California native Claire Ptak moved to London ten years ago to set up her bakery, Violet. The ex-Chez Panisse pastry chef set up shop on a quiet street in Hackney. Violet has since rejuvenated the surrounding area. It is now a thriving little hub of shops and restaurants, all existing around this simple bakery. The space is small, with an open kitchen showing all the mixing and piping of the head bakers. Upstairs people write, read, relax and enjoy afternoon delights. Claire believes cakes should be worth it, and creates recipes using minimal sugar and organic ingredients.—London's Issy Croker and Megan Abbott of The Curious Pear and F&W's Around the World Network.

February 17, 2016

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