Thursday, 9 February 2012
Rumble rumble went the Tube train as it shot along the Piccadilly Line. Rumble rumble grumbled my stomach, chiming in harmony with my mode of transportation. Ah, the joys of the morning commute. My morning porridge – though packed with fruit, nuts and seeds and totally delicious – hadn’t quite hit the spot but I had a plan to fill the hole and sate my tummy tiger. Luckily, I reached my destination before my stomach started actually talking to my fellow travellers.
I’d heard tell, through the realms of Twitter, that the Gail’s Bakery that The Boy and I had visited only last month had been closed for a day for refurbishment. To celebrate their shiny new store, they were giving away free bread (true story!). Needless to say, I am a sucker for free food so I didn’t need to be told twice. Thankfully, the South Kensington branch isn’t too much of a diversion to prevent me from popping in on my way to work and indulging.
Being greeted with a smile and a warm pain au chocolat was a great way to kick-start my day. The staff were wonderfully bright and breezy for pre-9am (can you tell that I’m not what you’d call a morning person?). I adore passion and the ladies here obviously love what they do. Why wouldn’t they when they are surrounded by glorious coffee and quality cake?
I was gifted a reassuringly crisp loaf of San Francisco sour dough bread swathed in one of their trademark thick brown paper bags. Sour dough is one of my very recent discoveries but, for me, it’s the antithesis of the usual sponge-y supermarket loaf. Gail’s San Fran loaf has a thick robust crust with a thin skin of flour (floury fingerprints - a tell-tale sign that I’d been sneaking bread!) and a light, chewy crumb. It’s great simply sliced and used for a sandwich but I think that it truly comes into its own when you toast it. I like it crispy on the outside but with a hint of raw chewiness in the middle. Slather it with honey or jam and it’s an absolute delight! Try it and you won’t think of bread in the same way again.
Bread aside, their newly refreshed South Ken branch is looking mighty fine! Go and check it out for yourselves.
Gail’s has ten bakeries in the city of London and their South Kensington branch is open from 7am on weekdays.