Rose bakery (Gourmet Chick in France)

The Rose Bakery has an almost cultish following in Paris. Run by an English/French couple Rose and her husband Jean-Charles (guess which one is the French one!) it has been heralded as “The British Teapot that ate Paris” by The Observer, and the estimable Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini recommends lunch there even if you only have 12 hours in Paris. The cafe even has its own cookbook.

With such a reputation, I suppose I was not totally surprised to get to the Rose Bakery and find that I was going to have to queue for my lunch. I live in Notting Hill, I am used to queues. So I waited patiently in a cramped little line beside the deli counter while eying off the cakes and tarts lined up behind the glass. It has to be said that the Rose Bakery is a fairly unremarkable looking cafe with shabby white walls, a bad mural at one end and simple wooden furniture. However as soon as you get a seat you are instantly made to feel welcome as a bottle of water (refilled at the bakery) and a plate of good brown bread served with even better butter is provided.

The menu offers a variety of brunch and lunch options ranging from porridge to soups, sandwiches and an assortment of cakes. I was unable to go past the tarts I spyed in the entrance so I ordered the aubergine and goats cheese tart with salad (pictured). The tarts are square which adds a quirky dimension to their presentation. The pastry is buttery and rich but I am not enamoured by the flavour combination. The grilled aubergine drowns out the goats cheese and I suffer aubergine overkill as the it also plays a starring role in the accompanying salad of the day.

My bill for the tart and a pot of peppermint tea to warm me up before heading outside again came to just under 20 euros. This seemed a lot for a little. It was a nice bakery and I suppose it offers a light option for Parisians who sick of traditional French fare however I had to wonder who had been drinking the kool-aid.

Details: 46 rue des Martyrs 75009 Paris, France (Ph 01 42 82 12 80)

Damage: Pricey


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