Saturday, September 8, 2012

Le Pain Quotidien (London)

After working a long day, or even a long week, the last thing I felt like doing was trudging far from my hotel in search of food. Luckily, there was a nearby cafe, which I later found out was part of a chain, that served both decent food and decent coffee. Oh I was so happy when I discovered Le Pain Quotidien, with its rustic furniture and healthy sounding menu. 

Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien
In desperate need of a good coffee after a hectic week, I was feverishly praying that this cafe could offer up the goods. I still have to get used to calling 'Long Blacks' by their British name, 'Americanos', but Quotidien served up the goods, and served them up in massive portions. 

Look at the size of those cups bowls! I'm happy to report that the coffee was surprisingly good, and the best coffee I'd had since leaving Melbourne.

As I'd already eaten breakfast by this stage, I ordered a simple serve of berries.

Bowl of Berries
 Fresh and sweet, these were absolutely perfect. They even came with a side of protein.

Bowl of Berries (+ Extra Guest)
They were really very nice about the spider - apologetic, and offered a replacement bowl of berries, even though I'd almost finished the one I'd started with. More berries is something I won't complain about, and the spider itself wasn't so scary. Fresh fruit free of pesticides anyone?

My colleague ordered something more substantial though, with perhaps a bit more protein.

Organic Scrambled Eggs with Bread and Scottish Smoked Salmon
He'd had a craving for American style bagels, filled with cream cheese and salmon, so this ended up being a happy medium for him. The butter was lathered over the bread and eaten in large mouthfuls, and the rest of the food was deemed delicious. I looked at the greens a little suspiciously, but the eggs look amazingly good even though I was already full.

We liked it so much that we went back for dinner mid-week. Deciding to be 'healthy', both of us ended up with dishes chock-full of vegetables.

Organic Quinoa & Roasted Vegetables with Artichokes, Courgettes and Aubergine & Tomato
While I enjoyed my medley of roasted vegetables and quinoa, I got bored of it after a few mouthfuls. Well, everything except for the potatoes which were deliciously salty. The other vegetables were good, but I found the quinoa lacking flavour. Maybe the addition of some chickpeas would have helped in terms of texture and taste?

My colleague decided to be even healthier and ordered a salad.

Roasted Vegetables, Mixed Leaves, Basil Oil and Goat’s Cheese
Not that it came out looking much like a salad, but he liked it, even with the unnamed additions of mushroom and avocado.

We didn't return to this place a third time, only because he wanted to try a few other places out (and I'm glad we did), but I would definitely return on my next trip. That's mainly because I'm looking for a place that does reliably good, and relatively healthy food, decent coffee with friendly service and which requires little effort to get to. Their range of baked goods was mouthwatering and tempting, but we resisted (mainly because our bodies already hated us for the lack of sleep and exercise). 

Le Pain Quotidien

128 Wilton Road, London, SW1V 1JZ
Mon–Fri 7am-10pm, Sat-Sun 8-10pm