The Suffolk Coast is undoubtedly the spiritual home of artisan baking, and there’s one bakery that never fails to be full of customers coming in for their morning coffee and pastry, for a loaf of the day’s freshly baked bread or for the delicious treats displayed temptingly in the window: The Two Magpies Bakery
Situated among the myriad of independent shops and businesses on Southwold’s High Street, The Two Magpies Bakery has already become a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, despite only opening in Easter 2013.
One reason is the atmosphere: the sound of happy chatter and frothing milk greets you at the door, along with the sweet scent of cakes, the homely smell of freshly baked bread and the aroma of what can only be described as “really good coffee.” Another reason is that the Two Magpies Bakery just looks inviting – the artsy, hand-written menus, the shelves stacked full of loaves and the cornucopia of cakes on display have been the subject of many an Instagram photo in the Two Magpies’ first short year.
However, the main reason for the Two Magpies success is the quality of the baking. Accompanying the standard daily loaves, which are as fine as you would expect from any French boulangerie (the sourdough starter has a 200-hundred year old heritage), are different specials throughout the week. These range from the healthy (100% Rye, Caraway and Coriander) to the sweet (Oat and Honey Cottage Loaf) to the downright indulgent (Red Onion and Gruyere Sourdough). You can find out which loaves will be appearing on which day by checking the Two Magpies website in advance.
The cakes, too, are something to shout about. Fluffy pastries sit alongside colourful summer tarts and classic cakes that have been given a modern twist (try the polenta lemon drizzle). Be prepared to have a hard time choosing.
The Two Magpies Bakery is proudly run by Rebecca and Jim, a couple who a few years ago seemed as far from baking as you could possibly be: Jim was a bomb disposal expert and Rebecca was an art teacher. The switch in lifestyle may have been a challenge (the baking shift begins at 10pm and ends at 10am the next day), but it’s safe to say that they made the right choice.
Images by Never Eat Wobbly Jelly