Luxury bakery Patisserie Valerie is coming to Belfast
High-end bakery Patisserie Valerie will bring its exquisite pastries to Belfast this summer ahead of a move into Dublin.
The chain, which has around 90 outlets across Britain and is valued at £320m, will make its Northern Ireland debut in August or September in Donegall Square.
The exquisite cake shop will transform a former fashion house into a den of millefeuilles and eclairs decadence, pumping out air heavy with mouth-wateringly sweet scents.
And a second unit is expected before the end of 2015.
The arrival marks the lastest investment in a business that began in 1926 at Frith Street in London when Belgian pastry chef Madame Valerie sought to introduce fine continental patisserie to the English.
The bakery, whose tastefully garish gateaux are enjoyed as elegant elevenses and afternoon tea treats, is the second national bakery chain to come here recently.
Greggs, the UK's largest bakery chain, opened at Applegreen service centre on the M2 in April.
With its trademark glistening, glaze-drenched berry tarts and shortcrust pastries oozing decadant St Honoré cream, the first bakery opened in London's Soho district to instant acclaim.
After falling victim to the blitz during the Second World War, it was reborn at Old Compton Street in premises which remain to this day, still evoking what's been described as a quirky Toulouse-Lautrec vibe.
After expanding to 11 bakeries, it was acquired in 2006 for £6m by ex-Pizza Express chairman Luke Johnson, who has driven the expansion of outlets to 89.
First opened on Frith Street in London by the Belgian Madam Valerie in 1926, Patisserie Valerie specialises in hand-made cakes, continental breakfasts, lunches and teas and coffees throughout more than 80 chains across Britain.