• eliabethharwood

The Best Almond Croissants in London

Updated: Sep 29, 2020


During COVID, my morning pastry date has been something I have taken great enjoyment out of. It's a little ritual, an act of self care for myself and creating the reviews has been something I have had a lot of fun doing. All reviews were written during COVID where only take- out was possible. In the reviews I have cheekily named each pastry after types of dates- enjoy and please do share your little pastry parties with me too!


Leader Board


Pavilion

E5

Ottolenghi

Pophams

Dominique Ansel

Oree

Miel

Gails

Little Bread Pedlar

Bread Ahead

Rinkoff' s

Daylesford

Aux Pain du Papy

Albion


Detailed Review


Pavilion

Mr. Hercules aka "The One"

I would write a long review, but my passion for Pavilion is something which is shared regularly on my Instagram.


The pastries are big and generous in every way possible. Like a 6ft 4 Jason Mimoa; imagine finding a perfect tinder date and knowing they also are a kind person. If you could date a pastry, this would be the one. It’s the type you would take home to meet your parents, and out on a night out with friends. Fun, delicious, consistent, reliable. Pavilion has blessed the earth with perfection in pastry form. With no Achilles heel, go here and you certainly will not be disappointed.


Score: 69.5/ 70

Coffee: 9.5/ 10 I like a LARGE coffee. The coffee itself is perfect, however one vice I have is oversized American style Americanos

Flakiness: 10/10

Butteriness: 10/10

Filling: 10/10

Aesthetics: 10/10

Staff: 10/10 Personal favourites are Columbia Road bunch!

Bench Porn: 10/10 lots of options in Victoria park, Columbia Road or my favourite being London Fields, whilst gazing at property porn.


E5 Bakery

Mr. Unexpected


Unexpected and unassuming, the location of this bakery seems unusual, but really I wouldn’t have placed it anywhere else. Extremely well dressed Londoners queue even at opening, how have they made so much effort? I don’t think I’d even brushed my hair. The pastry is smaller than others I’ve had, but what this pastry may lack in size it certainly does not in terms of performance. Crispy, soft, lots of filling, buttery- a bang in your mouth of taste. Whilst it was gone in 0.5 seconds flat, the joy and pleasure this brought me left me dreaming of it and yearning for more for days. Unexpected and unassuming, this almond croissant knows it’s good and doesn’t need to make a song and a dance about it. It’s the guy you go on a date with on a Tuesday night, disheveled after work and end up falling for every inch of.


They sometimes do chocolate almond croissants too. Mind. Blown.


Score: 60/ 70

Coffee: 8/ 10

Flakiness: 10/ 10

Butteriness: 9/ 10

Filling: 10/ 10

Aesthetic: 8/ 10

Staff: 7/ 10

Bench Porn: 8/10 a little bit of a walk to a nice bench in London Fields but totally worth it. Get your coffee elsewhere if you are really making a meal out of choosing location.


Ottolenghi Mr. Creative

The infamous Ottolenghi. If you hear his name mentioned anywhere in the world, it makes the eyes glisten and the taste buds tingle. You know you’re in for a treat when Ottolenghi is around. His food and recipes bring a delight to anyone who has tasted or made them, and his almond croissants are no exception. Cheery, helpful staff meet you (even during COVID), making you just want to spend your time there. Eyes pop at the very sight of the cake counter. Then you see him, the almond croissant. H E L L O BIG BOY. I would spend most days here if it were more conveniently located. The coffee is strong, smooth, like having an internal massage. BANG I’M AWAKE. Then the pastry; the almond croissant is different in aesthetics, but it’s Ottolenghi so would you expect anything else?

Score: 53/ 70 Coffee: 7/ 10 Flakiness: 8/ 10 Butteriness: 10/ 10 Filling: 9/ 10 Aesthetics: 9/ 10 a trendy version of the classic, almost too beautiful to eat Staff: 10/ 10 Bench Porn: 7/ 10 there’s a cute little church near the Islington branch with a beautiful park within the graveyard. Morbid? Potentially. Beautiful? Certainly.


Pophams

Mr. Hipster


Pophams is quite literally popping up everywhere. I have visited the Hackney and Islington branch; both of which do not disappoint. The pastry has a slightly different flavour to any I have tasted, its uniqueness is mesmerising. The hint of cardamom, generous filling and the general aesthetics make this pastry a real winner. Pophams do things a little differently, but then again tradition can become boring.






Score: 51/ 70

Coffee: 8/ 10

Flakiness: 8/ 10

Butteriness: 10/ 10

Aesthetics: 10/10

Staff: 8/ 10

Bench Porn: 7/ 10


Dominique Ansel

Mr. Refined


As you arrive at Donimique Ansel you know you’ve stumbled across something special. I was worried it would be another “Instagram” place offering aesthetically pleasing products and experience but lacking substance. To my surprise, unlike a tinder date, the whole outcome surpassed the photographic aesthetics.


Staff are very kind, genuinely happy to see you. And they do just that- they see you as an individual and are not focused on what’s next or what else they have to do. They want you to have the best experience possible, something I find very hard to come across especially in London.


The almond croissant is big, slightly bigger than Ottolenghi's and as you can see they are certainly not shy with the flaked almonds. The pastry was on the doughier than flaky side, with generous filling. It is a real show stopper. If this was a man, he’s refined, knows quality, privileged and has the heart and dedication to want to make the world a better place. If anything he’s too good to be true. He’s the guy you bring to a wedding to make your ex jealous, but a little too perfect to get married too.


Whilst I wouldn’t go here everyday, I would never hesitate to return. Now restrictions have lifted I can’t wait to go back and “dine in” perhaps with a little travel book on Paris, wanderlusting about the streets in Le Marais or even perhaps NY where Dominique Ansel started his empire.


Score: 47/ 70

Coffee: 0/ 10 - didn't get here

Flakiness: 8/ 10

Butteriness: 9/ 10

Aesthetics: 10/ 10

Staff: 10/ 10

Bench Porn: 10/ 10 on my favourite street in London (plus it has my name). Even if you don’t go to Dominique Ansel, please visit this street as it’s glorious.


Oree

Mr. Frenchie


Oree is a quaint little slice of France in the heart of London. This bakery brings the tradition and joy of French patisseries and boulangeries to us mere Londoners. Decorated in the perfect shade of duck egg blue with an ornate gold logo, simply being at the door will make you feel chic. Classic, elegant, well balanced (just like French fashion) their products are effortless. If the almond croissant was a man he would of course be French, he would be charming, intelligent. He would fascinate you, wine, dine and romance you. A naughty little French affair. Ohh la la.


Score: 46/ 50

Coffee: 7/ 10

Flakiness: 8/ 10

Butteriness: 8/ 10

Aesthetics: 7/ 10

Staff: 9/ 10

Bench Porn: 7/ 10


Miel chocolate Mr. Fun

I was recommended to Miel by a yoga teacher I am friends with. Since I know he has fantastic taste, it was easy to become excited to go to this bakery and I made a concerted effort to immediately visit. I was not disappointed.

After locking eyes on the store front, I had a hunch that I was in for a treat. With the smell and the sight having me salivating like a dog, I had to compose myself before entering. The pastry itself was literally covered in glitter, it was a pastry party for both my eyes and my mouth. It was hot, melted in the mouth and it transported back to my childhood with food covering my face in sheer delight. Did I eat this gracefully? No! But who says food can’t be fun?

Score: 45/ 70 Coffee: 7/ 10 Flakiness: 8/ 10 Butteriness: 7/ 10 Aesthetics: 10/ 10 - GLITTER Staff: 10/ 10 Bench Porn: 3/ 10


Gails Mr. Reliable

Consistent, reliable and if you go early enough you might even catch them when they’re hot. If you do, the pastry will melt in your mouth. I have never had a bad experience, and always know what I’m getting. The consistency varies in other bakeries, which tends to leave me both apprehensive and excited about going. A trip to Gail's never disappoints: lovely staff, an array of delicious baked goods along with strong coffee. They do things well and are true masters in their field. If this would be a tinder date, it would be Mr Reliable; you know what you’re getting, no mind-games or childishness and is confident and self assured. He may not be the one, and that’s ok.

Score: 44/ 70

Coffee: 7/ 10 Flakiness: 6/ 10 Butteriness: 7/ 10 Aesthetics: 7/ 10 Staff: 10/ 10 Bench Porn: 7/ 10

Little Bread Pedlar Mr. Columbia

In a little alley in South London, under a railway arch you stumble upon (or attempt to use Google Maps to find) Little Bread Pedlar. With a cute little bike outside, the aesthetic of Little Bread Pedlar is simple and paired back; they know they do things well and let their products speak for themselves. The staff are friendly and chirpy even at the most ungodly hours of the morning. Then the croissant- crispy, good distribution of filling (I would love more however), lots of icing sugar, if you’re messy like me then you will come out looking like you’ve just walked off of the Narcos set.

There’s sadly no bench porn, but you’re in the heart of London so a short bus ride could take you anywhere you could imagine.

Score: 35/ 70 Coffee: 0/ 10 - I got elsewhere Flakiness: 8/ 10 Butteriness: 8/ 10 Aesthetics: 8/ 10 Staff: 10/ 10 Bench Porn: 1/ 10


Bread Ahead Mr. Instagram Famous

If you google bakery in London, Bread Ahead will certainly come up. Plastered over the press, blogs, travel journals and Instagram it would be an understatement to say they get good publicity.

With one location in Borough Market, this branch is super cute and actually in one of my favourite parts of London. The venue was an easy win for me. The staff were fun and excitable, passionate about the brand. The pastry itself was good, but that’s it. It looks the part, tastes the part but there’s no “wow” factor. Against the others I have tasted, it’s very middle of the road, which I must say was a disappointment considering how well known they are.

Score: 32/ 70 Coffee: 0/ 10 - they don't serve coffee at Borough Flakiness: 6/ 10 Buteriness: 6/ 10 Aesthetics: 8/ 10 Staff: 8/ 10 - on Instagram they're a little cold Bench Porn: 4/ 10

Rinkoff's Mr. East Ender

Family baker, since 1911 Rinkoff’s is an East End institution. As one of the oldest bakeries in London, they produce the infamous cronut along with traditional slabs of bread and butter pudding, Eccles cakes as big as your head and challah bread. It is the style of baking my Cockney dad loves. Their coffee is some of the best I have had in London and they have lovely staff (with a low turn around) who are always willing to go the extra mile.


I love Rinkoff's, I love everything about it. After having so many different styles of almond croissants, I have established that their version isn't for me. I love almonds, almond filling, amoretti, you name, but this one could have done with a little more. My dad however, now that's a different kettle of fish. Rinkoff's is a bakery for the many. Traditional, affordable with so much charm. It is a real delight.

Score: 32/ 70 Coffee: 10/ 10 Flakiness: 4/ 10 Butteriness: 3/ 10 Aesthetics: 3/ 10 Staff: 10/ 10 Bench Porn: 2/ 10


Daylesford Mr. Johnny Big Balls

Hyped up and revered by many, Daylesford is the go to place for high quality, organic, award winning ingredients.


After spending £8 on a pack of Brazil nuts, I hoped the high cost of the almond croissant would also translate into taste. The croissant was soft, covered in icing sugar but lacked filling. In summary, it was quite a soulless pastry and one I felt truly let down by. If it’s any constellation, the Brazil nuts were great.



Score: 30/ 70 Coffee: 8/ 10 Flakiness: 3/ 10 Butteriness: 1/ 10 Aesthetics: 3/ 10 Staff: 8/ 10 Bench Porn: 7/ 10

Aux Pain du Papy Mr. Finally got a date with Mr Flaky

The pastry is well formed and compact, but I wouldn’t look twice if it walked down the street. In terms of flavour, only one chomp had the taste of almond and the balance between softness, butteriness and flakiness sadly had not been met. Personally for me, the pastry was too flaky and dry so I made a total mess.

For a very long time I had been so looking forward to trying Aux Pain du Papy. Feeling deflated and with a disappointed heart, I left my pastry date with the reminder that not all things meet our expectations.

Score: 22/ 70 Coffee: 5/ 10 Flakiness: 1/ 10 Butteriness: 1/ 10 too buttery, it was like eating a block of Kerry gold. Aesthetics: 7/ 10 Staff: 7/ 10 Bench Porn: 1/ 10 Kings Cross carbon dioxide fuelled streets sadly don’t make for good health or good people watching, your lungs and eyes will not be happy


Albion

Mr. Popular


Located in close proximity to my house, I had been excited to visit Albion. Their coffee is fantastic, staff are generally a delight and their products are wonderful. Just like the popular guy at school- the almond croissant is very aesthetically pleasing but lacked substance. Dry, potentially stale, it is one of the only one of their products I will not return for.








Score: 20/ 70

Coffee: 7/ 10

Flakiness: 0/ 10

Butteriness: 0/ 10

Aesthetics: 6/ 10

Staff: 7/ 10

Bench Porn: 1/ 10



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