I need to move to Sherborne. Pronto. I need to live near the Bakery Cafe.
That place is everything your friendly neighbourhood eatery should be: welcoming, warm, and full of wonderful things to gorge on.
Think bowls of golden homemade Muesli, communal tables decked out with Butter and Jam, as much toasted home-baked bread as you like, and a bakery stuffed with all manner of super-fresh treats.
On our recent visit, seduced by the sights in the window, the Man and I shared a Scone and a Bun – both of which were, quite frankly, blooming massive.
The Scone would have been the biggest I’d seen were it not for those mutants in Ditchling I wrote about back in January. Even so, it was easily the size of a large clenched fist – Hulk Hogan’s perhaps, or Goliath’s.
Inside was a colourful riot of fruit: not just your average Sultanas, but cubes of Dried Apricot too.
I slathered my half in Butter, enjoying the various textures (a topping of toasted flaked Almonds – YUM) and marvelling that it had cost only five pence more than that controversially tiny specimen bought from the sewing cafe in Bristol.
Our Bun was a bargain £2 as well and turned out to be similarly juicy, with plump Sultanas, sticky white Icing and buttery Cinnamon innards (the core of which were scoffed by the Man before I could punch him hard enough).
Though not nearly as gooey or cloud-like as Cinnabon, it was nevertheless pretty soft, with a pleasant yeasty undertone that made it feel far more wholesome.
However, as undeniably flavoursome and exciting as both these Cakes were, a spontaneously-bought Chocolate Brownie was what really won me over.
We were already stuffed and on our way out, but as the last slice it instantly caught my eye, being larger than a single portion, yet not large enough for dividing. I took it away, convinced it had earned its £2 price on size alone.
But the taste, dear Ogglers – the taste!
This was no ordinary Chocolate concoction, but a special slab laced with Fennel and Caraway Seeds.
Goodness, it was delicious: not soft, but crisp and chewy – not to mention being moist in the extreme. Combined, these attributes made it one of the most exciting textures I’ve tried (and, believe me, I’ve tried a lot).
As for that flavour, who knows how much Butter had entered the mix, but the taste it gave out was superb. Salty, dense, sweet, spiced – it was, in a word or three, MY PERFECT BROWNIE (needs capping-up, don’t you think?).
Seriously. I almost moved house there and then. And, as we walked back to the station, I wondered why people were buying Cakes anywhere else.
People of Sherborne: you don’t know how lucky you are.