Friday coffee time…le pain quotdien
I'm continuing my series of Chiswick coffee shop reviews, by sitting in Le Pain Quotdien with a bowl of coffee and a brioche bun. Purely in the interests of research, you understand. 🙂
It's one of those amazing Autumnal sunny days in Chiswick today. I'm sat just inside the doorways which are pulled open, to create an open plan space between the main cafe and the front courtyard area.
Price and peace
It's a little pricey – the brioche bun itself is £2.60, so I'm going to be making the most of it and tap away at my ipad for a good hour or so. For me, one key part of judging a cafe is how long they leave you to sit before politely pestering you to buy another drink. (Note – 30 minutes later, still here and not pestered yet!)
I should say that the waitress has seemed lovely so far and I can't imagine her pestering anyone!
There's an exceptionally lovely buzz in here. It seems extremely continental. The kind of place I love to frequent when I visit Paris, my spiritual home. Of course this is a French cafe, so I wonder if that has somehow permeated the atmosphere?
I'm slightly distracted by the guy at the table next to me who has the most gorgeous looking platter of meats, sun dried tomatoes and olives on a wooden block. Please someone, take me for a plate of this at le pain quotdien one day!
Chalet School chic
Do you know another thing this cafe reminds me of? Are you familiar with the Chalet School books? I devoured these in my school days and still read one from time to time. The coffee here comes in bowls – and in the Chalet School they were always drinking milky coffee out of bowls and dipping milk rolls into them. In celebration of that, I've just been dipping my brioche into my bowl of coffee.
I feel utterly blessed to be able to sit here, with the sun casting gorgeous pools of golden light on the comfortingly worn slabs outside. And the equally warm chatter surrounding me. My son is safely ensconced in school, and I have a well-deserved Friday to spend like this. I do feel a bit guilty for indulging in this Friday coffee shop ritual. So please tell me if you enjoy these reviews – it will make it all seem worth while and will make me feel less guilty!
(Or are mothers destined to feel guilty whatever we do?!)
Le Pain Quotdien, Chiswick High Road:
The damage: Cappuccino (£2.50) Brioche Bun (£2.60)
Beware: Cappuccino only has one shot as standard. So you'll need to ask for an extra shot.
Wifi: Yes – and no password required. Top marks for this civilised approach!
Plugs for low-battery: Not visible.
Coffee rating – taste: 2.5/5
Coffee rating – size: 4/5
Coffee rating – presentation: 4/5 Great bowls – but as no choc on top would have liked a choc or biscuit on the side.
Coffee rating – crema (that lovely foamy sludge you get on top that makes a coffee a coffee): 3/5
Bun tastiness: 3/5 Very plain, but you do get a fab selection of proper jams in big pots to go with it which has bumped up the taste rating. And is a brilliant touch.
Reading matter: 0/5 no papers
Staff friendliness: 4/5 impressively quick and attentive service.