Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gail's Garden Party, Hampstead

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
The invitation's a little smudged but you get the gist. Just follow the smell of baking bread.

Can a garden party without an actual garden, in fact be called a garden party? Well, I'm not sure if the small patch of grass along the laneway where the Gail's Bakery party took place could be considered a garden but nonetheless, the amount of cakes and pastries made up for the lack of greenery. Gail's Garden Party, held annually in Hampstead was every carb lover's dream, with enough cakes, sandwiches, breads and sweets to make your blood sugar curdle.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
A tower of delight- cannelles, iced lavender and almond cake and some flourless chocolate cakes in the foreground.

There was the chilli chutney stand, Spanish chorizo and exotic sausages and the odd cheese stall peppered throughout, namely the iconic Neal's Yard Dairy, however most of the focus was on Gail's magnificent selection of baked goods. There was more flour and sugar in this one narrow laneway than you could shake a stick at. I was in my element.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
Multigrain and artisan loaves; beautifully glazed challah bread; Neal's Yard Dairy stall; blue vein cheese.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
Precision slicing of jamon; panini central; chorizo picante for those who like it hot; stuffed green olives wrapped in sardines.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
Slices, muffins and bread sticks, all part of the enticing window display at Gail's Hampstead; orange and poppyseed cakes; classic carrot cake; pistachio filled meringue.

With a grin from ear to ear I made my way through stall after stall of goodies to ease that grumbling tummy. After a sun-dried tomato sandwich and some cheese, I decided on some iced lavender and almond cakes and a couple of incredibly beautiful cannelles- my new vice.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
Front counter goodies- iced lavender and almond cakes, beautifully moist and aromatic.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead

I have never come across cannelles being sold at bakeries in Sydney, so seeing so many around and about London really is a novelty. My first taste were at the Borough Markets, 3 cannelles for a pound; they were delicious, a little chewy, but for my first ever cannelles I didn't know what to expect. The cannelles at Gail's were a little bit more spongey and light, less chewy and more airy. So I'm not sure which one is more authentic, or whether they are both, all I know is I'm happy to be polishing off either one right now.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
Gail's cannelles were soft, light and airy, and not to mention incredibly moreish.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead
It's not a party without a bit of booze, wild boar salchichon; cookies, pastries and quiches at the outdoor Gail's stand; German sausage sizzle.

Gail's Garden Party- Hampstead

Gail's Bakery Hampstead
64 Hampstead High St
London NW3 1QH
Phone: 020 7794 5700
Email: hampstead@gailsbread.co.uk

Gail's Bakery Notting Hill
138 Portobello Rd
London W11 2DZ
Phone: 020 7460 0766
Email: portobello@gailsbread.co.uk

5 Circus Rd
London NW8 6NX
Phone: 020 7722 0983


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

You can still call it a garden party, no worries :0) But I'D just call it a FABULOUSLY DELICIOUS party!!

Hopie said...

Sweets to make your blood curdle! Oooh, goody! I love the man who dressed up to cut ham. I believe all ham should be sliced by men in suits :-)

Debbie Ann said...

as soon as I saw the photo of the cannelles I thought, yum, where can I get those in Sydney. They are a hassle to make. I know where there are some good ones in SF.

Lisa-Marie said...

My mouth actually just watered! These pictures make my breakfast of granary toast and Earl Grey seem very, very boring!

I must visit that bakery next time i am in London!

Are you enjoying being there so far?

Sarah said...

Gorgeous photos!!

xox Sarah

shuna fish lydon said...

We were at the same place at the same time. Amazing. And also a bit crazy. Are you still in London?

Katie said...

Oh wow it all looks fantastic! I'm green with envy. I don't manage to get down to London very often and your posts are making me so jealous.

Jen said...

Veggie Girl- I have to agree with you, definitely a party with all that food!

Hopie- Yes, the only way to give that ham the respect it deserves is to dress accordingly, and that guy did just that!

Debbie Ann- I know, I have always wanted to make my own cannelles, but never could find the bees wax, and the moulds are also quite pricey. I've never seen them being sold in Sydney but if you ever happen upon some, please let me know.

Lisa-Marie- Oh yes Gail's is definitely a top-notch find in London and you must visit whenever you are here.

Yes, I am enjoying myself, really loving London town. Thanks for asking : )

Sarah- Thank you!!

Shuna Fish Lydon- wow, so you were there too. We could have bumped into each other and never knew it!

Yes, I'm still in London, I've moved here for a couple of years, maybe more : )

Katie- Yes, it was a great day out, I must say. Next time you are in town check out Gail's and perhaps we could go in for a spot of tea and cakes!

Kim Sharifi said...

OMG I am so hungry! I wish I had a recipie for those Lavedar Almond things!!!

Anonymous said...

Next time you go, try their pain au raisins, they're particularly good.

myriam said...

these pictures make me miss london so bad, its not even funny. - will be back & cant wait to meet up!
luv M*

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

these are absolutely beautiful jen! thanks for sharing!

Catastrophe Waitress said...

lordy those pictures are amazingly fabulous!
oh, and i'm with hopie:
i want a man in a suit to slice me ham. i want him right now!

Anonymous said...

i would like to be there in that heaven!!!

Linnéa said...

Foooooood! I want it all!

Daniel Lee Gray said...

These are awesome pictures! And the food makes me want to eat my computer screen^^

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I have to confess that your pictures are so beautiful I dragged one off of your site and have it as the background of my computer. It makes me hungry every time I turn on the screen.

Aimée said...

Good grief, my heart is pounding after that post! This looks like my number one food destination right now.

Anonymous said...

Those giant poppyseed muffins look absolutely amazing! I am drooling in my morning coffee. Torturing me, you are.

Patti said...

Your pictures are absolutely beautiful! It makes me want to be there so so bad. And to smell those delicious foods. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! How I wish I had known about this, I would have been there in a flash! It looks amazing, the cannelles look delicious. All that bread and cheese is also giving me serious food envy..

chocolate + jasmine said...

i adore gail's! i lived near that very one during the summer when on a work placement and had to use so much restraint not to treat myself too often. i wish i was there for the garden party. everything looks so exquisite. brilliant photos!

Anonymous said...

These pictures are beautiful. Which type of camera do you use?

Shaheen said...

The lavender looks stunning.

wahdi said...

Fabulous pics!

Anonymous said...

i can't get over how great those pictures look - and the food in the pictures, of course.

Crazy Tourists said...

Wow!! I want a piece of everything!!

Danielle Bumblebee said...

ooo jen.. where have u been? i miss ur pretty food postings and polka dots.. when will u post again?

am headed to sydney this week n i thought of u :)

Anonymous said...

These pictures are delectable. Makes one want to start baking and eating in beautiful and large amounts.

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful party, these pictures are absolutely beautiful.

Jaime said...

Oh, those cannelles look so good. I want one right now.