Lily Vanilli, a dreamy bakery in London

Lily Vanilli Bakery miso butterscotch toasted peanut and chocolate tarts

Tucked away in a little brick courtyard on Ezra Street, just off the hustle and bustle of Columbia Road, lies Lily Vanilli, one of the daintiest little bakery gems in town. This captivating little spot could easily go unnoticed if it wasn’t for the hundreds of recommendation lists it keeps on popping up on. This, of course, was more than enough to make me stop by after a busy Sunday morning battling the crowds on Columbia Road Flower Market in search of the perfect pot plant and seasonal blooms. Any excuse for a slice of cake and a cuppa…

Lily Vanilli Bakery toasties

Lily Vanilli Bakery, cafe Sunday only sign

I couldn’t help it – can you blame me, though? Known for always using fresh and natural ingredients in the most unusual recipe combinations, self-taught baker and graphic designer Lily Jones (aka Lily Vanilli) certainly follows an experimental approach to the baking scene. Nevertheless, she never fails to deliver the most creative and eye-catching designs in every creation and has even made cakes for Elton John and 10 Downing Street!

Her dreamy bakery at 6 The Courtyard is where, during the week, she creates her floral and tiered bespoke cakes for every occasion. However, on Sundays from 8.30am to 3.30pm, the space doubles up as a café and opens to the public, offering an insanely delicious seasonal selection of sweet and savoury treats, cakes and pastries.

Lily Vanilli Bakery entrance

The Lily Vanilli Bakery and Flour Market sign

Lily Vanilli Bakery Vanilli's sign

Lily Vanilli Bakery shelves with plants, postcards and recipe books

Behind the bakery’s doors lies a charming pastel interior with beautiful design touches that oozes cosiness and, funnily enough, reminds of marshmallows and candy floss. The hanging lights, dozens of cook books (including Lily’s #BakeForSyria and Sweet Tooth, a Zombie ate my Cupcake) and plants dotted along the shelves instantly make you feel as if you were in your own kitchen. Meanwhile, a naked brick wall with a giant lighted Vanilli’s sign and a gift shop (!) gives the bakery its signature character also present on the carefully arranged freshly baked goods on the wooden counters.

Lily Vanilli Bakery counter

Lily Vanilli Bakery tarts

Lily Vanilli Bakery brownies

With a changing sweet and savoury seasonal menu, Lily Vanilli offers cakes, pastries, brownies, soups, sausage rolls and weekly specials, with both vegan and gluten-free options available every Sunday. On this occasion, and with Valentine’s Day being just a couple of days before we visited, Vanilli’s had prepared a handful of love inspired treats for us to choose from! I opted in for the Stout Bundt with custard and berry coulis while Sam (the chocolate lover he is) couldn’t resist the Miso Butterscotch with roasted peanut and chocolate tart.

Lily Vanilli Bakery grapefruit ginger tarts

Lily Vanilli inside

Lily Vanilli cakes

Lily Vanilli Bakery inside

Lily Vanilli stout bundt with custard berry coulis

On top of the cakes, a selection of juices, teas and locally roasted coffee make Lily Vanilli the perfect place to catch-up with a treat and a hot drink. However, being open only once a week (especially on a Sunday) means it gets really busy throughout the whole day. I’d recommend going early to avoid the multitude of people and guarantee getting your hands on a tasty treat before they sell out!

Lily Vanilli cake box

Lily Vanilli graphic design baking paper

Lily Vanilli Bakery outside sign

If one day per week isn’t enough and you’re after a daily cake from Lily Vanilli, you may need to go all the way to Tbilisi in Georgia, where a second bakery recently opened. Continuing with the tradition of serving freshly baked goods and local coffee, Lily Vanilli has indeed carried its success overseas. And there’s no doubt why – everything is absolutely delicious!

Silly question, I know, but – do you like cake as much as we do? Have you been to Lily Vanilli before? What other bakeries in London would you recommend visiting? If you loved our post, please leave us a comment and show us some love on social media using the buttons below 🙂

G. x

Lily Vanilli | 6 The Courtyard, Ezra Street, London E2 7HRlilyvanilli.com


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35 comments

  1. Joi

    This post really makes me want to travel! Love the content💜

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you!

      Reply

  2. Allegra (@roguenrougeblog)

    This is just my kind of place! I love little hidden gems of the sort. What was your favourite recipe?

    http://www.rogueandrouge.org

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Oh I couldn’t just pick one, they are all incredible! Lily posts some recipes on her website and I am tempted to try making the blood orange ganache tarts, wish me luck! 🙂

      Reply

  3. Ashley Sugimoto

    Omg! My friend was telling me about this place in London! Great pics

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Isn’t it gorgeous? I couldn’t recommend it enough! x

      Reply

  4. Lily Jones

    wow, I loved this – thankyou so much for visiting and for the wonderful photos you took. It was very nice to read this this morning, I’m so glad you liked my place XXX Lily

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you so much Lily! I am beyond happy that you liked our post – can’t wait to be back and try some more of your treats! x

      Reply

  5. aisasami

    Wow, this is an amazing place. I love those sweets, especially the cakes/tarts!

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Let me know if you try them! x

      Reply

  6. Sarah

    This place looks so adorable, and all the cakes look delicious! I could go for one right about now😋

    Sarah | getupgetaway.com

    Reply

  7. Fi

    Your post has had me drooling the whole way through!! I’m definitely going to have to visit next time I’m down in London! I’ve never heard of it before but it certainly looks worth the visit!

    https://fifuelsfitness.wordpress.com

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Wow thank you so much! x

      Reply

  8. Gemma Tidmarsh

    Oh my days! This looks bloody amazing 😍🤤

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      It’s so good isn’t it? x

      Reply

  9. Shannen

    This cafe looks absolutely amazing! I’m hungry after reading this post, those brownies look delicious 😍 I’ll definitely be visiting Lily Vanilli next time I’m in London. Thanks for sharing, I love finding out about new bakeries x

    Shannen | https://bookmarksandink.com

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you so much Shannen, hope you like it when you visit! x

      Reply

  10. Aimsy

    What an amazing little bakery! I love the name too. All of the cakes look so beautiful and yummy. 😍 I am deffo a cake fan like you…you can never have too much cake!
    Thank you for sharing this. I will be on the lookout for this bakery if I am in London on a Sunday.

    Aimsyxoxo
    https://www.aimsysantics.co.uk

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      The name is so cute and fun, I love it! I agree, there is always room for cake 🙂 x

      Reply

  11. Savannah

    Oh my goodness, my mouth is watering. Everything looks so delicious! Excellent post with amazing photos! Thank you so much for sharing, and adding this bakery to my list of must-visits.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Wow, thank you so much for the lovely comment Savannah! x

      Reply

  12. Ellie

    Little bakeries in London are literally the best aren’t they? I haven’t been to this place yet, but everyting looks so delicious! It is good to see bloggers talking about bakeries other than Peggy’s or Elan’s! I think I would get something chocolatey! x

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Lily Vanilli is such a gem, I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough. I would say it’s one of my favourite in London!

      Reply

  13. Lisa Valerie Morgan

    Wow! Everything looks amazing! Will have to visit next time I’m in London.

    Lisa
    https://prettylittleshoppers.com/2019/02/16/a-sneak-peek-of-my-new-show/

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Definitely, you need to add it to your list 🙂

      Reply

  14. Chloe Reynolds

    This looks like such a nice place!!

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      It is gorgeous! x

      Reply

  15. Laura

    This place looks so lovely! What a shame I’m reading this a week after returning from London, but it’ll be added to my places to visit the next time I’m ’round 😉

    Xoxo,
    Laura // afinnontheloose.com

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Oh no! You need to come back, Lily Vanilli is a must! x

      Reply

  16. Pennies into Pounds

    Mm those cakes look incredible! Your photography is gorgeous. I’m definitely adding this place to my list for next time I travel to London, I love a good bakery!

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Wow, thank you so much for the lovely comment! x

      Reply

  17. Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

    Looks like a really lovely place to enjoy cakes & coffee

    Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      I love it so much!

      Reply

  18. Jane Palmen

    This place looks amazing – I love the hidden gems in London. The grapefruit and ginger tarts look really tempting. Your photos are incredible – almost feel like you can taste them just by looking at them! Pleased to see they have some vegan and gluten free options as well.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Jane – you have to visit now! x

      Reply

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