Take a stroll up Derby road and, aside from the copious amount of furniture shops, you can’t fail to spot the fluorescent yellow bakery Tough Mary’s. Much like a ray of sunshine breaking through grey clouds, it brightens the area and some of the local, homemade treats are sure to brighten your day.
We aimed for a tea and pastry breakfast but it was more like lunch when we rocked up at our new local bakery, eyes as big as our bellies and feeling like we needed sunglasses to find the door handle. Tough Mary’s make all their produce fresh on site every. Single. Day. A guarantee of quality? Sometimes, but certainly a guarantee of freshness. We ordered a good ol’ cup of breakfast tea and took one of the two tables, in the window. It’s a lovely, cosy place with very limited seating indeed.
The super friendly server bought us a cinnamon roll and a lemon curd custard doughnut for our sins. Had we thought about it, we should have asked for the cinnamon pastry to be toasted but we were too eager for that sugar rush and it wasn’t offered.
I can never, ever, ever resist a custard doughnut. If you cut me, I bleed custard – it’s the best. I took a huge bite of this sexy looking bread pillow and was pretty much in doughnut heaven (sorry for getting borderline pornographic). The dough was soft and fresh and the filling was both sharp and sweet with a perfect, unctuous creaminess. The filling was generous and the caster sugar coating added a delightful nostalgia as it clung to my lips and fingers. This was so tasty and beautifully homemade. You’ll never eat a Tesco jam jobby again after these beauties.
Stu’s whirl had a fantastic sweet, cinnamon flavour but it wasn’t as good as the doughnut. Although with good flavour, he did find it a little dry, toasted with butter would have made all the difference.
While we sipped and munched, lots of locals came in to buy a loaf of bread for the weekend from the everchanging wide selection. Sourdough seemed to be the favourite (though I’m not personally a big fan) and the farmhouse loaves and focaccias looked very impressive indeed. If you had a picnic, cheeseboard or particularly good sandwich ingredients at home, they deserve this bread. They even have some wheat free and low gluten options. In the summer Tough Mary’s serves bagels filled to bursting with combos like smoked salmon and cream cheese, meats and veggies. In the winter there’s always a soup of the week to warm your cockles (with fresh bread to dip, of course).
After lingering at the counter we took a salted caramel chocolate chip blondie home for later (okay, okay I ate it all without Stu…)
A blondie is a little like a brownie; the same premise and texture but blondies are made with vanilla instead of the brownie’s signature cocoa. This blondie was gooey and sweet with the right balance of saltiness and giant chocolate chunks – delicious with a cup of tea and completely indulgent. I’d love to try baking them myself but I know they wouldn’t be as good! I still think about these sometimes!
Overall, we loved the cute quirkiness of this delightful little bakery and very impressed by the clear love and care that goes into the 100% homemade produce. The servers are so friendly and the service flawless. They could benefit from a coffee machine for a nice proper espresso, but we were assured they’re looking into getting one soon. Love it!