Sunday, 3 January 2016


It's noon, your in the capital, your feeling a bit peckish but all you really want is a good butty. What's a boy to do? Why not head over to the nearest bakery like we did on our trip to London when we paid a visit to Gail's Artisan Bakery.

At present Gail's doesn't exist outside of London so as a northern lad I hadn't heard of them before but as we passed them whilst walking around the Bankside looking for something to nibble on, we couldn't help but be drawn in by the warm and inviting interior. As we walked through the door we were invited to take a look around and browse all the baked goods on offer and as a home baker myself it was like stepping into heaven.

As surrounding the kitchen and service area was a whole array of delicious baked goods. From a selection of fabulous looking breads and pastries to all different tiers of cake based treats, it was impossible to choose. Here to the right you can see some individual coffee and walnut cakes with thick unctuous icing dribbling down the sides alongside oval shaped cherry cakes with a beautifully shiny chocolate ganache poured over the top. Just to the left of those you can just make out some pecan and banana cakes which appeared to be topped with a sticky caramel like icing. Any other day I would of hoovered these right up but today I was in more of a savory mood!

This drew my eye over to one of these bacon baps. Gail's bakeries are proud of their bread making skills and proudly show this off on their website. I'm pleased to report that this passion is quite visible in the products on offer. The sesame seed bap sandwiching the bacon looked glossy and crispy and I could imagine the crunch that would accompany the first bite in my head as I drooled over the streaky bacon (almost a whole pigs worth!) that glistened under the display lights. Its great to see somewhere that isn't shy with it's sandwich fillings and Gail's certainly know how to fill a hole with their filling packed buns.

Which brings me onto what we finally chose to tuck into. Jon went for what Gail's describe on their website as one of there most popular butties, a pesto, mozzarella, tomato and rocket ciabatta. The ciabatta bread, well you could tell it was super fresh. Crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside they certainly know a thing or two about bread baking! The tomato slices were so vibrant and juicy whilst the vegetarian friendly mozzarella was soft and melted in the mouth. Add in the peppery rocket and that herby nutty pesto and you have a truly stunning sarnie!

Could it be topped? Well wait until you see the beast of a butty I decided to go with. Once again served on that delicious ciabatta bread, I went for a basil, mozzarella and meatball in tomato sauce sub. Toasted slightly so that the mozzarella had become all gooey and stringy, those meatballs were packed with lots of herby goodness and were so juicy that I'd go as far as to say they were some of the best meatballs I've ever eaten. The tomato sauce together with those fresh basil leaves is a classic combination that never fails and when you combine it together with the rest of the fillings in this butty; pure lunchtime perfection!

So having finished off our delicious lunch we left Gail's with big smiles on our faces. We had planned to go to a massive international chain for lunch when we'd set out to get our food but I'm so glad that we stumbled across Gail's. Yes, it's also a chain but you can still see and taste the love that goes into each loaf of bread and little cakey treat. You don't feel like your just being given something that's been churned out on a conveyor belt. Why you would choose something in a packet on a supermarket shelf over Gail's baked treats is mind boggling to me. For an amazing artisan piece of lunchtime gold, find your nearest Gail's and get over there pronto!

If you want to find your nearest branch and find out more about Gail's Artisan Bakeries then check out their website here! 

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