The Caledonian Road bakery with an amazing teapot collection
13 April, 2018 — By Samantha Booth
Gabriela Cristea with some of her teapots at the Sunflour Bakery
IT started with a house.
Not a two-bed semi-detached on Camden Road, but a unique teapot which kickstarted a cake-maker’s fascination with the china creations.
Gabriela Cristea now has a 50-strong collection of eye-catching teapots of different sizes, shapes and colours.
Many adorn the shelves and windows in the Sunflour Bakery in Caledonian Road that she runs with her partner, Paul O’Brien, who previously worked in Borough Market.
“Customers come in and ask if they can buy them and I have to politely say they can’t,” explained Ms Cristea.
“I love them all, I love the experience of collecting them. They make me smile and feel happy.”
Her interest started about four years ago, just before their business opened, when she came across the teapot house, pictured above, at a market in Herne Hill, south London.
“I think the very first one is my first love,” said the 43-year-old. “It looked like it had a smiley face with the way it was painted.”
Since then, whenever she visits markets or antiques stalls, she snaps up a new pot for her hoard.
Even charity shops near to the bakery tip the couple off when a new teapot has arrived in, and customers bring Ms Cristea unique antique pots when they see them. Included in her collection is one shaped like William Shakespeare, many like different animals, including rabbits and cats, and specialist French teapots.
Another is a simple white teapot with a dove on top.
“It’s very plain and pure,” said Ms Cristea. “It just gives me peace whenever I look at it.”
Currently, the couple are focused on serving the Caledonian Road community with tasty handmade cakes and breads. But Ms Cristea says her dream is to one day leave London and set up a teapot museum in the countryside.
“I want to have hundreds of them, as many as I can see, as long as I still have space for them,” she added.