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Nov 25, 2007 07:55 AM

Nightingale Patisserie and others, Clapham & Balham, London

• Nightingale Patisserie, Clapham (there's also another branch on Balham High Road, I think)
An amazing pain de amande, a twice basked croissant filled with almond paste. Brilliantly crispy and flakey, a lovely combination of air and flour and butter.

• Patisserie Ann Marie, Balham
A comfortable cafe, down-to-earth and sweetly French in ambiance. The pain au chocolat is reasonably good -- puffy, lightly and crisp, even if it wasn't warm. Pretty good chocolate. I don't know if they bake these themselves, I can't seem to distinguish them from the ones at Trinity Stores and Cafe Méliès. The pateis de natas (Portuguese egg tarts) are ok, could be yolkier and the crust more delicate.

• Trinity Stores, Balham
Above average muffins with nice moisture. The chorizo in their sandwich has a delicious soury undercurrent that flows beneath the savoury spicy meat. I liked that a lot. Served in a soft and crusty baguette, with a generous pile of judiciously dressed greens.

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  1. Good to hear cheering news of local cafes. When you say the Nightingale Patisserie in Clapham, where do you mean? So far as I know, the Nightingale in Nightingale Lane has closed. The cafe that used to be the Nightingale in Northcote Road is now Brew, and even better, with outstandingly good coffee. Northcote Road however is in Battersea, not Clapham (we have a highly developed sense of local patriotism down south!)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jenny Sheridan

      The one I went to was on Nightingale Lane, about 2 weeks ago.

      1. re: Jenny Sheridan

        I was in the neighbourhood again today and got a pain au chocolat from the Nightingale in Nightingale Lane. They're still open; was it another branch that closed?

      2. I'm really enjoying your posts about the various choices in different areas of London. Please keep going!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kake

          Thanks for the encouragement; I'm just picking the low fruit for now, trying places that are near where I live and work. It's a huge city and lots of try.