Great British Baking Show fans can just pop into the bar, or book a station and whip up a cake in a 90-minute bake-off session.
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The Pantry Bar from The Big Bakes
Credit: Courtesy of The Big Bakes

England clearly has a baking obsession. The Great British Bake Off is a television hit (and inspired a forthcoming musical); Mary Berry is considered a national treasure; and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee even includes a baking competition

So what do the Brits have stashed in their apron pockets next? A bookable baking competition venue with its own cake-themed cocktail bar!

The Pantry Bar from The Big Bakes
Credit: Courtesy of The Big Bakes

The Pantry Bar is the boozy new addition to the latest outpost of The Big Bake — a collection of (now) three venues that holds casual baking competitions open to anyone interested in throwing down about $60. Guests book spots at one of 12 baking stations for a 90 minute session where everyone is given a single recipe and, with the help of a head baker, create their cake before having it judged against the other stations in the hopes of securing one of the top three places. The whole concept started as a pop-up in 2017, but has clearly captured amateur bakers' imaginations.

As if that isn't enough excitement, the new East London location (the other two are in South London and Birmingham) has opened with a cocktail bar that is available to the public whether you're booked in to bake or not (though, even here, reservations are suggested). The other venues have options for drinks, but this is the first to take the baking theme to extreme heights.

The Pantry Bar from The Big Bakes
Credit: Courtesy of The Big Bakes

Fittingly accessed through a full-size fridge door, The Pantry Bar — which, despite its theme, aims for an upmarket crowd — is entirely decked out in baking gear including "hanging whisk lights, candy jar lamps, giant faux cupcakes, [and] vintage utensils." Among this unique decor, drinkers can enjoy their usual tipple or dig into a cocktail menu inspired by Britain's favorites desserts including Pick 'n' Mix Punch, a BakewellTini, and a Lemon Meringue Pie cocktail.

The Pantry Bar from The Big Bakes
Credit: Courtesy of The Big Bakes

"The joy of baking is at the heart of The Big Bakes experience, so this is what inspired the sprinkling of playful, cake-inspired design elements (and immersive fridge door entrance!) that you experience at The Pantry Bar and across The Big London Bake East venue," Adam Chaudhri, co-founder of The Big Bakes and winner of GBEA Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2020, told me via email. "This is also reflected in our cocktail menu, which includes several cake-inspired cocktails made specially for our customers, such as our super popular BakewellTini."

Located in East London's Haggerston neighborhood, The Pantry Bar is open Thursday to Sunday.