Disclaimer: I visited this cafe back in February B.C (before corona) and recently found the review. I felt like posting it now because it took me back to a life of freedom, less restrictions, when we could sit inside cafe’s for as long as we wanted…ah to have such a life again.
Tucked away behind Herne Hill railway station, Dough Bakehouse offers a convenient respite stop along your commute. Step in to find brilliantly baked bread, an array of cakes and moreish pastries. If you’re lucky enough, you may just spot a Lord in there.
Winner of The Apprentice 2019 Carina Lepore owns Dough where her business savvy makes the profits rise and her father makes the breads rise, from fresh focaccia’s and to charming ciabatta’s. Lord Sugar saw Carina and her bakery as a viable business investment for his £250,000. I had never visited Dough before she won, and after my visit, I hadn’t felt I had walked into a company that had just received a huge investment, but a family run business which has maintained its cosy atmosphere.
The bright neon ‘Dough’ sign reminds you just where you are but makes you to forget this is south London, as it feels far too peaceful inside. With a foliage wall, this is sure to have wannabe insta-bloggers aflutter with this autumnal background. I am pleasantly surprised to see the bread really is baked on site, so nearby you can taste whatever loafs that may be left behind on the industrial machines that are sat on the far side.
I purchased an espresso and cherry rhubarb cake on my visit. A heart shaped biscuit accompanied my espresso and the friendly cashier offered me a taster of a luxuriously decedent chocolate cake after I had paid. My cake had a sharp sweet tang that tickled my taste buds as soon as I finished the first bite. I was torn between making the cake last longer and devouring it in 10 seconds, because the flavours were so well complemented on this airy light cake.
I could have easily bought another slice because it was such an affordable price of just £1.60 (a definite reminder that I wasn’t in central London) and it took willpower to resist a second slice. If I came at lunch, I found out I could have bought a bread role and filled it with any of the toppings and fillings they provide in a salad bar like corner. This is perfect for a lunch break and really adds to the family feel of the café. It feels like they care about their customers being satisfied and aren’t just there to make a profit from our midday hunger pangs.
The service was friendly and although I didn’t see Carina, or her dad, it seems to have retained a family feel due to the café being relatively unfussy, unassuming and deliciously affordable cakes. An expansion wouldn’t be amiss, as it became busier as parents brought their young children after school for a treat.
This cute café is definitely worth a visit if in the area or passing through, and I hope the investment is used well when opening up new branches. I would also like to see more unique flavours in the selections of cakes and pastries on offer and I am assuming, the range will expand, as I was given that taste of the chocolate cake which, at the time seemed to be a new recipe they were testing. Of course, I did miss the star of the show, which is the bread here as I had already eaten lunch, so that is what I will be having next time, when I can see how this south London business has evolved.