I’m usually the one to introduce my plus one to food destinations.
I book the restaurant or cafe, and he asks me where we’re going en route. Then he’ll obediently stuff his face when we get there.
This place was an exception.
We visit the original branch of Bostock in North Berwick regularly, and sometimes wonder if we actually visit the seaside town for the baking or the beach.We both now have a Pavlovian response to the sight of sand.
However, he’d been to their second branch a few times, while cycling in the East Linton vicinity. Without me. How dare he attempt to be Clyde without Bonnie, or Morecambe sans Wise?
“It’s not like the other one - it has seats”, he said, after his most recent visit, before going into great detail about a brioche stuffed with egg that he’d snaffled in order to beat the low energy bonk. Harumph.
I don’t like having the FOMO, so we made a date to visit this cafe together.
It’s obviously popular among pedal-ers, as there were loads of road bikes outside in the carpark racks. The open-plan bakery, which was formerly a car showroom and is owned by couple Lindsay and Ross Baxter, was generally hoaching. They had dogs (not allowed, though there is some seating outside) pressing their snoots up against the window and East Linton locals keenly dashing across the road while clutching their tote bags.
If you visit on Saturdays, it’s a double whammy, as you’ll find Phantassie Organics’ lovely fruit and vegetable stall on a grassy patch near the bakery, so you can cancel out a pastry binge with vegetation.
It seemed that we had visited Bostock just in time.
Their best-selling almond croissants, namesake bostocks and pasteis de nata were long gone and it was barely noon. I’ve munched them loads of times, and can vouch for their desirability. However, as we stood in the queue, beside the shelves of fancy groceries, the last few hazelnut cruffins sold out, when some bulk buying so-and-so bought six at once.
I felt my panic rise, but we managed to bag a few things to sit in.
We also commandeered the last of their tables, which offer a view to the open bakery, where young folk in pinnies calmly pummelled pastry and there were bread baskets stacked up to the rafters.
There are also the booths that give this space its contemporary diner feel.
Our wares came swiftly, as the pastries are served cold, though the tomato and red pepper soup (£3.78), which was threaded with herbs, was hot and sweet. I love a life-affirming-ly bright soup, since it makes me feel like I’m having a vegetable transfusion. This was an especially vibrant one, in colour and flavour.
We also tried their savoury variety of pain Suisse (£4.77). It was suitably flaky and buttery, with a feathery thatch of finely grated Pecorino and Gruyere. In the centre of this pastry sleeping bag were slices of chorizo and nibs of fiery nduja. Wowee.
There was also a square sausage roll (£4.50), with a shiny and puffy top that had loads of poppy-seeds stuck to it, as if there had been an explosion in a punctuation factory. The meaty middle was a robust mixture of pork, apple and almond. I wouldn’t say the latter two ingredients were that distinguishable, but a thorough examination was stymied as it was gone so quickly, leaving my lap full of coppery shards.
We finished with their excellent flat whites (£2.64 each) and two of the cakes that had been lingering under the counter for longer than their more popular counterparts, like doughnuts and brownies. The icing-sugar-dusted pecan tart (£3.98) was knobbly and syrupy, with the nuts packed in like the cobbles on a Roman road.
We both loved that, though my other half went completely doolally over the Basque cheesecake (£3.98), since it was so light and frothy, but also not-too-sweet with a tang.
I feel like he’s already planning to cycle back here without me, so he can order it again.
He better not, unless I can get him to bring me something back in his pannier.
I think they need to change FOMO to FOMOOAB (Fear of Missing Out on a Bostock).
(01620 860 815, www.bostockbakery.co.uk)