A bakery is pretty much every carb lover’s dream.. and as a self-confessed carb queen, to walk into a place like Ole & Steen and be told to pretty much help yourself is quite literally a dream come true.
Ole & Steen is a gorgeous Danish bakery offering breads, pastries, warming stews, open sandwiches and their famous “socials” – shareable pastries with either chocolate, cinnamon or marzipan & vanilla – the sharing part might be debatable, but their deliciousness certainly is not! They opened their first bakery outside of London in Christmas 2016 and given its huge success they have recently opened up three new locations in just over a month (with two more on the way very soon!). We went down to try out their newest opening in the fast expanding food heaven that is Nova Victoria and it was every bit as good as I’d imagined.
First (and really all you need to know) is their cinnamon social. Quite literally the best cinnamon bun I have ever, ever had. And I’ve had a lot! They do a more traditional Nordic-bakery style cinnamon bun too but their cinnamon social is something else. Despite having multiple “tastes” of their samples on the counter, nothing could prepare me for a whole slice of it – I went back up to the counter order another slice almost immediately! Unlike many other bakery takes on a cinnamon bun, this is less pastry and more bread-like – pillow soft, packed full of perfectly spiced cinnamon filling and drizzled with sweet icing. The kind of food that you can’t help but think will ruin all future attempts at replicating such a creation.
But don’t stop there. Whilst it was my favourite of everything we tried it was by no means their only triumph – far from it. The marzipan social, though more pastry-like take than the cinnamon version, had a delicious vanilla/marzipan centre, almost reminiscent of an almond croissant and the chocolate swirl was similar – a cross between a pain au chocolat and a cinnamon bun, with flakey pastry and a sweet chocolate filling. The chocolate muffin was beautifully soft and the blueberry pie was so good we had to get another to take away! It’s almost like a cake/pastry hybrid, and it’s so packed full of blueberries that it’s practically equivalent to having a handful of fruit for breakfast 😉 Paired with good coffee I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a chilled weekend morning.
They’re not just about the sweet stuff though! For breakfast they serve porridge, granola and smashed avocado on sourdough with a range of extras. I went for smoked salmon and God it was good. A stunning deep pink, smoked with manuka honey and served with the most perfectly poached eggs with crayola-orange yolks. Little touches like a sprinkling of black pepper and chilli flakes demonstrate everything that they’re about – good quality food with no stone left unturned when it comes to attention to detail. Marcus got the chicken stew (they have a daily veggie and non-veggie stew) which was was rich and hearty – a proper comforting stew. I find stews can be hit and miss – sometimes you get little more than a glorified bowl of salty water but this was warming and delicious, packed full of chunks of chicken.
We also tried a couple of their different rolls (also amazing, served simply with Danish butter and cheese), more than our fair share of buttered rye from the baskets of samples on the counter, and a slab of their Parma ham and gruyere focaccia. They have four types of focaccia in the most delicious flavours (I also had a sample of the goats cheese and roasted veg) and it’s everything you could want from a focaccia – fluffy in the middle, crispy on the outside with a strong olive oil flavour running throughout.
On top of all that they do a number of different loaves to take away and they also have baguettes and open-faced sandwiches to either eat in or take away. I love places that have all of their cakes and pastries out on show, and in all of their bakeries they’re piled up under the glass counter – they look so appealing and it makes it (marginally!) easier to choose one. In fact forget that, they look so appealing that it’ll just entice you into buying them all, but at least you won’t get food fomo – every food lover’s nightmare!
They have four locations and I’ve been to all but one – they’re all very similar in layout; bright, modern and just so inviting, but my personal favourite is probably Victoria just because it’s the biggest (with additional seating upstairs) and so it feels more relaxed 🙂
In summary this place is an absolute success in my eyes and if you like cinnamon buns (who doesn’t!?) then you need to try these ASAP! If my opinion isn’t enough to convince you then the sheer rate at which they’re expanding is true testament to their popularity – I hope they continue to expand not just in London but all over the UK – no one should be deprived of the opportunity to try that heavenly cinnamon social!
Link to their website: https://oleandsteen.co.uk