Posted by / Category London /

It is this time of the year again. I miss the freshness of the food, the soft bread with a crispy crust, and more generally the simple and tasty food of my childhood. I used to buy everything I needed on my way back home, after work. Well, it wouldn’t be possible here. In London, it is not unusual, when you buy a croissant, to be given something from the day before, and someone will microwave it for you. What a shame! Most of the so-called French Croissants (and, as you know, for bread and croissants I am a purist) are usually bought frozen and heated in the oven. This is why they all look and taste so similar: they come from the same place!

The bread at Aubaine – Real bread!



Urgent action was needed…and act I did! I have gone into a baking frenzy: baguette, croissants, pains au chocolat. I am also progressing on brioche. I am even trying to make a sourdough starter in my vault (don’t ask!). But this means that I wake up at the crack of dawn to bake various treats for breakfast. I feel ready to open my very own boulangerie. But I am also shattered. This baking frenzy simply isn’t sustainable.

A French boulangerie in the middle of London


I had to find some good addresses in London to enjoy fresh food and good bread, and also, accidentally, to be able to sleep more! I got lucky. After months of tweeting each other and commenting on each other’s posts, I finally met a fellow blogger,  Nazima @Workinglonmummy (www.WorkingLondonMummy.com) at a restaurant called Aubaine (a French name, that’s a good start). I just loved it. The place looks a bit like an old boulangerie in a small French village. Ok, we were in the middle of WAG land, on Brompton Cross (for the definition of WAG please see here) but the service was really friendly (I have to break it to you: I am not a WAG!. For starters, I am much too fat to be one!) and I simply couldn’t resist the basket of fresh bread. I had finally found some good fresh bread. The main dishes were simple and tasty (I had some great scallops. No fancy sauces to cover up the taste, just the fresh scallops cooked to perfection). Finally, the desserts were presented on a tray. I wanted to eat the whole thing and couldn’t make up my mind. We had a great time and somehow I kept going back (I had wonderful eggs Florentine on a toasted brioche the other day…I am still dreaming of them!)…What a treat!

Another fantastic address is the bakery at Harrods (87-135 Brompton Road). You can find all sorts of bread there but it lacks a bit of charm. That said, I love to treat myself to a bouillabaisse in the seafood department. Bouillabaisse is a traditional fish dish. Mastering it is quite a challenge (the fishes need to be cooked for a few hours and each recipe is different). It is simply perfect, with different fresh fishes every day, cooked the traditional way, as if I were on my favourite restaurant in Ramatuelle. I swear, I could almost hear the sea!
I do realise that I sound a bit posh here, but again, good bread and good food are not a luxury where I come from. Maybe I am a bit homesick after all?
 NB: This post in not sponsored, I am just sharing with you how difficult it can be to find good food in London…

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • I think you are quite entitled to find tastes of home when living on foreign shores! The joy they bring you are well worth the effort and YOU are so worth it!

  • Oh, my goodness…. this post just makes my mouth water…. yum!
    Good bread is like HEAVEN!

  • Enjoyed an excellent meal tonite with Jo and her lovely sister C (recovering after her 50th Birthday Party last night) who is also my sister-in-law, in Sam’s in Chiswick. Two words yum, yum! Breadbox was v.good with excellent selection of homemade bread including sourdough, treacle bread, French country bread, soda bread and grissini.
    http://www.samsbrasserie.co.uk/

  • Yum! Think we’ll all be coming round for breakfast at yours now, MuMuGB!

  • Joy

    Maybe it sounds “posh” but what you are speaking about is investing in things that are nourishing to you..and that is not a “luxury” but a necessity.
    That you were willing to be a bit uncomfortable to wake early to bake and to find the right ingredients and processes shows how much this nourishment means to you. By honoring your truth, you were then “blessed” with new connections. May we all invest so readily in nourishment:)

  • I grieve for all the people who have grown up and are growing up without knowing what honest food is anymore. Numerous time I’ve heard people say they didn’t like butter and prefered some fake spread instead, or they didn’t like real cream, just the fake frozen stuff in a tub.

    Of course people can like what they like, but I can’t help feeling they miss out on the good stuff made with simple ingredients Mother Nature gives us.

    Real bread, in all its honest forms, is so good. I am glad you found your bakeries in London!

  • I am glad you found your bakeries in London. I feel sorry for people who grew up or are growing up not knowing what good food made with honest ingredients tastes like. I’ve heard people say they don’t like butter and prefer some fake spread. It bafles me. Of course people can like what they like, but I can’t help thinking they miss out on not enjoying food made with what Mother Nature supplies for us.

    Good bread with simple ingredients is wonderful!

  • I am a bread addict. This makes me very particular about my bread. It has to be fresh and it has to be well made and it has to be delicious! There is nothing wrong with being particular about what you are consuming. How awesome that you made a new friend in the process:)

  • was so lovely to meet you!! and so jealous that you have been back several times again – I love going for breakfast. Eggs florentine yumm!!

  • ps good tip about the bouillabaise – will have to check that out x

  • You make me want to bust out my bread maker (although I’m sure what I’ll make would still be far from the masterpieces you speak of)…..Oh the Pains Au Chocolat….I’m hungry now!

  • I really am sorry for you… finding good food is a tough task especially for someone who just adores food! 🙂 But yay for you… you found it!

    For me, my mom is one of the best cooks, so good food isn’t far… and she is always ready to “try” something new so even better.

    Here in the middle east, especially in UAE, it is relatively easy to find variety of good food! 🙂

  • I am with you on this Muriel. I set foot in Paris last week-end, first thing I did, buy a baguette. In Dublin it is hard to find a good place with good bread. I am still searching but I already found a nice restaurant, very Parisian and cosy, french songs and simple choice. Once you are there you are somewhere else.
    There is no being posh when it comes to good food!!!