If you’ve been reading my posts you’re probably wondering why do I continue visiting non English places while I’m in London. Well, the truth is that I have and I’ll probably upload something regarding that in the future, but a fact is that British food has truly nothing special. No offense and sorry to all our British readers – but come on! You are good at other things! Music, art, literature, fashion… and have probably the most talented people on earth; Shakespeare, The Beatles, Clive Owen (thank you Lord) among many others. Don’t know why there’s a lack in the cooking department. It’s definitely not the weather, because you could use it as an excuse to stay home and cook delicious food. I think it’s about personality and the way British people are raised; Protestant and Puritanism (against pleasures of life) has probably a lot to do with this.
Well, I arrived to the lovely neighbourhood of Chelsea, my new home. At my place I only have a small kitchen so I usually prefer to go out for lunch and/or dinner. As you can imagine restaurants in this neighbourhood are not a bargain so I’ve been exploring the cafes. Just in the corner of my house there’s a Le Pain Quotidien (The Daily Bread – in French), which has become for now like my second home. Every time I enter this place (usually once a day) I have the feeling that those who work here probably say to themselves “Oh no! not that girl again…”.
Anyway, I know it’s not the perfect British spot but for me it’s just what I need. There’s plenty of space, free wifi, large communal and personal working tables, and not expensive. They have a simple menu, nice boulangerie made with organic ingredients and serves breakfast, salads, tartines, pastries and many vegan options (I’m not a vegetarian or a calorie-count freak, but I try to eat in a healthy way).
As you can imagine I’ve tried almost everything in the menu. My favourites are:
- Lentil & Avocado Salad: it’s exquisite! A mix of raw vegetables, arugula, avocado, frisée, chickpeas, small lentils and basil vinaigrette. If you want to prepare this at home just give it a try. You can use any type of vegetables, the only important ingredients are of course small lentils, avocado and arugula.
- Lemon tart: perfect! soft and has a nice combination of sweet and citric.
- Chocolate cookies: what makes these cookies amazing is the size, they are like 20cms in diameter – the size of a big plate, or two hands together. Gorgeous!
- Scrambled eggs and toasts for breakfast, lovely choice!
- Hummus: comes with toasts! I could eat this every-single-day for the rest of my life
- Raspberry lemonade: it’s basically mint and lemon juice; the great thing is that the raspberries are not completely smashed, you actually get big raspberries inside.
- Bread: I truly love bread and here it’s daily made. Great quality, soft inside and crunchy crusts. You can order it with jam, avocado, eggs, ham, honey… you name it!
- Dark chocolate with Earl Grey tea: they sell it the next to the cashier. It is truly amazing! I am a big fan of dark chocolate and this is one of my new favourite combinations. It’s 72% cacao with little spots of crunchy tea inside, but just a bit, not too much.
This boulangerie was founded 25 years ago in Brussels by Alain Coumont. He was unsatisfied with the quality of the bread available so he began to make his own. It was a success and now Pain Quotidien has become an international chain operating in many countries around the globe. Have you tried it?