Over the past couple of years, the vegan scene around Cardiff has really expanded, and Blanche Bakery is the new kid on the block, having opened its doors this weekend on Mackintosh Place, Roath. Owners Amy and Rem have been supplying local coffee shops around Cardiff with their delicious cakes for about a year, before deciding to take the plunge and open up their very own vegan bakery/cafe. A vegan oasis, Blanche Bakery is a super stylish Chelsea-meets-Scandinavia with a touch of tropics, new hang-out in Cardiff, although as you sip your oat milk latte, you may as well be in Stockholm. With high ceilings and low hanging lamps, the perfectly white space is lightly decorated with cosy grey blankets and a comfy corner seat and of course the centrepiece, which is a dark green leaf wall that gives the place a trendy tropic, vegan- friendly feel. The owners’ inspiration for the interior of the bakery indeed came partly from the Danish concepts of ‘Hygge’ and ‘Lykke’, but they also said that it represents their personalities and that they wanted to portray this in creating a calm and peaceful environment. The bakery is fully prepped for students wanting to ‘study and coffee’ as there is free WiFi available and an abundance of plug sockets, and Amy and Rem welcome those who want to drink great coffee, eat great cake and delve into Tolstoy or quantum physics. If the pristine, white, calming atmosphere with jazz music in the background isn’t convincing enough, then perhaps the ultimate selfie wall will change your mind. The owners thought so carefully about their customers, and adhered to their every last need by creating a selfie wall to end all awkward bathroom selfies; with a corridor in which stands a big, long mirror and on the wall opposite reads “#Blanche Bakery”, backwards.
While the interior of Blanche Bakery is enticing enough, it’s what’s in the cake that counts. With the festive season upon us, here at the bakery you can expect to find your new seasonal, vegan favourites such a candy cane cupcake, spiced Christmas cookie cupcake, and of course the crème de la crème of the selection: the Champagne cupcake. All the cupcakes are a very reasonable £2.50 (it’s £2.70 for the Champagne cupcake- it is Champagne after all!), and are all soy free, making them more accessible to those with allergies. Among the delicious bakes you will also find gluten free chocolate brownies which are a chocoholic’s dream, and chocolate chip cookies to dip in your vegan hot chocolates. One of the main motivations behind Blanche Bakery is that Amy and Rem, being vegans themselves, found it hard to eat out for a simple lunch, and so with their menu they aim to bridge the gap between the vegan and non vegan worlds by creating the vegan alternatives of classics that you would find in standard coffee shops. They do this ingeniously with a range of vegan grilled sandwiches, from vegan cheese and pesto to vegan steak, to, the best one on the menu, ‘The All Festive’ which is literally Christmas in a sandwich. To go with your sandwich you can order a coffee from a selection you would find in most cafes, except these are all totally vegan, and the coffee beans come from a local source in North Wales, Coaltown Coffee Roasters, while the house milk is from the independent Swedish brand Oatly (although soy and almond milks are also available). So whether you’re vegan or not, looking for a quiet place to study and get inspired, or just need a chocolate-hit pick me up, try Blanche Bakery and fall in love with cake all over again.
Words by Eva Kwatek.
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