For several years now, the Real Pâtisserie has had the artisan bread market sewn up in Brighton. Now it looks like the bakery could well conquer the city with its cakes too.
That would be quite an achievement, given that Brighton and Hove is home to both Choccywoccydoodah and a branch of Patisserie Valerie.
Real Pâtisserie started off with one small shop on Trafalgar Street, in central Brighton. As it became more popular, it opened further branches – first in Western Road, Hove, then in St George’s Road, Kemp Town, and, most recently, in Shoreham.
What it has been good at doing, too, is getting its breads into local convenience stores and mini-markets. Branches of the Londis chain now carry its breads and pastries, for instance. It also has stalls outside the main railway station and in the Open Market.
The secret of its success has largely been down to the quality of the French flour it uses to make its breads. For my money, its baguettes are without comparison in the city.
“The secret of its success has largely been down to the quality of the French flour it uses to make its breads”
At the weekend we bought one of its cakes for our friend Keeley’s birthday. We took her out for lunch at the delightful Dean’s Place in Alfriston and had arranged to have the cake – with sparklers – as a surprise dessert.
We chose the croquant chocolat. Above its crunchy dark chocolate and hazelnut base there are layers of chocolate ganache and chocolate mousse. It then has a glazed chocolate finish.
It looked and tasted like a quality French dessert. I could just imagine it in a shop window in one of Paris’ chichiest arrondissements. Even the waiting staff were keen to try a slice. It was absolutely delicious.
If this is typical of its cakes, the Real Pâtisserie should soon win over the hearts of the locals. Choccywoccydoodah may have a cachet because of its reality TV show, but its cakes are frequently a matter of style over substance. The Real Pâtisserie, however, offers both.