And we’re back! After nearly a year of not eating English croissants, except for a couple in London during my January trip, my taste buds have mutated a little. They’ve been spoiled with delights from Marlow & Sons and Lafayette, but they’ve also been disappointed with sickly sweet pastries from nearly every where in Italy. These vastly different experiences left me confused and uncertain as to what to expect when rejoining the Bristol croissant adventure.
Some things, however, will never be a surprise. Rain in England and anglicized French pastries are definitely up there. Both of which I kinda-sorta expected from Love Bristol Bakery in Stokes Croft, which may or may not be a pop up. There was a faint drizzle and chill in the air, ready to make even the best croissants taste a bit lack luster.
I was walking back home from doing my laundry At The Well when I stumbled upon a new little bakery in Stokes Croft. Since I’m rarely in the area and always looking for a new place for good bread or croissants, I stopped in an bought a croissant for 60p. Sitting there in the damp basket, they didn’t look exactly promising — dull is a better word — but they were there and a good enough foray back into Bristolian croissants.
You could say they were exactly that. They were spongy and definitely not something you’d find in France. The outside matched the texture of the inside and only when you tried really, really hard to taste any butter could you detect the faintest hint. On its own, it was entirely too bland to be of note. I jazzed it up with a little raspberry jam (pretty good, very English) and a thin piece of Jacque Torres chocolate (makes everything better), both of which were amusing improvements, but not exactly how I want to eat my croissant.
While this first experience was disappointing, the familiar flavors, textures and near-hilarity of experience made me a touch excited for what is to come. Whether it’s buying a croissant in plastic wrap or finding a gem in the most unexpected places, English croissants are nothing if not entertainingly surprising. At least they (hopefully) have less sugar than their Italian counterparts.
Do you find that your expectations are skewed when you return back ‘home’? Maybe you expected the car to be bigger or the bookshop to be more exciting …