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Eleanor Crow’s East End Bakers

March 19, 2013
by the gentle author

Beigel Shop, Brick Lane

Illustrator Eleanor Crow sent me this richly-hued baker’s dozen of watercolour paintings of favourite East End Bakers, which set my stomach rumbling just to look at them . “I live in a bakery-free part of the East End and popping out for decent bread usually involves a cycle ride,” she admitted to me, “So I’m always on the lookout for good bakers and I wish we still had a proper bakery in every neighbourhood like they do in the rest of Europe.”

In common with Eleanor, I also plan my routes around the East End using the bakers’ shops as landmarks – so that I can take consolation in knowing the proximity of the nearest one, just in case the desire for something tasty from the bakery overtakes me.

One of my regular bus routes has The Baker’s Arms as its final destination and close by is a beautiful set of almshouses, built by the London Master Bakers’ Benevolent Institution in the nineteenth century,” Eleanor informed me, elucidating bakers’ lore,  as she took the first bite of a freshly baked Hot Cross Bun still warm from the oven.“Luckily people always want bread, so the traditional bakeries can still thrive alongside new businesses – but I do recommend sampling the goods a few times in each one, just to be sure which is the best…”

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Robertsons, Lea Bridge Rd

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Novelty Bakery, East Ham

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Jesshops, Newington Green

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Rinkoff’s, Vallance Rd

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Goswell Bakeries, Canning Town

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Akdeniz Bakery, Stoke Newington

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Star Bakery, Dalston Lane

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Fabrique Bakery, Hoxton

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Raab the Bakers, Essex Rd

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Percy Ingle, Lea Bridge Rd

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Anderson’s, Hoxton St

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Daren Bread, Stepney Green

Drawings copyright © Eleanor Crow

You may also like to take a look at

Eleanor Crow’s East End Cafes

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Emma permalink
    March 19, 2013

    Pleased to see a Percy Ingle on there – they’re a lovely little chain, the bread pudding particularly recommended as a high value very delicious snack.

    Daren Bread, however, got converted into a very beautiful home at least 10 years ago. Can’t remember exactly when, but there were pieces on it in the national media.

  2. Hazel Parker permalink
    March 19, 2013

    These are just amazing! I love them all and as I do Freeform machine stitched art they have inspired me too.

  3. Peter Holford permalink
    March 19, 2013

    Now I’m jealous. It’s a 20 minute car ride to our nearest authentic baker – five miles one way (through traffic) and ten miles the other way. Let’s hope the locals value these institutions shown here so that they have many more years ahead of them. I’ll be visiting at least one of them on my next visit!

  4. March 19, 2013

    Beautiful drawings, and a historic record for the future.

  5. March 19, 2013

    Dear Gentle Author,
    I attended one of your Masterclasses in February, and found it a very fulfilling and rewarding experience. I have been following Spitalfields Life since then, and, as usual, your posts are vivid and interesting.
    I have attempted to set up my own blog site; you may not remember, but the theme was abolition, with a link to modern-day slavery. I would love to know what you think, when you get a chance to take a look (I know how busy you are!)

    Thanks again, GA,

    Patrick (pen name Samuel Wolferstan)

  6. Ruth permalink
    March 19, 2013

    Raabs for me every time. Save for the jam, their doughnuts knock those from the much-vaunted St John Bakery into a cocked hat every time. And you can around three for the same price as St John! Their ‘lost’ bakery (Star) on Dalston Lane sustained me with doughnuts in the days after my first baby came along. Not very healthy granted, but so good.

  7. Tony Avon permalink
    March 19, 2013

    Wonderful watercolours, done with great skill and feeling for the area. Want some bread!!!

  8. Libby Hall permalink
    March 19, 2013

    Lovely watercolours.

    I agree with Ruth – Raabs every time for me. Tony and I were devastated when their ‘Star’ branch in Dalston Lane closed – but we continued to drive to the Essex Road every Saturday for bread and donuts.

    There’s always a lovely friendly atmosphere in the shop.

    It feels like the ‘olden days’ when, on Good Friday, the queue goes way down the road and the trays of HOT hot cross buns keep being carried out from the back. (Oh dear – perhaps we should keep this a secret – the queues will get even longer!)

  9. March 24, 2013

    I loved your website. I was going through it and came across the bakery at Newington Green. This was the bakery that my mother ordered my “American Wedding Cake” back in 1958 when I married my wonderful husband who was stationed in England with the U.S. Air Force. We met in 1956 and were married in 1958. He passed away in 1990 but we had five wonderful children and I have never regretted a day with him. I have since remarried but I will never forget that cake – it was gorgeous, three tiers with lovely whipped cream and wonderful cherry brandy in it. It was absolutely delicious. It made for a very memorable wedding reception. You can tell it was a hit because I tried to replicate a smaller version for my second wedding – almost as good, but not quite. I believe the owners were German. Also the dinner rolls and pastries were a big hit.

  10. gary permalink
    October 15, 2013

    can anyone tell me if ingles is good

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