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.
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.