Deanston Bakery

Shawlands, Glasgow

PICTURE this then: it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s the fag-end of a Scottish autumn. Rain is falling from the Glasgow sky in great chilly lumps. Social distancing is in full swing, masks are on, huge personal gaps are in, this week’s commands have just been issued over the airwaves and things can hardly be said to have got any better.

On Deanston Drive, probably the narrowest of Shawlands’ canyon-like side streets, a lengthy queue defies the weather and snakes unevenly along the pavement.

It’s one in, one out, at the Deanston Bakery. A rule that on a balmy day would surely be enough to put off all but the keenest and one that, with a bit more downpour action, I’m counting on to scatter that queue very soon today.

Then from the comfort of my car across the road I will opportunistically scramble in and scramble out again laden with doorstep sandwiches made from – if internet enthusiasm is to be believed anyway – the seven levels of the sour dough forest and swirly-twirly sugary buns baked only this morning.

Sure enough the rain accelerates to ludicrous mode, heads bow, masks on, and I am suddenly interrupted by tooting and gesticulating.

From a streaked windscreen behind a mouth moves with exaggerated slowness – someone can’t get past. I drive on, moving in ever-increasing circles, pavement parking far away, trudging back to join the end of that queue. Which has not shrunk one single bloody iota.

Such, I tell myself, is the power of proper food; something someone has made from scratch with their owns hands in a world where, ah let’s say it, there are still far too many places tipping the contents of a freezer van into a deep fat fryer.

Oh. And also the power of the internet, where the plucky little Deanston Bakery has become a bit of a sensation. I’d like to say the wait that follows is nothing, but it isn’t.

It’s endless.

Even when I get to the door and gape into an emporium of delicacies the torture continues as the woman in front of me, having ordered, has now decided, ah, to add to that order: one of these, and ooh, two of them, now gazing about, now asking questions, now initiating a nice little friendly chat with the lady behind the counter as if the world just feet away wasn’t going to hell in a handcart.

They seem to discuss the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker having apparently forgotten about the cold thin faces pressed up, metaphorically at least, against the steamy windows. Such is food in the time of covid.

And as there isn’t a single restaurant open within a million miles of here I grumpily suck it up.

Until exactly the moment I step into the warmth of the bakery myself and magically, instantly also completely forget about the people waiting outside in the street. “Oh,” I say to the woman serving, “do you make those bagels yourselves? And the rolls? And is all the bread sourdough?”

A Goats Cheese and Butternut Squash Bagel then (£4). And a Chicken, Chorizo and Chipotle Salad Sandwich (£4.50). “These are real doorstoppers,” I’ll add while they are teased into classy greaseproof bags. Is that everything, I’m asked. It is, but I can’t seem to stop.

A Pastrami, Mustard and Gherkin Bagel (£4) is added; three slices of your shortbread; one of those shiny loaves, umm, a slab of that moist-looking focaccia; two huge cinnamon buns, and a cuddly toy. Okay, no cuddly toy.

A baker flits out of the front door into the downpour. “Our bakery is a few doors down,” says the counter lady seeing me looking. Based on nothing more than a slight twang, I ask, “Are you Australians?” No she laughs.

At home later, as my astonished family consider the 19 whole pounds’ worth of comforting items that have magically appeared for our tea, I will recount the new everyday hassles of buying fresh food.

Was it worth it you ask? Yes.

Deanston Bakery,

67 Deanston Dr,



Tel: 07799 063214

Open: closed 4pm and Sunday to Tuesday. Check times first.

Menu: It’s a bakery really but not completely as we know it. Hewn sandwiches, stuffed bagels, focaccia, and plenty of buns and shortbreads for lunching. 3

Service: Only one at a time on the premises so expect queues but staff friendly and wait worth it. 4

Atmosphere: Tiny place, but if it wasn’t for the exotic sandwich fillings, the fancy Italian breads it would be just like side streets once were, with local communities supplied by local tradesmen. 4

Price: Huge sandwiches on freshly baked bread and bagels from £4. Giant buns, pretty low prices all round. 4

Food: There’s a reason it’s so popular and that’s the simple formula of proper fresh baking, imaginative sandwiches, comfort food which is what we need in times like these. 8

Total: 23/30