With France being London’s closest neighbour across the pond on continental Europe, it’s no surprise that the English capital is home to a burgeoning French population. This means if you have a hankering for a flaky croissant, a creamy éclair or a proper cafe au lait, you can find one that our Parisian neighbours would approve of.
West London in particular is where you’ll find some of the leading patisseries, boulangeries and bistros to call the city home. We’ve collated some of the best places to get French fancies and perfectly baked pasties during your stay at The Chilworth Paddington Hotel.
1) Maison Bertaux
Even if you did happen to miss the blue and white, striped storefront of this Soho based patisserie, the scents of freshly baked cakes and fancies would stop you in your tracks. The patisserie has been operating since 1871 when Monsieur Bertaux, a Communard, fled from Paris and arrived in London with very little other than his recipes. You can pick up succulent fruit cheesecakes, tarts, eclairs and freshly baked croissants. Linger in the tea room with a cafe au lait to soak up the Parisian vibes.
28 Greek Street, Soho W1D 5DQ
2) The Chilworth
Start your day with a freshly baked French pastry, available on the continental breakfast menu at your home away from home, The Chilworth. Tear into a soft, oven-baked croissant to release the buttery aromas and pair it with jam to wake up in style. Our pastries a light enough to fill you up for hours – you can opt for something light in the afternoon such as our Indian Afternoon Tea.
55 Westbourne Terrace, Paddington W2 3UY
3) Chez Antoinette
More a place to come for a full brunch or to eat a filling main course, this ‘deliciously french’ bistro also serves delicious homemade brioche, Croque monsieur/madame and homemade desserts, baked the French way. You can enjoy a range of tarts or see what Antoinette’s cake of the day is!
30 The Market Building, Covent Garden WC2E 8RE
The charming cafe Laurents open early for breakfast and continue to serve lunch and dinner. Their deli is always well-stocked with fluffy French baguettes, savoury pastries and sugary treats. They have ample seating so guests can in and mull over a cafe au lait or glass of Burgundy whilst sampling the menu. Laurens is easily one of the best restaurants in Paddington for those seeking a rustic French culinary experience.
39 Craven Road, Bayswater W2 3BX
5) Patisserie Sainte-Anne
Since relocating to London from Paris in 2014, husband and wife team Alain and Keiko have made all their pastries, cakes, bread and tarts on-site so walking into this tiny shop always smells delicious. Patisserie Sainte-Anne has a genuinely boutique feel and the married duo work their craft with true passion. It’s usually full, and predominantly with French shoppers!
204 King Street, HammersmithW6 0RA
This luxury bakery and sweet-maker was created in 1862 and is one of the premier sellers of the double-decker macaron, which has been replicated by numerous retailers. Utterly iconic, they come in a range of flavours including pistachio, vanilla and strawberry. Trust us, once you bite through the crisp shell and feel the melting sugar – you’ll want to stock up on as many as your luggage will hold. Ladurée also sells a range of seasonal pastries, including vanilla millefeuille and plaisir sucré and they have a delicatessen.
1 The Market, Covent Garden WC2E 8RA
7) Aux Pains de Papy
Using techniques from Provence in southern France, morning pastries at Aux Pains de Papy are baked and prepared using the most traditional methods. Seeing is believing, so they are baked right in front of the customers completing the “see, smell, taste” experience. It’s best to come here earlier to get the freshest pastries straight from the oven. You’ll love the homely atmosphere.
279 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross WC1X 8QF
8) Montparnasse Cafe
For a thoroughly French experience, head to this quaint cafe in west London for a light meal after your breakfast at The Chilworth London Paddington Hotel. You’ll find pain au chocolat, croissants, fruit tartlets and all other delicacies. Take your time and mull over current affairs in a complimentary edition of Le Monde that you can usually find laying around and see how your high school French is holding out.
22 Thackeray Street, Kensington W8 5ET
10) La Petite Bretagne
If you’re craving a crepe, this snug creperie in Hammersmith musters up some of the best in town. This intimate eatery is run by a family from Brittany, and you’ll find a typical Breton style reflected in the menu. Choose between an extensive sweet or savoury menu, or, have one of each! You’ll find authentically French ingredients such as Emmental cheese, raclette cheese and smoked ham, fused with other European favourites. For dessert try a crepe Suzette or belle-Hélène to do as the Bretons do.
5-7 Beadon Road, Hammersmith W6 0EA
11) Aux Merveilleux de Fred
For the melt-in-the-mouth pastry experience only a true French chef such as Frédéric Vaucamps can achieve, book yourself in at Aux Merveilleux de Fred. Famed for their brioches, meringues and truffles, which are must-buys, the whole menu is highly acclaimed. Do yourself a favour and get some takeaway buns to enjoy as you travel around the rest of the city – they are truly merveilleux.
88 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington SW7 3LQ
12) Belle Époque Patisserie
The team at the Belle Époque Patisserie use only the finest ingredients to ensure that each of their seasonal collections surpasses the last. The cakes are intricate, artistic and essentially deserve the status as works of art. They’re as wondrous to look at as they are to eat. Be warned that deciding between the pastries might add some extra minutes to your shopping excursion, so factor in plenty of time.
262 Upper St, Islington N1 2UQ
To get a taste of the best croissants this side of Paris, make sure you book your room at The Chilworth. Not only will you be able to tuck into a continental breakfast each morning of your stay, but you’ll be perfectly placed in the city to explore the best of the best, from pastries to theatre and everything in between.
See you soon!