Good Bakeries in New Hampshire
I don't know how far you want to drive, but in Milford, The Good Loaf has a small shop. Her breads are very good, we've also enjoyed her scones. I'm not a big sweets person, but my husband always treats himself to cookies from there. She started out in the Amherst Farmer's Market and business got large enough for her to open shop. She uses quality ingredients, so her breads are pricey though.
Every time we drive to Loon I plan the trip around the hours that Madeleine's is open. it's in Concord, on N main street. If you've not been before... the owner/ baker is always there, and he is charming, talkative and talented!
While I've not tried their signature madeleine cookies, I adore their apricot or raspberry filled cookies, as well as their fruit tarts and cakes. Almost everything comes in "indvidual" sizes, but many items are so wonderfully rich that sharing is encouraged.
They use whole ingredients, no lard in the buttercream here! And as you'd expect from a French bakery their baguette is perfectly chewy. They also sell quiche, a few sandwiches and soup, all homemade, to balance out the sugar rush with a little protein. They will gladly heat this for you if desired.
One last note- although I can't bring myself to try it, they seem to have a very loyal following for Gorton- a French Canadian spread that I'd call a pork pate.
There are a couple we like: Patisserie Bleu (assuming it's still there) in Nashua is excellent. Blackberry Bakery of Derry just opened in Londonderry right by exit 4. It's terrific. We also like the Black Forest in Amherst. Agree that Fred's is overrated, as well as over-priced.
Since you are so close, Abigail's Bakery in Weare is worth a visit. About 15 min from Concord, up Clinton street, or exit 2 off 89 if you wanted to go via highway.
Weare is large, but Abigail's is in the SE corner so just outside of Bow, Dunbarton, Hopkinton. I live not far from there so can conveniently get their breads right at the bakery. It's a small, family-run bakery out in a farm-ish area that started selling retail directly from the bakery a couple of years ago. Their emphasis is organic baked goods.
Gravel driveway, chickens and/or children running around in the yard..... I think it's great.
Riverstones Fine Pastries, Route 16 in Conway (next to the Army Barracks store). Awesomely sinful cakes, pies, cheesecake, etc; every bit is homemade on the premises. They sell to many area restaurants. Although I normally detest scones, I can't resist their maple scones...incredibly moist, with rich maple/butter/nutty flavor. Good thing I live an hour away, or I'd probably be diabetic by now. I don't know if they have a web site, but their phone is (603)447-3366.