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After the success of Chez Bruce, the borough has another culinary claim to fame as a world-famous French pastry chef has opened his new patisserie, Cake Boy, in the unlikely setting of Wandsworth Bridge.

Eric Lanlard, 39, from Battersea, set up the cake making haven in May this year after branching out from his own baking company, Savoir Design.

The patisserie in Battersea Reach, just by Wandsworth Bridge, is a far cry from the Left Bank in Paris where some of the world's most renowned pastry chefs learnt their trade, but he sees the move as more of a return home.

He said: "The funny thing is, when I first worked for the Roux brothers in 1989, I was also based in Wandsworth, so I am a bit of a south London boy at heart. I know the area well and everything you need is close by."

Eric grew up in Brittany and began making cakes when he was nine; he soon developed a natural flair for baking and spent his national service as the captain's pastry chef onboard the French aircraft carrier Jeanne d'Arc.

He also cooked for President Mitterand, before moving on to work for the Roux brothers and then setting up his own company, Savoir Design, and Cake Boy grew out of that.

"Cake Boy is made up of a patisserie, where customers can relax, a studio where all the baking takes place and a cookery school where we teach, but we are also licensed so people can have a glass of wine if they feel like it," he said.

"Most places in the high streets buy everything in from a wholesaler. What separates us from the normal bakery is that we bake everything in-house, this is crucial to our business and our customers say they can taste the difference."

He has baked for many celebrities, and some of his most famous creations include the late Queen Mother's 101st birthday cake and Madonna's wedding cake.

Not only is he surprised at the difference between the bakery cultures in England and France but he is determined to try to change the attitude in his adopted homeland.

"I think the main difference is that in France, you might not go to the patisserie once a day but you would certainly go several times a week to treat yourself. We want to change the attitude in this country and make eating and baking cakes more acceptable," he said.

"I love baking but I don't have a sweet tooth myself, which I suppose is unusual for a pastry chef but I really don't like very sweet desserts. I prefer a more refreshing flavour like a lemon tart or passion fruit tart."

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