Gluten free in general is much more readily available now than it was when I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease 5 years ago – oh my god, 5 years ago, how does time fly so fast and please can it slow the f**k down – but even with everybody and their Mum, Aunty, Dog etc. having an idea of what gluten is, there’s not many places that are totally gluten free. And there’s even less places that are totally gluten free, stock all the kinds of bread in the world and tastes so bloomin good that it could rival the non-gluten counterpart.
One of those very rare places that really does do all of those things – and more – is Beyond Bread bakery. I discovered this randomly online when searching for
please god find me somewhere that I can eat gluten free breads/doughnuts/cakes/all things good in life gluten free cafes in London and I just couldn’t believe how little reviews and hype there were around it. So I’ve made it my personal mission to shout it from the rooftops and try to inform every coeliac I know (and don’t know) about this incredible cafe. And to try every single toastie, sandwich, baguette, cake, danish, muffin etc. that they make.
All for the sake of blogging, of course…. [insert greedy pig emoji here]
Beyond Bread is based on Charlotte Place, a beautiful – but very tiny – place off of Goodge Street/Charlotte Street, so it’s very easy to walk past and miss, which I actually love because it meant that it was actually pretty quiet when I went, meaning I couldn’t annoy too many people when snapping away at my food, the interiors and basically anything in sight. With a Black/monochrome theme, it’s one of those subtle cafe’s that just look chic and comfortable but without being overbearing. The perfect place to sit and chill with a friend, or work if you’re a blogger (like me)/or freelancer and need some quiet time but with a lovely atmosphere too. Enough about the interiors, it’s time for the really bloody amazing bit, the food…
As I mentioned above, Beyond Bread is a completely gluten free bakery serving Breakfast, Brunch and a Day menu and there really is something for everyone. As a coeliac, I generally only get a handful of options, so to be confronted with a an array of at least 10 sandwiches/lunch options followed by all the cakes in the world… it’s safe to say that it took me at least 10 minutes to decide what I wanted. After a long, agonising decision process – I mean, I can only imagine this is what it would be like to decide your favourite child? – I finally went for the Sicilian Vendetta baguette, toasted, with a Chocolate and custard danish on the side. Finishing off my meal with a soya matcha latte
because I’m a pretentious twat and waited patiently (read: not patiently at all, how could I with the promise of gluten free bread that actually tastes like bread?) for my food and latte.
It’s a common blogger joke that your food is cold by the time you eat it because you spend so long photographing it and I think that this was the first time that I kiiiinda hated myself for being such a photography perfectionist because all I wanted to do was dive in! The first thing that I
face planted went for was the Sicilian Vendetta I was immediately blown away by how soft and chewy the baguette was, not an ounce of sawdust dryness in sight. As it was toasted, it had such a gorgeous contrast of crunchiness on the outside and unbelievably soft on the inside and… I should probably stop fangirling over the bread now. In short, it was absolutely delicious and the best bread that I’ve had since being diagnosed, which is no mean feat (because girlfriend tries all the bread).
Inside, the Sicilian Vendetta was packed full of roasted peppers, free range chicken and nut free/dairy free pesto and it was absolutely stunning. Full of flavour, the chicken was extremely soft and the pesto so flavoursome without being too strong. I genuinely savoured every single bite and will struggle to order another option next tme I return, although… I was massively eyeing up the For Goat’s Sake baguette and Cheese and Mushroom toastie [insert heart eye’d emoji here *and wipes away drool*]
Because a pretty generous sized baguette was not enough, I then dove into the Chocolate and Custard Danish. Not necessarily an obvious choice for me as I adore Carrot cake, Lemon drizzle, Victoria Sponge, Cheesecake (basically everything then…) but I was won over by the pretty danish twizzle – technical terms, obvs. From first bite, I had completely fallen in love. Prior to demolishing this, I have no recollection of what good pastry actually tastes like and as soon as the icing sugar and buttery, flaky pastry hit my tastes buds, I was pretty much proposing to the owner (theoretically speaking because luckily they wasn’t there). The pastry was to die for, the chocolate chips were to die for and the custard? You guessed it, to die for! I absolutely loved every single bite and am so pleased with my dessert choice – [insert hand clapping emoji here] – and have now entered this into my biggest accomplishments list.
I wish I was lying but I’m not. It’s up there with my decision to re-run the Harry Potter films monthly #IWinInLife
Whilst – probably very ungracefully – demolishing said baguette and danish, I washed it all down with a gorgeous soya matcha latte which are amazing because not only do they taste delicious, but they also make you feel slightly saintly (slightly because I would be totally delusional to feel saintly after all the carbs/fat consumed prior to my matcha consumption). Either way, I’d highly recommend the Matcha tea.
And that was all I got from Beyond Bread Bakery – “all” I got, LOL – I have to say, not only was the whole experience just beyond delicious, but it was also extra enjoyable because most people in the bakery either ate gluten free or were coeliacs too. So it was really interesting to people watch and hear people talking about their gluten free experiences (i.e be a complete nosey parker, but what can I say, #sorrynotsorry).
Overall, I really couldn’t recommend Beyond Bread bakery enough. For the coeliacs of the world, this is your heaven and a must visit, and for the “normal” eaters, you will still find something totally delicious and enjoy a really cute, comfy cafe, and the perfect little haven away from the busy London streets. Personally, I’m just super ridiculously happy that I’ve found somewhere to run to whenever I have a baguette/cake/gluteny cravings and will no doubt be visiting very soon.