Hirst & Sons, Bakers

Royal Standard

This shop is worth visiting if only for the lovely ceramic tiles on the walls. I might be wrong of course, but these feel like they’ve been there since the shop was built – and that’s just the sort of thing I love (we have sadly just lost a similarly pretty shop along Trafalgar Rd, where the new Tescos will be) The walls are set off nicely by the old-fashioned curvy glass counters and the more modern wooden signs abover the bread.

If I’m honest, the bread isn’t much to write home about. Baked at the sister shop in Lewisham, the bog-standard breads and commercial-quality cakes could be found in any similar bakers – but Hirst have several things in their favour – they’re a small company, local and they’re not Greggs. There is some character left here and the service is generally friendly and efficient – as long as you don’t accidentally turn up behind a bunch of builders who’ve come in for a bulk order of egg rolls at the sandwich counter.

They seem to be doing ok at the moment, given the depressed state of the Standard. I hope they survive – they provide a valuable service – even if their bread is nothing out of the ordinary.

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