Yesterday I met up with some buddies at the Breadstall in Clapham. We needed somewhere not too far for the semi-invalid to get to but still easy for the North London boys. It’s not a bad hobble from Clapham Junction and I didn’t realise that Northcote Ave was so nice. In a silver lining of the foot injury, I now go just fast enough to not seem injured but instead like one of those mindless meandering folk who hog the sidewalk. (Next time say hi, it’s me!)
Using the TimeOut guide for best bakeries, Breadstall seemed like a good compromise location. When I got there I took a long look at the fare. Beautiful breads with a bag of bagels delivered from Brick Lane, raised doughnuts made twice daily and stuffed with chocolate or jam, (rather anaemic looking pizzas), towering Spanish omelettes, and the best looking sandwiches I’ve seen for ages.
When we all arrived, we giggled over the fact that none of us had clued in that the Breadstall is actually a bread stall. And we really needed somewhere to sit down. We debated taking sandwiches over to the benches outside the butchers across the street. (Who are those for, people munching on their newly bought raw meat?) Or sneaking them into Gail’s hidden amongst our coffees. Of course, Gail’s actually makes one of my favourite sandwiches so that’s pretty much crazy talk. And once we stepped inside and caught sight of the chocolate almond croissants, all jokes of delinquency stopped anyway. Gail’s chocolate almond croissants are my new best friend.
We spent a long time sitting outside Gail’s, catching up on our lives and inhaling baked goods. The service wasn’t amazing but nobody can hear you muttering when your mouth is jammed full of said croissant. We dreamed up our next meeting. Hot tub cinema? Bombay & Parr’s tutti frutti lake? Edible cinema? Roller coasters? We were all very jealous of the robot party Bert was going to so standards were high. And we had a great time dreaming up his costume…
Once we were done lollygagging, the walk back to the station lead us straight back past the Breadstall. We spent another 10 minutes lingering over the selection, exactly the same as when we had drooled over it a couple hours before. I bought a pain rustica for dinner which was lovely and ended up a fitting accompaniment to our farm shop sausages. Bert got one of the gorgeous sandwiches and sweet talked them into another smear of aubergine. He grinned through the dusting of flour so we can take that as a double thumbs up. Hans got a wedge of feta & courgette slice which he exclaimed over so happily that Justin plucked it out of his hand to try and I ran back to the stall to buy a slice for my lunch the next day. (It didn’t make it. I couldn’t resist.)
They seem to get delivery of the nicest stuff they can find, bake their own tasty treats, and then spread it out for the happy shoppers of Clapham. A happy Sunday indeed.