Dee Light Bakery, Ritherdon Road, Balham

Since its opening last December Dee’s Bakery has enjoyed a strong, regular trade. Every Saturday their bread flies off the shelves – one recent visit for a cup of tea saw several customers being told to come back shortly while they were baking their umpteenth batch. The array is impressive; multi seed, brioche, focaccia, plus the old favourite white and wholemeal. Carbaphobes, look away now. Dee’s team work hard throughout the week to ensure everything is ready for 7am when the bakery opens As you can see, their efforts haven’t gone to waste. (Above: what is to be our next conquest. Why oh why didn’t we purchase a slice?!) We indulged in their sweet treats at the weekend. Cheesecake brownies, banana and walnut bread – deliciously moist with an occasional hit of chunky walnut, lemon cake, muffins, plus they have wheat-free options too which still satisfy a sweet tooth without feeling like you’re missing out on any of the fun stuff. Pay around £2.50 for a generous slice of cake.

Resolutions you’ll want to keep

Hands up who’s wanted to sneak under their desk for a nap at work this week? We’ve been so used to the Christmas break and its acceptance of afternoon drinking/grazing that going back to work is difficult enough, let alone having to stick to restrictive new year’s resolutions that are mostly misery-inducing (6am runs, no carbs for a month? No thanks).

We love healthy eating and we love keeping fit but all in moderation, please, which is why we’ve been on the hunt for fun resolutions to keep that don’t require starving yourself. We’re talking low-maintenance, high satisfaction.

WRITE

Chalk The Sun is a team of two teachers who run a series of writing workshops in the evenings and at weekends at the Balham Bowls Club (that place again. Seriously, they have everything there). Whether you’re a beginner or looking to further your skills, whether it’s a novel or script-writing, there’s a class tailored to it. Buy a batch of five classes and attend a class at anytime – you’re not restricted to certain times. If you don’t want to commit, you can buy a ‘taster’ class for £20. The chilled out surroundings of the BBC make these classes feel more laid back than the chilly atmosphere of a conventional classroom.

BAKE

If the domestic life is more your thing, the recently-opened Dee’s Bakery features Dee’s Academy, which will offer baking classes and workshops from cupcake decorating to more elaborate cakes that’ll look too good to eat (well, almost), like the one below. Starting on 14th January you can sign up for the ‘covering a cake and modelling’ class to learn tricks like getting your icing smooth, and making models to sit on top (£120, 5 hours). For a kid friendly option, Dee is starting to hold children’s parties (2 hours 30 mins, £25 per child – private studio hire) where kids can learn how to make pizza bases and make decorations for cupcakes. We wish we were kids again!

REVAMP

Sometimes sprucing up your home is as good as moving, which is where the London Property Makeover comes in. They run afternoon sessions most Saturdays in different locations including the BBC and Lavish Habit, which focus on giving your home a new lease of life. You’ll be given tips on colour matching, fabric mixing, lighting and other ideas to help you on your way. A ticket costs £60 and classes run from 1:30pm-4pm.