This place is just round the corner from Victoria station and was the chosen spot for a rendezvous with a group of Lithuanians .. don’t ask, it’s a long story. Le Pain Quotidian ( ‘the daily bread’) originated in Belgium but now has outlets in nineteen countries stretching from Brazil to India though this is the first we have come across. The emphasis is on providing a place for people to meet and do business or just have a good gossip and, to that end, they provide some long tables where people or families can gather round and do just that. It prides itself on it’s artisan bread made the traditional way … ‘bakers blend organic stone-ground flour, kneaded patiently by hand and baked in stone lined hearths’ .. whatever .. can they make a scone? In the interests of diversity, we thought we should try the ‘organic spelt & quinoa scone’. If nothing else it was definitely different and, from that point of view, difficult to compare with other scones. A heavy mix as you might expect with a spelt flour but the added quinoa seeds, currants and almonds gave it a, not unpleasant, crunchy texture. It came with a pot of mixed strawberry/rhubarb jam and a dish of what we thought was cream but turned out to be ricotta – an Italian whey cheese made from sheep milk. Now once we had got over the surprise of it being nothing like the cream we had been expecting, it was not that bad … in fact, with the scone itself being so completely different, the ricotta complemented the scone quite well … probably better than cream would have done. This is the first time we have come across quinoa (pronounced: kinwa) in a scone and probably demonstrates Le Pain Quotidien holding true to its basic philosophy of using good honest healthy ingredients .. apparently it originated from the shores of Lake Titicaca which is quite exotic in itself. At £5 per scone however, they are not cheap. Never had a hope of being a topscone but just for being sooooo different we think it qualifies for a top weird scone award .. won’t be rushing back for another but well done for broadening our scone horizons. Not far away there was a Stop Trident rally in Trafalgar Square. Isn’t it odd that we give so much attention to making nuclear power stations absolutely safe and then spend vastly more money planning for the creation of even bigger nuclear disasters .. bizarre. Of course, things have moved on. The big question now is not whether we should get rid of them but whether we can get rid of them fast enough before The Donald and BoJo are ruling the world. The BBC‘s report on the rally just prattled on about how disappointing the turnout had been in spite of their own pictures showing umpteen thousands present.
BREAKING NEWS: In best BBC style, keeping you up to date with scone news, we have breaking news from our Trossachs correspondent .. the same one who, you will remember, gifted us some Dobbies scones at Christmas. Apparently, when he went to pay for his cream scone the other day at Dobbies in Stirling he discovered that cream scones were subject to a BOGOF deal so he went home with another scone in a box which fed four people the following day … all for £1.45 .. remarkable. Many thanks to our reporter. Obviously they were not spelt and quinoa scones but, in spite of the London prices, Le Pain Quotidien is worth a visit, a little bit quirky, good food, great service and nice atmosphere. It also has a good website with plenty of information and recipe suggestions.
SW1V 1JZ tel: 020 3657 6945 Le Pain Quotidien