Barefoot's reputation very much precedes it. Without even venturing into
And it's as if Instagram imagined the ideal brunch space: turquoise and white, plenty of light, plants, fresh loaves and birds painted on things. Rather delightful, as
To business, then: what a selection of cakes. Doorstep-sized slices, single layers and brownies... temperance being at the back of our minds, we each went for a doorstep. The lemon and blueberry slab was a treat: the lemon infused the whole sponge, as it should in a good drizzle, without making things heavy; the blueberries both baked into and perched atop the cake gave a satisfying juicy 'pop'; the cream cheese icing made sure things didn't get overly sweet. I went for something I'd never seen before - their pear and lychee cake, which was a standard sponge with one non-standard ingredient. This subtle flavour was present in the icing, and unbaked thin pear slices tantalised on the cake's peak. There'll always be a gluten-free option such as flourless orange cake, as well as dairy-free and vegan delights. Other absolute favourites are the banana bread with yoghurt and honey, or those cuboid-shaped paragons of indulgence, the salted caramel brownies. I've had them from several eager stockists about town, and never experienced a gram of regret.
The loaves are also far from ornamental - these Natural Bread Company specimens have travelled all 600 yards from Little Clarendon Street, but I've yet to try one. Coffee from here has always been great - our cappuccino hit the price average at £2.30, and was creamy and nicely bitter to offset the cake. Little pots of tea are £2, each by the Bluebird Tea Company - their Earl Grey Crème has a tasteful hint of vanilla, and herbal options like Nearly Nirvana and Dozy Girl are favourites. Our huge two-tiered cake slices were £3.50 each (they'll box remnants up for you if your eyes were bigger than your stomach), the single-layer cakes are £3 and brownies £2.75. The Barefoot experience is a lovely one - not so much a place to hunker down at the laptop, as somewhere to treat the parents, or while away an hour with a friend and collective calorie amnesia.