Esoteric London

No. 452: The Broadway, N8

Posted in Food, Museums, Shops by esotericlondon on November 22, 2011

The Broadway, London, N8. Photo © Roger Dean 2010

Curiosities of London – John Timbs, 1867:

They [Chelsea buns] were made and sold at “the Old Original Chelsea Bun-house,” in Jews’-row, a one-storied building, with a colonnade projecting over the foot-pavement. It was customary for the Royal Family and the nobility and gentry to visit the Bun-house in the morning. George II, Queen Caroline, and the Princesses frequently honoured the proprietor, Richard Hand, with their company; as did also George III and Queen Charlotte; her Majesty presented Mrs. Hand with a silver half-gallon mug, and five guineas in it. On Good Friday morning upwards of 50,000 persons were assembled here, when disturbances often arose among the London mob; in one day more than £250 have been taken for buns. The Bun-house was also much frequented by visitors to Ranelagh, after the closing of  which the bun-house trade declined. Notwithstanding, on Good Friday April 18th, 1839,  upwards of 240,000 buns were sold here. Soon after, the Bun-house was sold and pulled down; and at the same time was dispersed a collection of pictures, models, grotesque figures, and modern antiques, which had for a century added the attractions of a museum to the bun celebrity.

[It is becoming more and more difficult to buy a Chelsea bun in London, let alone in Chelsea. A quick search on the internet will reveal that many think the best buns to be made by Fitzbillies in Cambridge, but the one in the photograph above was made by Dunn’s in Crouch End, craft bakers since 1820 and very good it was too. R.D.]

2 Responses

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  1. Ivan O'Pinion said, on September 27, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I did some research on buns in Crouch End http://opinion8.ning.com/forum/topics/pain-au-chocolat-adviser to this day Dunn’s wins prizes


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