Tag Archives: bakers

Breadwinner in Blackheath

Gail's Bakery opened in Blackheath yesterday

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The new Bakery in Blackheath is going to be a massive success, if today’s footfall was anything to judge by.  Having taken up the space that India Jane left empty, the place was totally heaving by 11:30 today.  I counted at least 6 buggies being dragged up and down the steps.  I can’t understand why they would put steps in rather than a ramp, as the place seems to be a total push chair magnet right now.

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Maybe there’s not enough space at the bottom level, if they want to keep the lovely rounded windows, but the upper level could easily have accommodated a ramp.  Instead, their army of staff and customers seem to be constantly helping people up and down the steps with their buggies. Wonder whether that many staff will still be on hand, after the initial setup time is over?

The entrance level has a tonne of proper bread in one window, and a few small tables in the other.  The bread is handed to you by the bread person, and then you take it to the counter, which is full of fantastic looking brioche sandwiches, cheese straws, biscuits, and scones.  If you want to eat in, it’s table service – you order at the central bar thingy, and are handed a table number.  They sell teas (in a pot) & coffees (which were great).

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None of it is cheap – two cheese straws and a herb & cheese scone with a couple of coffees and a pot of tea came to more than £15, but it’s a lovely environment, and it all tasted great.

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Downstairs, you can see an army of bakers making more goods, which are constantly being carried up and downstairs on trays.

They have gently blasphemic loyalty card “Give us this day our daily bread (or coffee)” – the tenth bread or coffee is free..  Which brings me to the Bugle’s thesis on loyalty cards:  If all customers acted rationally, when handed a loyalty card, all customers should pass the card to the person behind them in the queue.  Then every tenth coffee sold would always be free.  But we don’t, because humans are weird.

Anyway, back to the bakery… The whole place feels like something out of the movie Chocolat, but with bread instead of cocoa.  It’s going to be here to stay, I reckon. If only they rented out VHS tapes, they’d be perfect.

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Travel Lounge becomes Black Vanilla?

Black Vanilla Bakery in Blackheath coming soon
Spotted by a sharp-eyed Mrs Bugle yesterday, looks like we have

a new modern and sophisticated American style bakery and foody shop in London called Black Vanilla. The main menu will consist of smoothies, milkshakes, gelato, baked goods like cupcakes and whoopie pies etc.

From an article discussing the design of their logo.

I’m sure Greggs are terrified. Boulangerie Jade possibly are. Anyway, looks like they’re also hiring bakers:

Black Vanilla is a boutique bakery & gelateria with a reputation for unique artisan cupcakes and baked goods. This is an excellent opportunity for a hard working and enthusiastic baker to join the team at this stunning location.

Some experience in baking morning goods and vienoiserie is essential. The pastry chef position requires an enthusiastic, reliable and dynamic candidate with sound basic experience working with pastry and ideally with American style cake products.

Shifts of 4 hours daily starting at 6.00am. Pay between £7.00 – £8.50 ph depending on experience.

I didn’t know what Vienoiserie meant either. Google says that it has two “n”s, and means french baking in a Viennese style.

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And Blackheath’s Greggs completes the set…

Greggs in Blackheath

Now, here is a treat… The beautiful and picturesque Greggs of Blackheath has been captured for posterity here, and is part of a strangely mesmorising set of photos – watch the slideshow here.

Watching the slide show really paints a strange view of the UK. Many of the shops are almost empty… Lots of them have people wandering past, staring in, contemplating whether to have a pasty or not. Some of them are modern, and look like a branch of Dollond & Aitchison, whilst others look like they are falling to pieces, next to shops that look like squats. They also show just how alike many of the UK’s high streets have become. Not like the old days….

Many thanks to Flickr user blueme for permission to use the photo.

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Petite Boulangerie Jade… And Greggs

Following a recommendation from Michael P here, I thought I’d have a look at the new Petite Boulangerie Jade. It is next to Neals Yard Remedies, and is a smaller version of the bakery near to Hand Made Foods. Whilst the replacement of an over-priced clothes shop with an expensive coffee shop may not be the most suprising of changes to happen in Blackheath, it is quite a nice place, well decorated with black and white tiling.

Coffee and a thingyThe only thing that annoys me is the excessive Frenchification of a shop that seems to be staffed by (very pleasant) Polish staff, and playing Polish pop music! Anyway, £2.15 for a coffee and £2.30 for an almond thingy with a complicated name is about the going rate around here, and they tasted excellent. But the door makes a really loud beep every time it opens – what’s wrong with a little bell?!

And then, just for comparison… Greggs… Oh my goodness. Greggs is a disgrace. But for some reason I find myself buying vegetable slices from there. I know they are crap. A friend of a friend once told me that they lived in a flat above a Greggs, and claimed it was infested with rats (not the one in Blackheath, you’ll be delighted to hear).

Greggs The Bakers, sort of

Every time I go in there, I can feel myself slipping down into a world of misery. I really should try to give up.. Maybe if I cut down first, or go to the pharmacy next door, and ask for some monosodium-glutomate patches? Incidentally, the coffee is rubbish, and costs 90p. The vegetarian slices are horrible, but somehow addictive, and cost £1.05.

Blackheath Tea Hut

If you want a bargain coffee, head to the Blackheath Tea Hut instead – 60p (nescafe I think), plus they sell Mr Kipling Pies instead of frangipangy tartlets. I was looking for a copy of the movie about the Tea Hut, called “Tea Time“, as the idea intrigues me, and the website says that they sell DVDs of it in the hut, but I saw no sign of it.

All the locations mentioned, can be seen on the Bugle Google Map.

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Filed under blackheath, blackheath village, coffee, shops