Monday, 10 November 2008
I love my local baker's shop. In fact I'm glad when there's a queue, (except when it's out on the pavement in the rain), just so that I can take in the Unmitigated England atmosphere. I always think the floor slopes down to the counter, but that might say more about me than the shop. On the right as you go in there's a glass cabinet with sliding doors, filled with the jars of the Unmitigated Preserve of Choice- Wilkins of Tiptree in Essex. The classic white labels line-up on everything from Medlar Jelly to Orange & Tangerine Marmalade, the jar I inevitably carefully extract. The glass-topped counter doubles up as a display cabinet for fancy cakes and cake decorations, and the wall behind is a mural of Twinings Tea packets. The staff are all, without exception, very pretty girls, but of course you will understand this has nothing whatever to do with my twice-weekly patronage. Oh yes, the bread I go in for. Some of the freshly-baked loaves stacked on the angled wooden shelves are a very tight fit in the cream paper bags, so there's always a brief interlude whilst the girl carefully slides the paper over the crust. My usual purchase is for a Scotch Tin, so of course I never tire of marching in and demanding "A large Scotch please".