A good bagel can fix almost anything. So it’s fitting that Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first joint engagement since the pandemic began was a visit to London’s iconic Beigal Bake Brick Lane Bakery.
This institution, located in London’s formerly very Jewish East End, has been around for over 40 years — the oldest bagel bakery in London. While the Jewish community have moved to northwest London and beyond, the bakery — open 24/7 — continues to churn out around 3,000 freshly baked bagels daily. These days, it is frequented by locals (a mix of trendy youngsters and Bengali immigrants), tourists, and clubbers seeking a late-night salt beef bagel with mustard and pickles. Read all about salt beef (the U.K. version of corned beef) here.
It was, however, the first visit for the prince and duchess — though they weren’t immune to the bakery’s reputation. “We’ve heard,” William remarked to the bakers, “there are very famous bagels in here.”
The pair had a go at kneading and shaping the dough. Kate was infinitely better than her husband, who giggled his way through the process. This won’t come as a surprise to any royal fans: Kate is notoriously skilled in the kitchen and spent lots of time in the kitchen baking cakes and cookies with her children during lockdown.
While the Windsor-Middleton’s lockdown was filled with flour-fueled family fun, the Beigal Bake wasn’t quite the same success. Forced to reduce its hours and furlough many of its staff, times are tough — though it didn’t stop them from donating and delivering food to vulnerable communities members during lockdown. True menschen.
All this bagel chat got you craving one? While a ticket to London may be off the cards for a while you can try your hand making bagels at home.