As our appetite for artisan bread gathers pace, we seek out the top bakeries and cafés for a slice of sourdough by the sea. Words: Alex Reece

The Bake House, Salcombe, Devon

Recently refurbished to accommodate the huge queues that line up every holiday season, this South Devon craft bakery has been in the same family since 1973. Run by Ben and Stefanie Holt-Wilson, The Bake House is the place to go for authentic French-style baking and homemade Devon pasties. The doughnuts are a particular hit with children, while adults will delight in the wide choice of handmade breads. The shops (of which there are two in Salcombe) regularly sell out, so get there early if you can. Open daily in summer from 7.30am. 3 Fore St, Salcombe, TQ8 8BY (

W. T. Roberts Central Bakery, Beaumaris, Anglesey

Fifth-generation baker William Tudor Roberts dreams up a dizzying variety of breads for his premises in Beaumaris. Take your pick from cheesy chilli to Guinness; chia seed to Bavarian Donker. The Central Bakery (owned by the same family since 1892) also serves sandwiches and hot pies to take away. Round off your picnic with an Eccles cake, almond slice or a cranberry flapjack. Open Mon-Fri, 8am-4.30pm; Sat, 8am-3.30pm. 22 Margaret St, Beaumaris, LL58 8DN (01248 810386). See Facebook page for details.

Two Magpies Bakery, Southwold, Suffolk

Founded in 2013, this award-winning bakery/café is known for its contemporary Scandi style. The Swedish seeded sourdough and cinnamon buns are popular, along with the speciality breads, such as 100 per cent rye sourdough (ideal for people who are gluten-intolerant), custard tarts and croissants. Pizza is served every Saturday from 5.30pm – there are sourdough pizza masterclasses, too. Open Sun-Fri, 8am-5pm; Sat, 8am-8pm. High St, Southwold, IP18 6DP (

Baltic Bakehouse, Liverpool

Incredibly, Sam and Grace Henley – the brother and sister behind Baltic Bakehouse – are self-taught, having learned to bake at home prior to starting up their bakery/café in Liverpool’s hip Baltic Triangle four years ago. They’ve gone on to create award-winning bread, such as slow-fermented sourdough Baltic Wild, made with organic stoneground flour. Croissants, brioches and Chelsea buns are also crafted on site. A sister branch, Furrow Café, opened in 2015. Open Mon-Fri, 9am-3pm; Sat & Sun, 10am-3pm. 46 Bridgewater St, Liverpool, L1 0AY (

The Flour Pot Bakery, Brighton & Hove, East Sussex

Oli Hyde set up The Flour Pot in 2013 after 20 years of working as a chef and setting up his own high-end catering business. From the Hove-based bakery comes bread, cakes and pastries, which are served in the five coffee shops across the city. The flagship shop is on Sydney Street in the North Laine and its interior is an of-the-moment mix of brick walls, copper lighting and inky-blue paintwork. Watch the world go by with a butter croissant and a cup of Caravan coffee. Open Mon-Sat, 8am-6pm; Sun 9am-5pm. 40 Sydney St, Brighton BN1 4EP (

Town Mill Bakery, Lyme Regis, Dorset

Town Mill Bakery opened its doors more than 14 years ago, earning a reputation for artisanal, organic baked goods and canteen-style catering. It has now changed hands, but the new co-operative ownership aims to maintain its original ethos. The sourdough bread is still made from scratch using local, natural ingredients. Breakfast is also a real speciality: choose from an eggy stack, a buttery BLT or freshly made pastries. Open Thu-Mon, 9am-2pm. 2 Coombe St, Lyme Regis, DT7 3PY (01297 444754, 

Bread Addiction, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Nurse Nikola Ondrouskova and engineer Ladislav Adamek quit their jobs to start their own bakery in 2014. Their passion project specialises in handmade sourdough breads, patisserie and desserts. The open-plan site has seating for breakfast (order a Square Mile coffee to go with freshly baked croissants or homemade granola) and serves up feel-good food for lunch and dinner, such as avocado and poached egg on toast. There are also bread-making classes – see online for details. Open Wed-Sun, 8am-3.30pm. 54 Elm Grove, Southsea, Portsmouth PO5 1JG (

Botham’s, Whitby, North Yorkshire

‘Being by the coast is important to all our family,’ says Jo Botham, great-grandson of Elizabeth Botham, who moved to Whitby from the countryside in 1865. The bakery she established on Skinner Street still thrives today, thanks to her hard-working descendants (who run a further four branches in the area), and its tea room is a haven of 1920s charm. The Whitby lemon buns are one of the signature products that date back to Elizabeth’s day. Try the Yorkshire brack (a fruit cake infused with Botham’s own-blend tea), stotties and pork pies – also available to order online. Open Mon-Sat, 8.30am-5pm. 35/39 Skinner St, Whitby, YO21 3AH (

Bostock Bakery, North Berwick, East Lothian

Third generation baker Ross Baxter launched his business three years ago as an indoor market stall. The award-winning bakery/café he now runs with his wife, Lindsay Lees Baxter, is a showcase for both their talents. Her design background is evident in the reclaimed whisky barrel seating and rough-luxe tables, while Ross’s fresh sourdough sells out every day, and his French patisserie is a feast for the eye and palate. Open Sun-Fri, 9.30am-5pm. 42 High St, North Berwick, EH39 4HQ (01620 895515,

Ann’s Pantry, Larne, Co. Antrim

This multi-award-winning bakery in Larne is 50 years old this year. Ann Agnew, who founded the business, is partly retired, but her children, John Agnew and Helen Porter, continue to share baking and front-of-house duties. John produces traditional breads and cakes with a twist – often using somewhat tricky spelt flour. His spelt potato bread with black pudding is one celebrated innovation. A small café area offers soups, stews and Ulster fry-ups. Open Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm. 64 Main St, Larne, BT40 1SP (028 2826 0474). See Facebook for details.

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