Pophams PBJ croissant

Neighbourhood favourite: Review of Pophams in Islington

This welcome arrival offers seasonal specials, superlative sourdough and some of the finest pastries in N1

What’s the background?

This sourdough specialist opened at the end of last year, and ever since it’s likely that you’ve seen its picturesque pastries popping up all over your Instagram feed. The brainchild of Ollie Gold, who brings flavours inspired by his travels to the unique offering at this bakery, it places an emphasis on quality ingredients presented in an innovative way.

Pophams maple and bacon croissant

The space

Very slightly off the beaten track in Islington, it’s worth making the detour off Upper Street to discover this local haunt. As well as offering items to take away, there’s a reasonable amount of seating, including outdoors spilling out onto the pavement, which will come into its own on sunny summer afternoons.

What’s on offer?

It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into the menu, which is concise and focused yet wide-ranging enough to squeeze in some more unusual items. Sourdough loaves are turned into generous doorstop sandwiches, offered in a range of fillings. For me, though, it’s all about the pastries. Pick your selection from the edited display on the counter and they will pick up one freshly baked from the open racks in clear view behind the counter.

Pophams rosemary and seasalt plait

What to choose?

Here the pastry is so delicate, flaky and buttery that you can guarantee that whatever form it takes will satisfy. While I normally tend towards sweet viennoiserie as my first choice, I was particularly taken with the rosemary sea salt plait, with its perfectly fluffy interior and subtle balance of flavours. The bacon maple croissant, offered warm, is one of the more headline-grabbing items on offer and definitely worth a try, and even managed to win over a friend who isn’t traditionally a fan of sweet/salty combos. Look out for seasonal specials, as well as some tempting treats only available on weekends.

Pophams, 19 Prebend St, London N1 8PF; pophamsbakery.com

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