I have been a very naughty girl today... actually, lets be honest here - I have eaten so much crap this month that I should be asking Santa for Lapband surgery and Lipo...
Do you need more detail? Last week I ate out every night. Birthday Parties, Xmas Parties, Work Dinners and impromptu guests all mean that my kitchen is currently spotless... and my thighs no doubt a little bit thicker. *sigh*
To add to the list - tomorrow is the Journo's birthday - but we are celebrating today while the menfolk are away. And by celebrate I mean Cocktails, Tapas and Cupcakes... what better way to spend the day?
So it was up early this morning to go get said cupcakes and because you can't (well, aren't meant to) have cupcakes for breakfast - I called into Belle Epoque for a Cafe au Lait and Pain au Chocolat... When the Valley used to be my stomping ground, I used to look longingly at the Patiserrie window but never actually made it in. So today, while I am playing Bachelorette - I snuck in for a calorific breakfast treat.
As you would expect from any French Patisserie worth it's Lescure butter - the goodies here look sensational. And I think there is a method to their madness in that the service is so slow - they want you to be tempted to buy more than you originally planned on. I was quite strong and left with what I originally wanted - but the 3 people in front of me all left laden with white boxes and muttering that they "only meant to get coffee..."
So the question is - does it taste as good as it looks? No, not really. My coffee was very bitter - and not in a "it's meant to taste this way" - I think they burnt the beans. It was also scaldingly hot - in fact, as I write this, I can feel the blisters on my tongue and roof of my mouth - it took over an hour for me to finish that coffee...
The Pain au Chocolat was lovely but very stingy on the chocolate. It was a huge pastry - so big that I wondered if I could even eat it all. But the first bite proved that it was all layers and air. Exactly the way it should be - except definitely not enough chocolate... in a croissant the size of my (gigantic man) hand, there was a thin strip of chocolate the width of a pencil. Very disappointing.
The Verdict: The coffee is nothing to write home about but I will be back - probably for afternoon tea so that I can try some of their other pastries.
Contact: Belle Epoque Patisserie