I don’t keep it much of a secret that I’m not the biggest fan of Camden. I find it overly crowded and full of people who think they are really individual and quirky, but actually all look the same, and the streets are always lined with people selling and buying horrid knockoffs and generically printed t-shirts, and if you catch the wrong person’s eye you will find yourself being sketchily offered “quality skunk”. But don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not all horrendous – I have had a few decent nights out at Proud & Koko, seen some great gigs at the Roundhouse and enjoyed meals and drinks in Camden Market, and that was great… but i’ve also had my favourite handbag stolen from under my nose in Camden, so that sort of negates the good a bit for me. I think needless to say, it’s not my kinda place. So when I discovered a lovely little bakery around the corner from Pratt Street, I found my faith restored somewhat… not to the point where I think Camden is a great place to be, but to the point where when I find myself in Camden, i’m not too bothered because I know that two minutes away is a batch of freshly baked treats just waiting for me…
Melissa’s bakery is always busy. I don’t know whether it’s because of the fantastic prices, the tempting window display or the scent of freshly baked bread wafting out of the door (the latter I can’t confirm due to my terrible nasal disability, but I’m assuming that is the case) but it deserves to be.
Baked on site the thing that lures me into this bakery is always their pretzels. The savoury pretzels come in a variety of different toppings. I like the multi-seed ones that have a slight sweetness from the seeds and an occasional salty kick, and the sesame and poppy seeded ones have a great texture. The dough of the pretzel is soft and has a lovely shine to it – and I know from my obsession with the Great British Bake Off that that is what they should be like! I find that one is never really enough for me, and while that might affect my waistline a bit, it doesn’t have as much on an impact on my purse, as these delicious snacks are only 50p each!
If you’re more of a fan of the sweet pretzel however, you cannot go wrong with one of their delightful cinnamon pretzels! These have a much softer texture, with a very soft dough that is more like a cake or doughnut than a pretzel. These are twice the price (!) at £1 each, and taste fantastic – I find them somewhat addictive as the cinnamon is so sweet and adds a nice warming spice to them.
This bakery obviously does more than just pretzels though… if you’re looking for a warm light lunch you can’t go wrong with their tasty miniature pizzas that cost just £1.80 each. My favourite is the chicken with sweetcorn and onion, but the ham pizza is also great. The base is soft and light, and thanks to the lunchtime portion, you won’t be left feeling guilty afterwards like I normally find myself with pizzas. The cheese and onion twists are also a great option and cost only £1.30 each.
The other great thing about this bakery is the service. Despite always being busy, the lovely ladies behind the counter are polite and helpful. You can eat in here, and there isn’t a seating charge to do so, which is great. This really is a great place to grab yourself a fresh snack or lunch in Camden and it’s wonderful to have a lovely independent bakery available to us in such a bustling area of London where you would normally find a Pret or Greggs reigns supreme. Thank’s for making Camden a more bearable place for me, Melissa.