If you haven’t already heard, it’s back! The laughter, the tears, the Hollywood Handshakes and soggy bottoms – The Great British Bake Off is gracing our screens once again, with the first episode of series 10 airing last night. And whilst our cakey creations at Kenwood HQ haven’t landed us a spot in the white tent this year (not bitter at all) we are still delighted to put together a list of hotels that are certainly rising to the challenge. This batch of international bakeries knows their sourdough from their sugar cookies, so be sure to squeeze them in to your next holiday itinerary.
Apple Farm Bakery – San Luis Obispo, California
Serving up a slice of good old-fashioned wine country hospitality, Apple Farm Inn is the place to be for that home from home feeling (freshly-baked cookie smell included). Hit the bakery for homemade fruit pies, fluffy apple dumplings, rich chocolate brownies, and totally-worth-waking-up-for breakfast pastries. However, be warned: those with a sweet tooth are not likely to want to leave before trying each and every one of their cookie flavours, including choc chip, peanut butter, toffee, and oatmeal raisin. Yes, it’s a far cry from the salad and protein shake diet that most Cali beach bunnies swear by. Do we particularly care? No.
Mandarin Oriental Gourmet Shop – Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Mandarin Oriental’s Gourmet Shop is a haven in the heart of bustling Tokyo. With marble floors, huge windows and delicately-framed display cases, this spot wouldn’t look out of place in Hatton Garden. Instead of shopping for a diamond rings though, customers are presented with an even more life-altering decision to make: cake, pastry, or both? Together, executive pastry chef Stéphane Tranchet and head baker Tomohiko Nakamura create mind-blowing sweets and savouries, merging artisan French techniques with Japanese ingredients. We recommend the hugely popular kumo cake with its cloud-shaped white chocolate exterior and layers of light sponge and jam.
Amorette’s Patisserie – Walt Disney World, Orlando
This is one for the big kid in all of us. Whilst sugar-laced snacks are part and parcel when it comes to a Walt Disney extravaganza, Amorette’s goes the extra mile to make dreams come true. The biggest showstopper here might be their signature Mickey Mouse cake: a domed chocolate chiffon sponge with milk chocolate mousse and orange jelly, complete with red glaze, plus edible ears and tail. But that’s not all, folks! The shop itself has a magical air with colour-coded jars of sprinkles lining the walls, vintage-style cloches enclosing mounds of pastel-hued macarons, and live demos so you can see the masters at work. Staying at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa will put you in prime position to beat the queues.
Sahn Eddar – Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Dubai
A wise man once said, ‘go big, or go home’, and in the world of hotel bakery experiences, this may be the biggest. Step into the world’s tallest atrium in the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah for an afternoon tea to remember. Alongside caviar and salmon on blinis, indulge in homemade scones with clotted cream and jam, freshly-baked pastries, and an assortment of gorgeous little sandwiches. If the marble floors and sparkling mosaics weren’t enough to take in, with your baked treats you can also order a gold cappuccino finished with 24-carat gold flakes. As it’s the Burj, you can rest assured that all that glitters definitely is gold.