28 Greek Street Soho London W1D 5DQ
Can there be a more charming patisserie in the whole of London? A little corner of old-time Soho in a rapidly changing world, this eccentric French tearoom is the oldest patisserie in the capital, operating since 1871. It has the kind of unstudied quirky elegance that newer pretenders can only dream of. There are the cakes, of course, a huge display window groaning with them – chubby eclairs, indulgent cream horns, delicate fruit tarts, gleaming profiteroles and marzipan figs – but Maison Bertaux is about more than simply patisserie. Its offbeat, slightly raffish air, a little shabby round the edges, is delightfully unpretentious, while the retro sign, splashy modern art and mismatched outdoor tables, with fresh flowers at each, create a welcoming space to relax, catch up with friends or simply watch the world go by. If you’re not in a sweet-toothed mood, it’s worth trying their croques monsieurs, quiches and savoury tarts.