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Must try baked goods and deserts

I am going to be in London for 5 days in early September. This is my second trip to London in as many years. Last time we happened to stay at a hotel that had a small bakery/ sandwich shop on the way from the Tube station to the hotel so we would pick up little snacks to take back to the hotel at night.

And it was fun trying the various pastry available in London such as the treacle (sp?) tarts and such.
This time it does not look like we will have that as we are staying in the Tower Hotel and I don’t see any “local” shops like that in the area. So it looks like I will have to go find someplace.
Back home I enjoy baking for family.
So the question is what Baked goods or other deserts (and I suppose other foods but mostly deserts) are worth seeking out?
We are NOT foodies and have no perticular interest in “fancy” food. Those of you that do, that is great it is just not our thing. But baked goods and deserts on the other hand our something we are interested in so any advice would be good.
Actually we will be in Germany, Switzerland and Paris on this trip so the same question really applies to those also.


Posted by
735 posts

Oooh puddings! Apple crumble, steamed sponge pud with custard, banoffee pie, proper jelly and ice cream, rolly polly, spotted dick, eton mess. All delicious puddings, Britain is the home of a good pud! Deserts are French but nearly ad good 😁

Posted by
16097 posts

Sticky toffee pudding (or other puddings), spotted dick, trifle, scones, shortbread, eccles cake....

Posted by
33322 posts

Early September is a bit early, especially if this non-stop heatwave is still in place, for spotted dick and the other steamed puds.

Trifle - not really baked though - but then neither are many yummy afters, is pretty good, there are boozy and non-boozy kinds, various cakes (available all over) for afternoon tea are though -

eclairs from Paul - Paris and London
Macaron from Paul or Laduree - Paris and London
Ginger Cake
Victoria Sponge Cake
Hundreds and Thousands Fudge Cake - at John Lewis Department Stores and Peter Jones, Sloan Square
Apple Cake - Germany
Black Forest Cake - Germany, particularly the southwest corner, if you like a little cherry cake to go with your booze
Swiss Roll - London, for tradition
Banoffeeeeeeeeee - London - just for the yums

and many many more.

Just stay away from the Genoa Cake

Posted by
8 posts

I'm with you on this Doug, wherever I go I try the local pastries and desserts. In the UK we have also borrowed lots of French, German and even Portugese cakes! You can get lots of these in supermarkets (including the mini ones in big cities) and Marks and Spencers food halls, eg the one at Euston Station and full sized M&S stores. Also Greggs are everywhere and do savoury and sweet stuff, plus small independent bakeries.

Custard tarts, fruit tarts, treacle tart as you said, Fruit cake, Bakewell tart, Victoria Sponge cake. Lardy cake is more regional, as is Dorset Apple cake.

Savoury - Cornish pasty, meat pies - you can get warm pastry savouries in Greggs, other shops sell cold and you would have to reheat them somehow. Microwave ovens make pastry soggy. Scotch eggs are eaten cold, as are sausage rolls.

Germany - Torte, Kaiserschmarrn, Apple Strudel

France - where to start? Had Dol de Bretagne pave recently but never saw it in other parts of France. Just go into a patisserie and drool 'til you see something you can't live without. Cakes in France cost more than in the UK but almost always worth it IMHO! Supermarkets are good for cake there too.

Posted by
8 posts

How could I forget Pork pies? Eat cold. Mini ones have too much pastry so rather greasy - share a bigger one. Melton Mowbray is the best type IMHO

Posted by
802 posts

As an American I am still not sure I want to eat something called “Spotted Dick”. Even if I knew what it was ,made of. Just saying.

A lot of these I have heard of but most I have NO idea what they are.

Posted by
4000 posts

Was in London in 1985 and I still remember trying the spotted dick, delicious.

Posted by
11368 posts

I love these pastries and desserts.
England- I love Eton Mess/ Pavlova, crazy about it actually.
Germany- Apfelstrudel, Linzertorte. If you like chocolate, sachertorte.
Paris- croissants, Pain aux raisins.
Switzerland- can’t recall any or the food except fondue.

Posted by
16097 posts

Chocolate digestives...

Emma, I fell hard for McVitie's Dark Chocolate Digestives! We run into the milk chocolate version at import shops and bigger markets within the U.S. but the dark biscuits have been hard to find,

Posted by
6113 posts

Many of the pudding should described won’t be available in a bakery. (Spotted dick is a traditional sponge pudding with currants - currants = spots and dick originates from an old English word for dough).

Items in a bakery - gingerbread men, cream meringues, vanilla slices, chocolate eclairs and possibly scones, but not everywhere will have these. If you were in the north, you would also find Eccles cakes and Chorley cakes, but you can get these at Tesco or other supermarkets.

Many places these days, particularly in London are more likely to sell cupcakes and gateau rather than traditional English bakery items.

Posted by
889 posts

Paris.......go to Angelina’s and get the Mont Blanc.....looks like a cupcake......meringue base, hazelnut cream piped on the top like icing.......nothing better. The macaroons at Gerard Mulot there are tasty and you must eat some while in Paris as they are known for them.......also the pain aux cereales (bread) from Eric Kayser is a hit along with pretty much anything he bakes.....chocolate almond croissants.
Lucky you......have fun!

Posted by
4684 posts

If you are hardcore into "living like a local" and want to know what British baked goods were like until recently drop into a branch of Gregg's or Percy Ingle. Don't complain to me if you don't like it, but you won't have lost much money.

Posted by
802 posts

So we understand I enjoy baking and as such I am looking for GOOD baking not bad.

For the US Hostess Tweankies May be common but I would not recommend them to visitors.

Think more along the lines of Mary Berry then plastic wrapped gas station.

Posted by
1320 posts

I love this post!

I second Gerard Mulot and Eric Kayser in Paris and recommend asking for one of everything. :-) If you like chocolate, try La Maison du Chocolat. The hot chocolate at Angelina is the stuff of legends. A baguette, a couple of fragrant cheeses, and a pastry or two is a classic picnic supper.

Please report back on your favorites in each country!

Posted by
65 posts

Foodie or not, enjoying the dishes from a particular culture, at least to me, seems like an integral part of the experience of travel. Not knowing exactly where you are going to be "in Germany, Switzerland" might I suggest you check out a Travel Channel show hosted by Andrew Zimmern called "Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations." The host visits cities known for particular foods (including Paris too). Here's just a short list (desserts only) for the region you will be visiting: Vienna (Sachertorte), Berlin (Berliner jelly donut), Munich (pretzels and Black Forest cake), Zurich (chocolate). For me I have used this program (as well as others) to help plan out my bucket list trip to Oslo and destinations in Germany this summer (and I am a wanna-be foodie by the way).

You might also want to check out a Berlin food tour that tours the Mitte and samples many of the iconic foods from Berlin like currywurst. Though it is not entirely dessert-oriented, it does cover a nice range of foods (with little or no alcohol). I know I am planning on using this tour as my introduction to the city when my wife and I are there in August. The tour's website is:

The site also has other tours that might be of interest (I apologize if I am being too much a a foodie here) and a detailed link to a review of each of the ten tastings for the Mitte tour. The tours take place just one or two days a week and the site books about a month in advance.

Hope this helps out. Wow. This is my first Rick Steve's forum post. Many thanks to all who have posted in the past. I have learned a great deal from all of you.

Posted by
33322 posts


that is a good post for others to see.

Unfortunately it won't help the original poster who, as he said in his post, was traveling to the UK and Germany, Switzerland and Paris in September (OP in August).