Savor scrummy pastries made by baking students
This breezy new al fresco coffee shop located at the Ecole du Bayon pastry school in Siem Reap
looks into the school’s gleaming kitchen so you can watch the dedicated young cooks piping cream and decorating cakes. The pastry school was established by the Bayon L’Ecole School, near Bayon temple in Angkor Archaeological Park, to provide training and career opportunities for their female graduates and other disadvantaged young women from around Siem Reap, who would otherwise be staying at home or working in massage parlors or construction sites. The keen students undertake pastry classes, as well as lessons in English, mathematics, business skills, such as stock management and accounting, and personal development. They also do internships of six and ten weeks in the kitchens of Siem Reap’s finest five-star hotels. The earnings from the coffee shop go directly back into the school, which provides on-site accommodation, bicycles and an allowance for the students, so you know your money is going to a great cause. Expect excellent coffee and delicious European-style baked goods such as French madeleines and financiers, chocolate fondant, raspberry mousse, and, my favourite, lemon meringue pies. The café is open Tuesday to Sunday 7.30am-5pm.