A small Scandinavian corner in Soho.
What makes the Nordic Bakery so special is not only the décor and the food but how calm and relaxing it is despite its hectic Soho location. Last time I visited, it was a baking hot spring day and the centre of Soho felt sweaty and unpleasant. Stepping inside the Nordic Bakery felt miles away, it was cool and peaceful, with its Scandinavian design of dark powder blue walls, alongside paneled natural wood and exposed steel extractors and pipe work. The large front window and high ceilings give it an open but cosy feel. The counter is full of baskets and plates of sandwiches, cakes, pastries and cookies, including traditional Tosca cakes, Karelian pie and Gravadlax.
The café feels very utilitarian in its design, there’s no sign of chintz or superfluous objects, but I love this. It makes a stark change to the English tea rooms and vintage-inspired cafes that are popping up across London. For the best experience, go for an open rye bread sandwich or cinnamon bun with coffee. The drinks and food are brought on little, individual trays in oversized mugs and the waitresses wear long denim aprons. If you only had room for one thing, go for a rustic cinnamon bun; they are huge, with ripples of pastry and sweet cinnamon filling in a sticky shell. It really is a feat to finish one on your own and it’s enough to keep you going for days.