Cycling around Europe, hopping from one bakery to the next was the life of Alice and Jeremy for the past 3 months. Having recently returned, Alice recounts their trip, along with all the marvellous delights that they got to feast on. 🚴🥐
Give us a summary of your trip
“We embarked on this trip because we both love the freedom of travelling by bike. On the bicycle we are completely independent to go wherever we want, whenever we want, and can stop to take photos or visit an interesting-looking place at a moment’s notice… We also both LOVE eating, and spending hours cycling every day means we were pretty much always hungry! What a perfect excuse to visit bakeries along the way!
On this trip, we wanted to explore more than just France (my home country). We started in Rome and made our way North via the Italian and French Alps, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and finally Norway and Sweden.
The most challenging parts were in the Dolomites and French Alps, as well as in Norway, for the climbs and cold. The easiest riding was from the North of France until Northern Germany (flat) but that’s also where the wind was most in our face!“
What was the highlight of your trip?
As for the food: definitely Italy and France. There are bakeries, cafes, butcheries, cheesemongers… everywhere so it’s very easy to get food, and it’s usually really good. Although Italy was very disappointing in terms of bread (we had high expectations 😛), we made a habit of stopping for coffee and pastry in one of the ubiquitous pasticcerie.
For the cycling infrastructure: The Netherlands and Denmark for sure. Cycling in Copenhagen was a BIG highlight for me.
For the landscapes: the Dolomites and Scandinavia, especially Norway.
📍Florence, Tuscany, Italy
“We found a very cute bakery selling the most amazing cantucci. Those Italian cookies are the perfect snack food on the bike: they keep really well and don’t get smashed in the panniers.
On this picture I’m eating a pistachio cheesecake, with coffee of course. Pistachio spread and Nutella are used a lot in Italian baking, to fill croissants or tartlets. We fell in love with the stuff and bought ourselves a jar of pistachio spread and high-quality chocolate-hazelnut spread.”
- Rating for the cheesecake: 8/10
- For the cantucci: 10/10
📍 Die, France
“Walnut and caramel tart and chausson aux pommes/apple turnover, bought in Die, France, before we crossed the Vercors Massif. Our host in Die recommended this bakery and we weren’t disappointed.
We usually made our own coffee at lunchtime (cheaper than buying it in a cafe, especially outside of Italy, and also in remote places there were often no cafes to stop in), and often had it with something sweet. Here we had stopped in a bus stop to try and get some shelter from the freezing wind and drizzle.”
- Rating for the tart: 9/10
- For the turnover: 7/10
“We made sure to stop in Paris to go to the famous boulangerie Du Pain et Des Idees, in the 10th arrondissement. We tried to go in 2017 but the bakery was closed for the summer holidays.
This bakery is so famous there is a long queue of tourists outside all day long. We bought a few pastries and a piece of Pain des Amis, their signature sourdough bread that is sold by weight. We are big fan of buying bread by weight as you can get as little or as much as you need and the bread is usually moister and keeps for longer.
The pastry pictured is a chausson aux pommes/apple turnover. The interesting thing about it is that it uses a half apple with the skin left on, instead of the usual apple compote. The pastry was interesting, quite short in texture and well-cooked.”
- Rating: 8/10
📍 Rozenburg, Netherlands
“Now to the Netherlands, most specifically Rozenburg in South Holland. Pictured here are a Gevulde koek and another pastry for which I forgot the name, a sort of apple turnover filled with an apple and apricot filling and covered with a crunchy caramelised topping. Both were really good. I am particularly a big fan of the Gevulde koek, a cookie filled with almond paste that can be found in most Dutch bakeries.”
- Rating: 9/10
📍 Oslo, Norway
“We had read good things about Åpent, a bakery/cafe with many stores in the Norwegian capital. There we had a croissant and filter coffee – loved the filter coffee in Scandinavia! – and bought some bread to take away. We were super stoked to finally find some good sourdough bread, it’s not that common in Norway! This loaf was quite similar to our seeded sourdough, crusty with a moist crumb and lots of flavour from the seeds.”
- Rating: 8/10
This is just a tiny sample of what Alice and Jeremy ate during those three months. If you want to know more, you’ll have to catch them when they are at the bakery!
We hope this inspired you to try new foods when travelling and perhaps consider biking as a way to travel! 🙌✨🚴