Fabrique Bakery Hoxton
London now has several branches of this Swedish bakery chain but the Hoxton outlet, in a railway arch next to the Overground station, was the first one to open, and it’s where the actual baking is done. There’s not much room – there are far more tables outside the industrial-looking unit than in – but the restricted space means customers get to see the magic happen.
Fabrique’s strength is as a spot for coffee and a pastry (rather than for lunch). As well as cinnamon buns, there are cardamom buns, pastries, raspberry tarts, brownies and little chocolate balls (chokladbollar), but in comparison, only a couple of filled baguettes. Smoked salmon with pickled fennel on walnut bread was more interesting and easier to eat than an overly wodgy goat’s cheese with red onion chutney on a chewy sourdough baguette. Staff are good-natured but not always professional, and the place is an uneasy mix of café and workplace, with bags of flour piled high and high jinks bakery on show. Our advice: pick up a coffee (it’s good) and a loaf (try the rye and cranberry, brilliant with cheese) to take away, or for a more sedate café experience, head for one of the more central branches.