BARLEY SUGAR BAKEHOUSE
It's open just one morning a week and hidden down a narrow lane in sleepy Crewkerne but their freshly baked breads,cakes and pastries are well worth the trip.
It’s open just one morning a week and hidden down a narrow lane in the sleepy little town of Crewkerne in south Somerset – but the freshly baked breads, cakes and pastries at the brand new Barley Sugar Bakehouse are worth making the trip. Named for the barley used in brewing the beer they knocked back while they were dreaming about setting up their business, the Barley Sugar Bakehouse is run by husband and wife team Nigel Trebble and Sarah Hunter. After years working as chefs in well-known London restaurants (Soho House, Pied à Terre) they headed westwards to start up on their own, baking bread. At first they’d pile their young kids into the car and sell their bread out of the back of the boot at monthly markets. Now they can be found at festivals (Glasto, Camp Bestival), markets (including the Frome Independent) and shows all over the west country and – for the last few months – every Saturday from 7am-1pm in their new shop at the front of their bakery in Crewkerne. Getting up before dawn, they bake up all manner of sourdoughs, seeded, malt, rye and spelt loaves, baguettes, whole meal granaries – and there’s always a different ‘loaf of the week’. My ’30-hour sourdough’ made with buckwheat, white and rye flour was deliciously chewy. Huge bags of flour from France and from closer to home are piled up to one side. All the baking’s done at the back – and there’s a little trail of floury footsteps from the bakery to their house right next door. Get ready to drool, I’m going to tell you about the freshly baked cakes, pastries and tarts, both sweet and savoury. They. Are. Bloody. Good. I’ve been twice now and so far I’ve devoured a whopping doughnut filled with real raspberry jam, a pastel de nata, the Portuguese flaky pastry egg custard tarts which originated in a 19th century monastery (they do an English version too), an apple and pistachio Danish and a savoury (yet sweet) tarte tatin of sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot, pesto topped with goats’ cheese. I feel slightly embarrassed to admit that I ate everything walking back to my car – and as they bake up different selections of cakes and pastries each Saturday, I’ll be coming back for more – so get in quick before I scoff the lot.
Opening hours: from 7am-1pm every Saturday. There’s parking off the main road opposite and in the centre of town near the Waitrose. The Barley Sugar Bakehouse, 4 Oxen Road, Crewkerne. Tel 01460 271687.