I ADORE Gail's. Gail - if you're out there, and you're reading this (and if you exist as an actual person and not just a homey name for a bakery) - YOU ROCK MY SOCKS...RIGHT OFF!
There are several locations of Gail's, but my arm never has to be twisted to make a trip to charming Exmouth Market; it's my favourite location.
So, I don't even know what to do here beyond list some of what I love about Gail's: (1) the take-away salads that are delicious and require much more patience with a chopping board than I can muster, (2) the fresh open-faced baguettes and the sandwiches with things like orb-shaped meatballs falling out, just saying: PICK ME PLEASE!, (3) the loaves of bread will make you brunch champion at home (promise), (4) the baked goods like brownies and tiny apple crumbles and raspberry tarts and and and that are so good I rip into them even though I get them to take-away (cannot wait 'til home).
Best bonus, atop all that goodness? Their coffee is *on point*.
Yelp note: you WILL be the envy of your workplace if you bring back a lunch from Gail's. TRUST.
Many of my friends are fans of this bakery so I had high expectations. After taking in the display of fresh baked good and sandwiches, I went with the meatball sandwich. Three very tasty meatballs with sweet onions and a flavoursome tomato sauce topped with cheese. The bread is a highlight with rosemary and nigella seeds. An average £5 for a great sandwich in Exmouth Market where most lunch items will set you back about the same.
This is one bakery that I have no problem going back too.
Gail's Bakery is a high-end chain of delicious, precious pastries and expresso, complete with simple modern Scandinavian styled furniture, friendly-baristas, and stock full of Mac and stroller utilizing Londoners out for an afternoon tea.
This outpost in Exmouth Market, resides on a quiet cobblestone street which is worth wandering down due to its foodie restaurants (I hear it on good authority that the tapas restaurants on this street --Moro and Morito-- are worth checking out) low-key pubs, and charming character.
We had a flat white (an expresso, steamed milk combo), a teeny, tiny raspberry financier (very delicious) and a cocoa-laden brownie. While small, that financier was mighty.
In all, nice setting, good coffee and tasty but expensive treats. We met friends with a brand new baby here, and the staff was friendly and welcoming and gave the baby lots of friendly chatting up.
To be honest, a little but meh. I ordered a couple of items from here, to go. Two slices of carrot cake, two of chocolate and fruit cheesecake and a soup for lunch.
Firstly, the soup. When I went in at 2pm they had two soups on the menu, a butternut squash and a chicken. I ordered the butternut squash as it was a little bit different only to be told they were out. Which was a little disappointing as they'd left the board up advertising it. Chicken it was. The soup itself had a fair bit of chicken in it, but not much else. It was effectively water, salt and chicken. It came with two pieces of bread, a slice of white and brown. Both of which tasted hard and stale, even after soaking up some soupy water. Meh.
The next thing I guess is the selection, on their website they promise a large selection of artisan baked goodies. I thought the choice was mediocre cake wise with about five options. These could be broken into 'loads of chocolate', 'loads of nuts' and 'carrot cake'. Not really my idea of a huge selection. I was after a cake for my girlfriend (she hates nuts and has given up chocolate for lent). I sought the advice of the lady behind the counter, who suggested carrot cake (she doesn't like carrot cake). The next suggestion was a berry cheesecake which had some chocolate on the top. Ok I thought, I'll just get rid of the chocolate on the top, that's fine.
When I got home, I found out that the berry cheesecake would be far better described as 'white chocolate cheesecake with a few berries on top'... Shit
So I effectively came home empty handed (for her atleast) which is not good.
I gave the cheesecake to my mother in law who tells me it tasted good. Shame it wasn't what I asked for I guess.
Now onto the carrot cake, although I would describe it as a slav. It looked beautiful but felt solid, both pieces were really have and I struggled to eat even one.
At a price tag for all this if about £30 I felt well and truly screwed, it was a waste if money in my opinion and I won't be eating here again.
My local coffee pit-stop, very good coffee and bakery products and reasonable prices. They also have salads and sandwiches but they are at a higher price point. If your only looking for a coffee then try to avoid the lunch peak time. :)
What is it they say, 'yummy mummies'? The strange British expression sounds funny to my ears, but there were plenty of them here. Babies, strollers, that sort of thing, young parents hip enough to eat brunch in a place that creates fresh bread and cookies and such on the premises, where people come in with their laptops to sit for a few hours, where service is friendly.
It was getting crowded when I came here for brunch with friends, and the tables aren't what you call comfortable. It's too hip to be comfortable.
But I'd come here again, because it's one of those independent establishments where they make an effort to be both different, and also good -- they have all sorts of fresh ingredients (it's also a bakery), and a simple meal of eggs and bread and bacon turned out to be quite good, as well as their coffee.
This is easily a place where you could eat millions of calories of food, particularly as you get tempted by a table of sweets and breads on the way in. Good luck with that.
My my Gail, you certainly do get around! And while I've enjoyed your other London outposts for the last few years, I couldn't be happier that you've joined us here in Clerkenwell. Welcome!
In fact, why don't we throw a party? You could bring the home-made bread, and the carrot cake. Oh, and maybe the pastries and brownies, and cookies, and scones, and cakes... and maybe even stash a few vegan and gluten free goodies in there, too? You know, you should probably also bring the soups, salads, dips, coffee, tea, hot breakfasts, communal seating and wifi...
Or maybe I'll just go back to your newest Exmouth Market location. It's like a party in my mouth every time, anyway.
As a bakery, Gail's is a godsend that I intend to frequent often for my pastry needs. As a brunch place, I'm less enthusiastic.
If you're a group of four your only seating option is low and coffee table like. Perfect if you have kids dining with you, less so if you're all full-size adults. The arrangement made me wish for a proper dining table (which are available here for two people though not for four.)
The egg dishes I sampled were fresh, if slightly uninspired. One of my companions found the bacon fairly fatty and I found myself not completely sated by the end of my meal.
Throughout the meal the very strong stench of stinky cheese from the Paxton & Whitfield display would waft over. If you're a lover of Stilton, Roquefort and the like this might be a welcome aroma; I don't eat blue cheese so it most certainly was not.
Despite it being a cold, rainy February day the doors of the bakery were wide open which kept things a bit cold and drafty inside.
Still, the stars at Gail's are the baked goods, from the pain de mie to the chocolate fondant everything on the heaving sweets table looked gorgeous. Also they can personalise a whole cake should you so desire.
You can't swing a cat without hitting a yuppie up in this place.
Entertaining the fabulous Amanda F. for the day, she demanded breakfast and quick. I hadn't been to Exmouth Market since my return and was keen to see what had opened since I left. Gail's Artisan Bakery.
It's as carbo-loaded and pastrylicious as you are imagining. Artisan breads, biscuits, brownies and sandwiches as far as you can see. But I was in the market for brunchy bites and ordered the brioche with rhubarb and some sort of cream thing.
As we waited, I took in the clientele. All white, middle-class yuppies with serious button-down shirts, oversized glasses and smug looks of Sunday superiority. This is not the kind of place to get a fry-up and a post hangover Bloody Mary. Bring your Macbook if you like, you'd fit in well.
I wasn't blown away by the food, it was only okay. But I love the relaxed vibe, the fresh orange juice is amazing and it's hip. All whitewashed walls and huge photographs of the outdoors. It's an aspirational lifestyle kind of place.
A fantastic bakery and sandwich shop in Exmouth Market. In the center of the shop is a massive table with a seemingly endless selection of homemade sandwiches and divine looking desserts. I really enjoyed my salami sandwich on a fresh baked twisted sesame seed roll. Be sure to get the brownie fingers---rich decadent and chewy chocolately goodness.
Gail's is much better suited as a takeaway place. They have a reasonable large back area with several tables and chairs, but I agree with Miriam W, the furniture is comically small. They are toddler sized at best...what gives Gail? Otherwise you're bakery gets top marks from me!
When you have children you always appreciate the spots that open earlier. Gail's has the smell of morning built into every corner.
You can pick up the smell of crusts of bread and feel the warm rolls as you enter. My croissant was perfectly flaky and warmed to perfection. My little 3 year old was treated to her own kids choco (steamed milk with mocha powder) and moist muffin.
The coffee needs a bit of work to move on par with other area establishments. What was not lacking was the friendly and cheerful staff working with what looked like contentment.
Exmouth Market is this random collection of wonderful eateries smack in the centre of london (well my centre ;))
and then i walk through it to see the most recent addition to this wonderful quirky collection of establishments Gail's !
I was away so missed its opening or believe me I would have eaten all they have to offer and let all know !
It has the look of a smart west london type deli and has on offer the take away section full of all sorts of goodies such as lovely fresh baked bread, cookies, sandwiches, soups and dips and caramel crisps(i found these particularly interesting)
But what was my absolute FAVOURITE SECTION WAS .......drum roll........PAXTON AND whitfield.....
Imagine the perfect marriage cheese and lovely bakery goods !
I become a massive fan of the P&W when I was first introduced to English cheeses, I usually stuck to the francophone type, but they do have a mean cheddar pounder and the stilton is to blame for my massive hips.
It is nice that Exmouth market now has a deli style eatery, which has take away options.
I would say that the products are on the pricey side, but are a welcome none the less !
On my last trip I indulged only in the cheese counter and that is why I am raving about it, but I did notice they offer a small variety of breakfast and tea things to be consumed on the premises in their cute little sitting section at the back, which had interesting lighting.
I intend to investigate further and report back soon !
Again Yay, I have Paxton and Whitfield in the neighbourhood !!
I was near Exmouth Market when I got a headache. It was one of those front of the brain pinching affairs that is basically my body saying, "can we get some caffeine up in here?"
I only needed a coffee. I had eaten breakfast a couple hours earlier and didn't really *need* more food, but Gail's is anchored by a massive wooden table piled with treats that are impossible to ignore. I went for the ham and cheese croissant and, after ordering, immediately thought, "I should have asked for the ricotta croissant, or the gruyere pastry, or the..."
Yes, all of those things involve cheese. I would do nearly anything for a slice of gooey ripened cheese. Admitting I have a problem is the first step, but I don't want to be cured of my addiction du fromage. The Gail's on Exmouth has a nice selection of my precious that is managed by the cheesemongers Paxton & Whitfield so it was made for me.
The croissant was delicious with a perfectly flaky top. The coffee was bitter and needed quite a slosh of milk to mellow it out but I've found that is the cases at most places I've ordered a coffee from lately.
If the coffee was more enjoyable and the seats more comfortable I would have stayed until I finished my book but the chairs are so small that my knees were in my chin so I'll have to curl up with the ending at home.
Fancy! And a lot nicer than the other couple of bakeries on this street (in particular, Jesshops). Baked goods are of the huge variety and though not cheap seem to be good value for money. I had a tasty takeaway spanakopita - and for around £2.50 was pleased enough. I'll go again.
There's a lovely seating area in the back and staff are (or at least were on my one visit) exceptionally friendly and eager to help. I'm keeping Gail's in mind for casual meet ups, quick lunch/brekkie/snack options and possibly dessert after a meal at one of the other fab eateries at Exmouth Market.
Myself and Mrs VonTurbo had eaten an enormous lunch. Wandering around Exmouth Market we were on the hunt for a drink and a snacky dinner type thing. Not dinner, not a snack, but a snacky dinner type thing. It's very specific. Oh, and we wanted to eat outside.
Lucky for us Gail's provided these things. Along with a good dose of friendliness. As Gail's is primerialy a bakery, it's hard to know how to order food to eat. Mrs Vonturbo is not backward about coming forward and proceeded to march up to the counter and demand 'How does this work?' The staff were great - and gave us some recommendations on the food and drink to our exacting snacky dinner type thing standards. (You order at the counter by the way)
We got a British cheese platter and a carafe of delicious wine - it was ace. The cheese was varied, the bread was amazing, and the wine complimented everything perfectly.
It wasn't too expensive and the entire experience felt storybook-continental. Highly recommended when you feel the need for a snacky dinner type thing. Or probably anything else.
Another great food place on Exmouth Market! I haven't tried everything here, but I can say that the cheesecake is out of this world. (Although its so rich I find it hard to finish a slice). Also, all their breads are fab - the Challuh they do (on Fridays) is soft and sweet and yummy, its almost like cake! A real treat.
They do soups, salads and fresh sandwhiches, also breakfast (expensive though!). And there is also a Paxton & Whitfield cheese concession, so you can stock up on some good cheese as well as bread.
Downsides for me: The seating arrangements in the back are a bit uncomfortable for eating - either too high (tall bar stools) or too low (couches with coffee tables) although they have added a few normal tables. Also, the coffee is not the best. Its good, but not great.
If you're wondering where can you get a quality cup of coffee and delicious fresh croissant or muffin for breakfast, this is your place. The little coffee shop is quite famous in the local area and it should be this way it's great in pretty much every aspect food, service, hygiene.
After going to the food stalls at Exmouth Market weekly, a coworker finally brought me a few doors farther down than I usually venture, to Gail's. I was so blown away. The quiches, the brioches, the pastries, the cookies. It's on the pricey end for a bakery and for lunch budget, but for a splurge (in money and calories!), it's just SO good. The first time I went, I sat back down at my desk, had a forkful of goat cheese quiche and wanted it to never end. And then I wanted to make sure that everyone else knows about Gail's.
So - I've been engaged on my annual search for the very best artisan hot cross bun - and last year the honours went jointly to Gail's and the ones which they sell at my other fave deli, John Charlicks - which I think come from Baker and Spice. So this year I fell on the first batch to emerge from the oven at Gails - and they were just as perfect as last year. Really fresh, soft, moist, plenty of spice, lots of fruit (although being fussy I pick out all the bits of citrus peel...) I always have them with quark and fig jam. Now that's what I call lunch.
By the way - Gails held an incredible free party on Thursday night - they were so generous - providing free platters of delicious canapes, cheeses, and of course their range of artisan breads - plus seemingly endless wine and beer (or tap water for me...) all evening. What a great night!
Melrose and Morgan buns are currently running second in my unscientific poll, in case you were wondering.
I went to Gail's today for brunch, and the happy feeling I left with has lasted for many an hour now.
It's a very open, welcoming place. This is perhaps due in part to the massive enticing table of gorgeous mouthwatering baked goods just by the door. Or perhaps not, I hardly even noticed it myself. (Disclaimer: this may or may not be a fib.)
I liked the ordering at the counter. Very easy and successfully avoids awkward bill settling at the end. I liked the seating options. I liked the fact that I felt so comfortable that I could have been at home. I liked the toast, the tea, and let me tell you, the bacon was absolutely exquisite.
Not I nor my companion liked the person serving at the counter, unfortunately she wasn't very polite or welcoming. However, for once this did not detract from what was all in all a very pleasant experience. I hope to visit many, many more times (if only for the table by the door).
Pretty good for a chain spot! Decent selection of eggy breakfast items, plus sandwiches for lunch and loads of pastries. Coffee isn't bad either! Has a nice cute and casual atmosphere as well. Would def recommend over Pret, EAT, etc.
Love this place - excellent bread and pastries, sandwiches and eggs. Also try the pancakes! It really is one of my favourite breakfast spots - an artisan bakery/cafe right on Exmouth market. Highly recommended!
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