Fashion, food, lifestyle and culture in St Albans
I can’t quite put my finger on what it is exactly, but the Bakehouse simultaneously feels like an exciting new venue, as well as feeling like it has always been part of our city. It fits perfectly.
On my first visit, I was fooled by the name into thinking that they only served baked goods, when, in fact, their foodie repertoire extends way beyond their delicious signature brownies and blondies.
Thankfully, there’s an abundance of lovely staff there to help guide your eye to the huge chalk boards, emblazoned with tempting words like ‘artisan bread sandwiches’ and ‘gourmet hotpots.’
You are lured in by the cool and trendy signage, but it’s the warm and welcoming atmosphere that makes you want to move in. That, and the amazing display of food on offer. Large bowls, platters and boards glitter on the counter top, tempting you with their sheer deliciousness. How can you possibly resist and where on earth do you start?
The very clever designer behind the Bakehouse has really embraced its location in Heritage Close. Downstairs there is a beautiful terrace where customers can bask in the magnificence of the Abbey. And, upstairs, the huge windows showcase the surrounding greenery and cobbled streets –so you literally feel as if you are sitting in the heart of St Albans.
Inside, the look is clean and simple, with lovely little design features everywhere (look out for the Colmans tins and Marmite jars!). Accents of teal stand out amidst the soft palette and distinctive industrial features keep it trendy and far from being twee.
I had the pleasure of speaking with one quarter of the Bakehouse team, Jim. A local St Albans man himself, he proudly told me that the business was built on a collective passion for food and that they (Jim and his business partners) want to promote local produce and suppliers, like A&C Meats, the butchers on Catherine Street, whilst also bringing top quality brands, like Monmouth coffee, to St Albans.
What’s most exciting is that the Bakehouse’s awesome foursome is not resting on its laurels- there are some great things in the pipeline. They already offer an array of delights for your business lunch needs, for collection, and, their baking prowess can also be commissioned for your very own celebration cake. But… it’s their plans for the community that has me tapping away like a crazy woman.
There was a tempting suggestion that they might introduce an Afternoon Tea and….wait for it, they also have plans for a Great St Albans Cake Off, which aims to bring the community together through competitive baking. The finer details are currently being ironed out, but as soon as I know any more, I will let you know, so stay tuned!
I will be covering Cake Off as well as asking their lovely chefs to hopefully share with us some of their signature bakes and dishes- showcasing the wonders of the Bakehouse kitchen.
The Bakehouse is a very compelling brand- it has great personality and you really really want to be friends with this new cool kid in town. It’s chic and sophisticated and all served to you with a huge dollop of rustic charm. It strikes the perfect balance between style and substance. You could say that it has its cake and it eats it too.
17 Heritage Close, High Street, AL3 4EB