It is hard to find a nice place to eat and have good choice of fresh healthy food. So when I stumbled upon Le Pain Quitidien, with the help of my sister, the ‘café directory’, I knew I had to write about it and share it with you all. Sometimes side streets are the best places, away from the hustle bustle of the main road and the crowds.
So, after a good shopping trip in Oxford Street I needed something to eat, a nice late lunch. I had a book with me and I had some time to kill so I wanted to find someplace new, someplace quiet, someplace healthy. After walking down one of the side streets and turning a few corners I ended up on Wardour Street and saw a lovely looking café-like place, very rustic, Le Pain Quitodien. I walked in and it felt so nice and welcoming. I waited to be seated and as I looked around I knew I had found a good place. It had a nice chilled calm atmosphere with a low hum of friendly chatter and laughter.
“Le Pain Quotidien means the daily bread. And to us, that means everything. It’s much more than mere sustenance; it’s a way of life. As our loaves emerge from the ovens, warm and fragrant, friends gather around our communal tables to share in the time-honoured tradition of breaking bread.”
Not only did they have small tables but a big long table in the middle which is called the communal, where individuals or groups of people can sit at the same type to build a community like-bond, something different I think. They had jam pots and Belgian dark chocolate spread (own brand) at every table which was a nice touch (I know my cousin would have loved that) with the sea salt, black pepper and brown sugar. The wall behind the counter were filled with different types of bread, some big some small, fresh bread to go with its name.
The waiter was very friendly and was happy to ask any of my questions about the food being suitable for vegetarians and if the cake had any alcohol in it (being a Muslim, these questions are common and important to me). After about five minutes my food was served they came to ask me if everything was ok. Overall the service was quick, friendly and not over-bearing as I know some places to be.
As I walked in there were pastries and baked goods on the counter, which I have to say looked lovely and smelt great too. They were serving coffee in bowls which I believe is traditional in France, although the founder and foundation of the place is Belgian.
I had a Roasted Vegetable Tartines, with mozzarella di bufala, beetroot hummus and basil oil on organic wheat bread. A tartines is their signature Belgian open-faced sandwich, there were many other toppings to choose from too. The roasted vegetables included; onion, courgettes, red peppers which were seasoned nicely and had a nice hint of smoked charcoaled-like taste. To drink I usually just have tap water but it felt like a special day so I opted for their homemade raspberry lemonade. It was served on a ceramic plate and a very nice portion; it definitely filled me up and left me satisfied.
And for dessert (as I was treating myself) I had a Cocoa & Pear Cake, a vegan cake made with fresh pears, bananas and soy milk with a coffee. The cake was nice not too sweet, sticky on top but a little dry and bit too crumbly for my liking.
Considering I was in central London the price was ok, a little bit more than what I would usually spend but after I had the tartines, felt it was worth it, not the cake though. I would have preferred a fruit tart, which looked lovely too. The total cost of my meal was £21.40, this included a standard 12.5% service charge.
I was at a side table next to wall with a socket, so I was able to charge my phone, yay! In the days of technology and poor battery life that is always a plus; yes we live in a funny world don’t we. Anyway it made me happy as I was going to be a while.
I had a good time and a good experience. Would I go back again? Yes definitely, I would like to go and try more of the other foods they serve, and now I know where to go for good healthy fresh food. Probably not so often, due to the price but let me go to a few more places to compare the cost of similar kinds of food and drinks. There are many more Le Pain Quotidien around London, I might try one of them see if they’re any different in taste and atmosphere. But I do like their deco and friendly hub representing their philosophy.
“In this ever-changing and hectic world, we invite you to escape to a place where traditional simplicity is cherished. Our bakers blend organic stone-ground flour, sea salt and water with a wild yeast levain starter to create a humble four-ingredient beginning. The dough is then kneaded patiently by hand, and baked in our stone-lined hearths. These are the artisanal loaves of our past, baked according to tradition.”
Be Happy! Be Healthy!
DISCLAIMER: A H Nutritionist haven’t been asked to promote or endorse any of the products/places mentioned in this blog.
By Ayshabibi H.
A H Nutritionist
27th May 2014