French Artisanal Bakery
Reviewed by Christine Charlesworth
I would recommend that you visit a Paul shop and let them help you to celebrate Christmas. This year they have prepared a full range of special Christmas products – so many that you will be spoilt for choice. Christmas Buches and Festive Cakes will be available from Friday 6 December but why not try a selection of Buchettes, which are individual festive patisseries which they say are ideal stocking fillers, but once you sample one they will not last until Christmas morning. I certainly could not wait that long. The star in the range of Christmas goodies is the exclusive Couronne de Noel. This is an edible wreath made from delicious soft brioche bread, topped with candied fruits to form a star shape and the whole top is finished with crunchy pieces of sugar crystals. If you would like a special bread for the Christmas table, in addition to the other hand-crafted loaves Paulhas the ‘Pain aux Airelles’ which is a 400g round Pain Ancien bread made with cranberries.
There are 31 Paulshops in London, including one in Richmond and another in Kingston. With their distinctive Paulsign and magic aroma of traditional French baking they are hard to miss. The shops in Covent Garden and Marylebone High Street also have a French cafe and all the shops sell freshly prepared rustic sandwiches and have an array of wonderful French Boulangerie items, such as freshly baked baguettes and 10 other traditional breads. Their 15 mouth-watering cakes in the viennoiserie collection are baked throughout the day so, if timed right, you can try them straight from the oven. The Patisserie collection has a large selection of special occasion cakes, fruit tarts and cakes for sharing, and also smaller pastries that you really want to keep all for yourself.
I visited the shop in Piccadilly, not far from the Royal Academy. The girl who served me was very polite and helpful. I was also impressed to see that Paul are doing a promotion offering a discount of 20% for the Daumier: ‘Visions of Paris’ exhibition at the Royal Academy. The exhibition is on until 26 January 2014 and leaflets can be obtained at all Paulbakeries.
For more information visit www.paul-uk.com