Top Four “God You’re Such a Flake” Croissants in North London
Written by: Sophie Taylor
It’s National Croissant Day. Why? Why wouldn’t you put aside a day to celebrate butter and dough that not only can you eat upon waking, but you’ll also appear continental and suave in the process? With flakes gathering around your facial hair, yes. The key to a perfect croissant is laminating the dough like it’s Ross Geller’s celebrity freebie sex list. This process requires folding butter into the mixture, creating copious thin layers of butter and dough and forming that elusive flaky crust and rich body.
So where do you get your fix of the French delicacy? Whether you’re a Morrisons 4 for £1 type or a crescent roll connoisseur, you’ll find yourself in buttered heaven with our top six croissant suggestions in North London.
1. The Stuffed German One
The German Gymnasium in Kings Cross was indeed a gym in a former life, funded by the local German community and filled with glistening Mr Motivators back in the 1860s.
But now it’s all about fuelling your muscles not ripping them. From their viennoiserie selection, try a plain croissant with your plain filter coffee and glass of water. OR mix things up with their half and half creation: the half croissant and half brezel (German pretzel) is lovingly stuffed with dry cured crispy bacon, fried egg and coleslaw. Life is for living and chances are for taking. Take a well planned risk and change your breakfast choices for life. There’s also the German Power Breakfast if you’re in need of real post gym / bed sustenance, including Bavarian meatloaf, rosti, sauerkraut and that signature fried egg again. Brunch is served from 10am till 4pm on the weekend which is perfect for hungry, lazy hippos like me.
2. The Laidback Parisian-esque One
Newington Table has a wall of bread and pastries. Almost. They do have a rather large shelf dedicated to all their freshly made baked goods, tempting all those who enter with their heavenly smelling display. The sirens of the croissant world, if you will. Their simple, plain croissant is all you need thanks to their skilled bakers and the chilled Parisian ambience they’ve created at Newington Table. Plug your laptop in, order a latte and take in the views over Newington Green while you brush croissant flakes from your keyboard.
Read our review of breakfast at Newington Table for more breakfast-y jealousy.
Newington Table, 20 Newington Green N16 9PU 0208 617 1930
Breakfast available Monday – Sunday 8am – 5pm
3. The Chinese Sweet One
These aren’t technically croissants. At all. But they are delicious bakery treats to be eaten at breakfast and are too fabulous not to be on the list. Milky little buns are available on the breakfast menu at Islington’s nostalgic Chinese Laundry Room restaurant: buns, either deep fried and steamed, served with condensed milk and fermented tofu curd dip. YUM.
Order them with the Laundry Full breakfast complete with streaky bacon, pickled mushrooms and tea egg (soft boiled egg simmered in a lou sauce infused with Earl Grey).
The Chinese Laundry Room on Upper Street makes you feel like you know what their Grandma’s kitchen looked like so you no longer need fork out for a time machine trip to 1980’s Beijing. Breakfast is served 8am-11.30am through the week and 10am-4pm over the weekend.
4. The DIY Alternative One
Try this alternative twist on the French pastry and make your own. Local patisserie chef and food writer, Livvy Potts shares her recipe for scroll buns whilst divulging her history with the whole notion of breakfast.
“Think of it as a slightly rough around the edges English croissant” she types as I dribble on to my keyboard. At one point she describes rolling them with cheddar and smoked ham and I keeled over in a ravenous stupor. The ingredients are a list of items you will likely have hiding at the back of your cupboard anyway, so no need for a confused trip round Waitrose wondering where the heck the coconut flour and himalayan salt is.
*Warning* it may well be supper by the time you’ve finished salivating over her recipes. Particularly the recent melt in the middle chocolate pudding. Wow.
Need more than pastry for breakfast? Find more hearty brunch ideas in North London.
“Only last night I found myself lost / by the station called King's Cross. / Dead and wounded on either side / you know it's only a matter of time.” [Pet Shop Boys - Kings Cross] It’s the night after the play and I’m standing at the bar of ‘The Big Chill House’ on Pentonville Road in Kings Cross. It’s ‘Throwback Thursday’ (#TBT) and happy hour is definitely over.
Ceramics with charisma. Local pottery genius, Laura Bird has of course graced the digital pages of It’s Nice That, sold out in Anthropologie* and taken her seat at many a London ceramics stall since just recently starting her career in ceramics. It’s no surprise she is well loved: her unique and gentle humour exudes from every jar, planter and candlestick holder, adorned with cheeky expressions and impish grins.
Having worked in hospitality with a keen artist’s eye, the Arts Building knew Emma was perfect to take over the space. They were after a morning to night eatery for the neighbourhood, one for local residents and workers alike. Knowing the street’s reputation as a bit of a foodie strip, the menu had to be up to scratch for it’s discerning super-taster of a community. Yes, we’re a hungry bunch in Stroud Green.
At the time of writing this the menu has just been released for Food by Feast’s new supper club. I imagine, however, that by the time you read this every dining space will be swiftly filled. If you aren’t acquainted with the duo yet (tsk), they’re the genius collaboration of Cordon Bleu chef and food writer Olivia Potts and Guardian food writer and cook, Kate Young. Having successfully completed the likes of a Gilmore Girls supper club to rapturous applause and smacking lips recently, the latest menu experience is Twin Peaks inspired and looks equally witty and delectable.
Sound healing in Stoke Newington. This Thursday 18th May, The Mystery School of Sound are running a de-stress gong bath experience in Stoke Newington Ramadan Mosque. Alongside guided meditation, healing process and gong performace, you’ll get a mini intro to healing traditions of the druids and hermetic teaching.
Patron Cave a Manger’s pop up cinema are shacking up at The Rose and Crown in Kentish Town to screen The Artist. Soak up the atmoshpere of the Festival du Cannes with swanky popcorn and elegant cocktails. Get red carpet ready for this special screening of The Artist - the ridiculously popular award winning silent French film that everyone fell in love with.
Unfortunately rising rents are affecting community spaces in Stoke Newington and their availability. St Mary’s Centre currently provides a space for projects including the Foodbank, Hackney Migrants centre and the Night Shelter but they're at risk of losing their space. To help raise funds to redevelop the space and increase awareness, they are organising a weekend food market in Stokey. The pop-up food market is a launch event for their huge fundraising drive to rebuild the community rooms attached to St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington.
Healthy chocolate mousse and sexing up your smoothie with Kate Oates. We have found ourselves a yoga guru in Kate Oates, a healthtastic yogi based in Crouch End. When we met her last year she hinted at a few of her own culinary creations and boy were we intrigued. Asking for an exclusive recipe for you health conscious readers, we received a taste sensation of an idea for chocolate breakfast.
“All My Single Cylinders, All My Single Cylinders”. Two girls, sick to the back teeth of Tindering and Bumbling about the bars of London, decided to create their own speed dating night. Involved in the biker community of East London they have created a special series of nights combining live music, motorbikes and speed dates. Bolt Motorbike Shop of Stoke Newington is their latest venue, providing a more intriguing backdrop for your date night and quashing the usual awkwardness of sparse, brightly lit speed dating scenarios. You can admire the motors, enjoy your free drinks and listen to some live music with some top notch handpicked company.
In case you’ve never had a piirakka, (also known as Karelian pasties, pies or pirogs) they’re a delicious Finnish treat that you need to try immediately. Whether savoury or sweet, they’re basically a light pastie made with rye flour and a pretty unique variety of filling options. Meet Aapo Nieminen, a native Finnish local who grew up with piirakka. After getting tired of asking friends and family to bring him these naughty little pasties whenever they visited he came up with a plan. “They are an important part of everyday finish life. One day I thought why not just make them yourself?”
The lycra is optional. Coffee however, isn't. On Friday 197 cyclists descended on Sardinia to compete in the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia. For those of you that don't have wardrobes filled with lycra you might never of heard of it but Think Tour d'France but in Italy. Still drawing a blank?
Naked Dough have appeared like a pair of beautiful fairy godmothers to lead me to an actual edible cookie dough dance party. Plus they didn’t even tell me what I should wear, they genuinely don’t care. Naked Dough is a new restaurant serving edible cookie dough from tubs, cones and even carry home pots. The ingredients are raw egg free and the flour is heat-treated so you need not worry-like-Edwina-Currie about salmonella and stomach bloat (unless you’re gluten free of course. In which case I’m sorry you’ve stumbled upon this torture page of an article).
Ten years ago MINT Vintage first opened in Covent Garden before moving on to the more creative surrounds of Stoke Newington, pioneering fashion forward vintage. Every piece is hand selected and sourced from all over the world, ensuring every garment is trend driven but timeless and always unique. This May they’ve decided to transform their world in to an “oops we were trying to make corduroy and came up with denim” dreamland*.
Finding myself wandering around Limehouse Basin craving a pint and perhaps even a slice of pizza, I needed to get home to my local Crate Brewery sharpish (they do the freshest craft beers and have award winning pizzas). But how to get there? Stumbling in to Limehouse Station and towards a huge sign saying CLOSED, I consider walking there instead. A short meander riverwards, I reach the canal and begin to notice a group of people donning chunky waistcoats stretching their arms around. I pause for a second, swaying slightly on the spot, watching this mesmerising circle of humans yielding huge double ended spoons.
"Ooh they’re doing a psych night at Moth Club Tina!” "What, again?” It’s a familiar sentence. Fast becoming a buzzword for young musos and Beyond Retro dwellers alike, psych music is no longer just for the suede fringed waistcoat wearing Acid Jazz lovers who curse their parents they weren’t born in 1966. No no. The psych music spectrum has spread it’s bendy wings and shaken off it’s lava lamp skin to embrace a whole host of musical genres. From William Burroughs to Pet Sounds to Thee Oh Sees, the genre’s had a birth, decline and resurgence. Nambucca in Finsbury Park are totally capitalising on this revival with their new monthly night, SIKE! This Thursday 11th May, they’re bringing four different acts who are all covering different elements of the psych scene.
Back in 2014 The Good Egg was hatched, mixing Californian sunshine with Tel Aviv traditions to bring one heck of a menu to Stoke Newington. Food critics, instagrammers and swathes of Stokey baby holders flocked to it’s doors to get stuck in to the Jerusalem breakfast, merguez sausage and indeed eggs washed down with spicy brunch cocktails.