Visit Gail’s Artisan Bakery at 91 Dulwich Village today to taste delicious sweets and savouries. The bakery will be open 8am to 8pm, Mon – Sat, and 8am to 6pm Sunday and bank holidays.