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Nothing like a sweet pastry to start the morning off right.

Whether you grab a loaf of bread in a rush to make the subway for work, or grab a hot croissant on the weekends to try to look sophisticated, both French and cool, pastries are always an absolute treat.

The question is – what place does it do the best?

Raisin bread has always been my absolute favorite (no judgment please), so I have sampled them at some of the most popular coffee chains in the country, as well as some of our favorite supermarket bakeries, in the goal of finding the perfect pastry.

Here are the results.

by Gail

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These big boys’ pastries come at a steep price

Cost? £ 2.20

Taste? Gail’s raisin bread was aesthetic to look at, but it was a bit crisp for my taste.

The immediate downside to buying from a cafe is that the staff normally choose the pastry for you, and you might end up with one that really doesn’t suit your personal preferences.

Of course you can just ask the staff member if you’re passionate about which baking is best for you, and at £ 2.20 one way – I would say asking is definitely justified (I’m not tight, I’m just north).

It was definitely the biggest raisin bun I’ve tested, so at least it’s something, and that creamy thing in the middle (I think it’s called frangipane but can I really be wrong? )

Goal? 7/10

Coffee Nero

Fortunately, looks aren't everything and Caffe Nero's pastry had a few redeeming features.
Fortunately, looks aren’t everything and Caffe Nero’s pastry had a few redeeming features.

Cost? £ 2.05

Taste? Okay, before we talk about taste – we need to address the elephant in the room first.

Yes, this might be the ugliest pastry I’ve seen, and there was certainly nothing fancy about munching on this monstrosity (it was the last one available over the counter, and I don’t think they kept the best until the end).

But Caffè Nero’s raisin bread saved itself with a successful pastry / raisin ratio, as well as a lot of goodness in pastry cream.

Goal? 7/10


Aldi's pastry didn't look great but the taste carried me straight to Paris
Aldi’s pastry didn’t look great but the taste carried me straight to Paris

Cost? 49p

Taste? At first glance, Aldi’s raisin bread seemed perfect for someone who enjoyed their very undercooked or rather burnt pastries.

Again, I just had to blame myself, since I had the freedom to choose the pastry myself from a large selection at the store’s bakery.

Luckily, it turned out that I had chosen well anyway, and its sweet taste was exactly like one would get in France.

The only downside was the lack of custard filling.

Aldi’s pastry wasn’t exactly baked to perfection, but its taste for such a low price was sure to make marks.

Goal? 8/10


(Lidl's pastries are not cut in half but I forgot to take a photo first, my apologies)
(Lidl’s pastries are not cut in half but I forgot to take a photo first, my apologies)

Cost? 49p

Taste? Lidl’s pastry was definitely baked much more evenly. It was a decent size, with a good amount of raisins and a nice custard wrapped between each swirl.

It lacked a crisp interior that some pastry lovers might be looking for, but I preferred it this way.

The pastry itself was not super sweet but overall it was a very enjoyable meal.

Goal? 8/10


So this is it. Not only did the two supermarkets offer the cheapest pastries, but also the best! And at a quarter of the price of what you would pay for a raisin bread at competing coffeehouse chains, with the ability to freely choose your own pastry from supermarket bakeries, the choice seems obvious to me.

Those looking for a slightly bigger food might better head to one of the chain’s cafes.

But wherever you choose to pick up your pastry, enjoy it!

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