For treats that float your boat, head to The Floating Boulangerie.
London’s array of cute canalside spots is so excellent that we’ve even got our own homage to Venice – and now, there’s another brilliant reason to pop along the towpath. The Floating Boulangerie is the capital’s newest French bakery, but you won’t find it hidden in the charmant backstreets of Soho or Notting Hill. In fact, we can’t actually tell you where you’ll find it, because this bakery has a habit of moving every few weeks. As the name suggests, The Floating Boulangerie bobs on the waters of London’s canals: a houseboat bakery that dispenses baked treats to those wandering the canalside paths of our fair city.
The Floating Boulangerie was founded by French couple Jeremy Huguet and Lindsay Morel-Huguet, who used the abundant spare time provided by lockdown to start their own business making fresh bread and pastries. Though Jeremy worked as a chef at breathtaking Covent Garden restaurant Clos Maggiore, he has – like many of us during lockdown – had to teach himself patisserie skills through online tutorials. Now, the couple are selling freshly-baked bread and handmade pastries from their houseboat, moored along the canals of London.
The business began when the duo started baking bread for their neighbours, but with word spreading online, The Floating Boulangerie quickly expanded. A delivery service with four drivers (on roads, not on canals) has since been launched to spread baguettes to the masses. Having overcome problems such as the Great Flour Shortage of April and people knocking on the houseboat door for bread at 1am, The Floating Boulangerie has grown into a burgeoning naval empire, whilst remaining COVID-19 compliant through the use of masks, gloves, and limited face-to-face interactions.
Orders are made via social media, and whilst you can have the likes of classic French pastries, baguettes, focaccia, sourdough, and rye breads delivered, a dreamy little wander along the towpath, drawn irresistibly by the scent of fresh-baked bread, sounds pretty perfect. Lindsay and Jeremy are targeting a second boat to function purely as a bakery (which, handily, would mean they get their home back), so it looks like The Floating Boulangerie is set to be a permanent addition to the capital. And whilst my ham-fisted typing may have tried to rename it The Gloating Boulangerie, you’ll be the one gloating when you’re departing with armfuls of freshly baked treats!
Also published on Medium.