Chakra on Holland Street

I definitely don’t spend enough time in West London.

I do love the East, its dirty-around-the-edges look and ever-changing, pop-up-turned-brick-and-mortar restaurant scene.

But the truth is, the West, with its pretty brick-and-white houses, its shiny stores and oh-very-civilised restaurants (no queueing over here, they ALL take reservation!), could very easily steal my heart if I were to spend more time on the other side of the city.

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

And I won’t lie, one of the top reasons would be the proximity to Chakra, an upscale Indian restaurant with a neighbourhood feel, recently relocated from Notting Hill onto Holland Street.

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

Located on a quiet corner just off the hustle and bustle of Kensington High Street, with pastel-painted walls and attentive service, Chakra is quite an intimate spot.

Perfect for a middle-of-the-week date night!

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

Which also explains why we refrained from ordering the entire list of Indian-inspired cocktails and settled for lemonade instead (plain for me & Masala for him).

… but when it came to food, we weren’t quite as reasonable…

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

Poppadums with tamarind chutney.

Always a good way to start a meal!

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + WhiskyChakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

Crab Galouti with Saffron & Nutmeg Potted Shrimp and Blue Corn Roti

Beautiful, melt-in-the-mouth crab patties, with a slight crispy pan-fried exterior and a fiery green chilli kick, the crab galouti was a wonderful, summery interpretation of the traditional Uttar Pradesh lamb kebab.

I would happily have eaten it all by myself, but that would have been a bit shellfish

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

Plus it would have limited my claims on the delicately-spiced Tandoori Paneer with Basil & Mint Chutney

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

For mains, we shared the Clay Oven Cooked Black Cod with Green Chilli & Garlic Yoghurt

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

… as well as the Tandoori Poussin, Red Onion, Lemon.

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

Both were beautifully spiced and cooked to perfection and a great hommage to the quality of the cooking at Chakra.

Trust me, when it comes to Indian food, that’s not something you can wing!

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

With a side of Okra, Red Onions, Chilli & Lime (that my boyfriend said tasted almost the same as the way his mum cooks them)…

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

… and a rather extensive selection of bread to mop every little bit of marinade off the plates, the whole lot made for a stunning Indian feast, representative of the diversity of food across the Indian subcontinent and worthy of the Royal Maharajah kitchens Chakra takes its inspiration in.

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

And for dessert, we had caviar.

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + WhiskyChakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

Gulab Jamun Caviar, that is, served with Pistachio Toast and Cardamom Creme.

Chakra on Holland Street | Cake + Whisky

A playful take on the Russian classic, and a beautiful one at that!

With barely enough room for Chai, we said our goodbyes and on the way home, we were already discussing making our way West for another Indian feast soon.

The ultimate proof that the food at Chakra is very, very good indeed! Probably a naan out of ten!

 

Chakra, 33c Holland Street, Kensington, London W8 4LX

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Chakra on Holland Street

Greek Chicken Skewers + The Real Greek Cookbook Giveaway

You know that frustrating feeling when you go to a restaurant, you have the most *amazing* dish and you know that you won’t for the life of you be able to have this again ever because the restaurant has an ever-changing menu and they won’t give you a recipe so you can make it yourself at home? SO FRUSTRATING!

Well, that won’t happen with The Real Greek.

Not only do they keep classics and favourites right and centre on their menu all year round, but they also just released a cookbook running you through those same recipes that have made their success on London’s restaurant scene.

The Real Greek Cookbook with Tonia Buxton

A stunning collaboration between the team of experienced chefs at The Real Greek and the restaurant’s consultant Tonia Buxton, the cookbook is a comprehensive guide to creating restaurant standard food at home.

From delicious meze dishes to scrumptious feast, it’s the perfect companion for beginners and well-read foodies alike to explore the wonders of Greek food.

Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

With over 100 recipes to choose from, deciding where to start was no easy job, but I decided to try recreating one of the dishes we indulged in at The Real Greek cookbook launch: Marinated chicken skewers.

The ones we had at the restaurant were simply beautiful: tender chuncks of chicken with sweet pepper and onion pieces, basted in a light and fresh marinade, with the subtle flavour of the charcoal there had been cooked over.

Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

So I was curious to see if I could achieve the same results at home.

And the good news is, I did! …oh, and there’s another good news!

I teamed up with Blink Publishing to give out a copy of The Real Greek with Tonia Buxton cookbook so you also get to cook restaurant-worthy Greek recipes from the comfort of your own home!

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Greek Chicken Skewers from The Real Greek Cookbook | Cake + Whisky

Chicken Skewers (serves 4-6)

Ingredients: 6 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless, cut into 3cm chunks), 1 small red pepper (deseeded), 1 small yellow pepper (deseeded), 1 red onion; For the marinade: 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary, 1 tsp freshly chopped thyme leaves, 1 tsp ground paprika, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken chunks, coating them well, then marinade for at least 1 hour, but preferably longer (ideally overnight in the fridge).

2. Cut the peppers into 2 cm pieces. Quarter the onion and cut the leaves into 2cm pieces.

3. Soak 6 wooden skewers to prevent them from charring. When ready to cook, thread the chicken, peppers and onion alternately onto the skewers. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cook under a medium-hot grill or in a griddle pan for 8-10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes and basting with any remaining marinade.

5. Cut each skewer in half and arrange crossways on individual serving plates.

I served my Greek chicken skewers with a side of tzatziki and pan-fried pepper slices, but lemon mayonnaise would also work well.

A’meze’ing, isn’t it?

The Real Greek with Tonia Buxton, RRP £20, out now, Blink Publishing

Greek Chicken Skewers + The Real Greek Cookbook Giveaway

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch

Dining out in London can be quite an expensive habit. Especially if you do it as often as I do.

Of course, there are always some offers out there, but seriously, who has time to scroll through picture-heavy Facebook pages or billions of tweets to be rewarded with ‘faffy’ discounts (half price SIDES? Are you kidding me?).

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather know what’s available around me in real-time, thank you very much. And thanks goodness there’s an app for that!

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

Let me introduce: CityMunch.

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With hundreds of restaurants and offers to choose from, CityMunch is a savvy foodie’s best friend!

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

Indeed, CityMunch offers the latest real-time dining discounts (of up to 50%!) all in one place, can be use with any group size…

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

And the discount is a straight forward amount off of your food bill! Hurray!

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch app | Cake + Whisky

You also have access to restaurant information, directions, sample menu & more all in one place!

And best of all, it’s absolutely FREE to use! Download the free app here: iPhone / Android

Great deals at great places?! I say yes PLEASE!

Especially when said place is as much of a gem as The White Swan!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Located at the heart of the City of London, right between Chancery Lane & Covent Garden, The White Swan is a little gem of a gastropub and, through CityMunch, you get 50% off the food every evening.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

The menu focuses on a handful of classics with a little bit of a twist, and at half price, it’s an absolute bargain!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + WhiskyThe White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Things started on a high with homemade sourdough bread & butter.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Soft, chewy bread, melty butter & a generous sprinkle of salt flakes… it doesn’t take much more to make this French girl happy!

… but that was only the beginning!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Torched Cornish mackerel with pickled carrot

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

A beutifully fresh starter where the crunchy, sweet-pickled carrots highlighted the oily flesh of the mackerel.

And that crispy torched skin!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Our second starter, Roast Norfolk quail with Scotch egg & pickled onion, was even better.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Succulent, melt-in-the-mouth quail leg, with a beautifully crafted mini quail Scotch egg & a super rih, meaty sauce…

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Needless to say it didn’t take long to polish the whole lot off!

… and then the same thing happened with mains!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Milk-fed Herdwick lamb, Jersey royal croquette, nettle & sorrel puree

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Soft braised leg of lamb, perfectly grilled cutlet, rich gravy and just a touch of mint… it was a true gastropub classic and an absolute triumph.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

45 day-aged Cumbrian Shorthorn steak with chips & Béarnaise

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

And a side of Spring greens with bacon.

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

All washed down with a little bit of wine…

And followed by the dreamiest of desserts!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + WhiskyThe White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Buttermilk pannacotta with strawberry & basil

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

A silky smooth, just-set panna cotta, served with a lovely strawberry syrup, fresh strawberries and mini basil leaves…

Basically Summer on a plate!

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Last but not least, the chef’s speciality: Treacle tart & frozen lemon yoghurt

The White Swan gastropub | Cake + Whisky

Crumbly pastry, and the most intricate of fillings, with both gooey and crunchy bits thanks to an elaborate thrice-cooked processed…

A real wonder and one you must make sure you try out for yourself very soon (alongside with pretty much everything else on The White Swan’s menu)!

Just make sure you use CityMunch to book & you’ll get 50% off your bill if you visit for dinner (from 6PM)… So what are you waiting for?

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How to save money when eating at London's top restaurants | Cake + Whisky

Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of CityMunch but all love of nettle & basic dessert fan-girling my own. 

Dinner on offer at The White Swan with CityMunch

Melon and Prosciutto salad

When it’s as hot as it’s been for the past couple of weeks, the last thing I want to do is turn on the oven, or spend any time near the stove. I’m hot enough as it is, thank you very much.

So when it’s hot, salad it is!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Favourites include this Mexican corn salad and this Instagram-ready Rainbow salad as well as a Summer-on-a-plate Italian classic: Melon and Prosciutto Salad!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Not only is the pairing of sweet Cantaloupe melon and salty prosciutto simply irresistible, but it’s also one of the easiest things ever to make.

Perfect for those days when the very idea of standing by a stove makes you sweat!

Melon and Prosciutto Salad | Cake + Whisky

Melon and Prosciutto Salad (serves 4-6 as a starter or 2-3 as a main)

Ingredients: 1 ripe melon, 1 pack of prosciutto (6 slices), handful mini mozzarella balls (or 1 teared-up regular size ball), 2 tbsp of pesto (find my recipe in here), 2 tbsp olive oil, cracked black pepper to taste

1. Cut your melon in half, discard the seeds, then slice each half into 4-6 pieces. Remove the skin on each piece, then place on a big serving plate.

2. Tear up the prosciutto into thin ribbons and place on the serving dish, on top of the melon. Add the mozzarella balls as well.

3. Loosen the pesto with the olive oil, then pour on top of the melon. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and serve immediately.

What’s your go-to heatwave meal?

Melon and Prosciutto salad

10 souvenirs to buy from a French supermarket

(or the reason why I always go to France with an empty suitcase)

Let’s be honest. The end of the holidays always sucks.

You might be happy to go home and stuff, but the prospect of going back to the routine of everyday life? Not so much.

One thing that’s good about it though? Souvenirs shopping!

And when in France, there’s no better place for that than the supermarket! (unless of course you’re planning on decorating your flat with Eiffel Tower replicas of all sizes… in which case, enjoy!)

10 souvenirs to buy in a French supermarket | Cake + Whisky

Now, I will admit that I have a bit of a thing for foreign supermarkets, and in my opinion, nothing tops bringing back home the flavours you enjoyed during your holiday…

So if you want to keep the French Summer holiday vibes going, below are 10 brilliant things you should pick up at the local French supermarket!

10 souvenirs to buy in a French supermarket | Cake + Whisky

1. Milk chocolate with hazelnuts: A staple of French snacks, it’s proving surprisingly difficult to find in the UK. Most supermarkets will sell some under their own brand, or you can always splurge for some Milka or Côte d’Or bars… When you’re at it, you might also want to pick up a few bars of Nestlé baking chocolate (the one wrapped with brown paper). You’ll never bake a chocolate cake with cocoa after that.

2. Speciality mustard: The French do love their mustard and, from the classic Dijon to more unusual blends, there’s a wide range to choose from. If you can get your hands on it, I highly recommend anything from family-owned, Burgundy-based mustard company Edmond Fallot.

3. Le Petit Marseillais Milk shower gel: My favourite shower gel in the entire world. Not only is it one of the most moisturising ones I’ve ever tried, but it’s also super cheap (about 2€ for 400ml) and it smells like my childhood.

4. Lotus speculoos: The one and only way to turn your coffee break into a proper Parisian experience. Also really good dunked in tea, crushed on top of baked fruit for an instant crumble, with yoghurt or instead of biscuits in a tiramisu… So you better get a few extra boxes, just to be safe (and maybe add a jar of speculoos spread as well…)!

5. Cornichons: NOT your usual pickles! The French cornichons are smaller in size and have a more ferm, crunchier texture, and the taste is somewhat more sharp. Perfect in sandwiches and with cold meat platters!

6. Levure Chimique “Alsacienne”: Now, that’s a rather weird one, especially since self-raising flour is so easy to come by in the UK. BUT despite my effort, I find that cakes simply don’t raise the same way when I don’t use the little pink bags, and taste weirdly chemical-ey when I add some British baking powder to my batters… or am I just doing something wrong?

7. Skincare from the parapharmacie: Parapharmacies are where all my money disappears the second I set food in France. Offering all sorts of skin care products, there are any beauty addict’s dream come true and very good value for brands such as La Roche Posay, Avène, Caudalie etc.

8. Crème de Marrons: Now, this is rather niche. Coming from the beautiful middle-of-nowhere region of Ardèche, this chestnut spread is simply divine. My favourite way to eat it is mixed in yoghurts, but it also has multiple uses in pastry (and I won’t rule out the idea of eating it by the spoonful…)

9. Wine: Because when in France… but put down that bottle of Chardonnay (nobody in France drinks that) and go less obvious labels. If you’re into white wine, I suggest you try a nutty Côtes du Jura (excellent with hard cheese and stone fruit), or an easy-going Sancerre. As far as rosé goes, you can’t really go wrong with a Bandol. And if red’s you thing, maybe a Bourgogne or a Saint Nicolas?

10. Herbes de Provence: This mix of dried herbs (usually marjoram, rosemary, thyme and oregano) simply tastes of Summer. It is a staple of southeast France cuisine and perfect on grilled meat and fish, as well as in Provencal stews such as ratatouille.

 

What sort of souvenir do you like to bring back from holiday?

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10 souvenirs to buy in a French supermarket | Cake + Whisky

10 souvenirs to buy from a French supermarket

A taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris

If by day, Paris is the city of love, by night, it’s really quite the spot to party!

Of course, there are plenty of clubs in town, but what Paris truly excels at is the understated, intimate sort of party.

Rooftops & champagne bars, teeny-tiny wine bars, and everything in between, it has nothing in common with London’s sweaty clubs and their ‘are-you-kidding-me’ priced drinks.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

And the place to be to party the Parisian-way?

The holly hipster area between République and the Canal Saint Martin!

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

At daytime, it’s home to loads of small clothes & home boutiques, with loads of street art and a handful of nice coffee shops and cafés…

But at night, it’s all about the underground, speakeasy-like bars!

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Hidden behind a door that looks just like any other one, at the back of an absolutely ordinary courtyard, is my favourite of them all: Comptoir Général.

If it wasn’t for the bodyguards (and the constant flow of people), you’d never know it was there…

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

The rather grand entrance sets the tone in terms of decor.

Think colonial palace meets dirty-around-the-edge brothel, with a hint of flea market added in for good measure.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

It even gets quite random at times, with a full-sized tiki bar…

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

… and a full size pirate boat to match!

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Which is all rather weird if you think about it, but Comptoir Général is really all about discovering & exploring obscure, marginal & under-estimated cultures from around the world.

And the thing is, the atmosphere you get from those seemingly juxtaposed bits is simply fantastic.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Authentic and relax, fun, very, very bo-bo (bourgeois-bohème, Paris’ answer to our hipster culture!) and a little bit dirty around the edges…

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + WhiskyA Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Trendy Parisians come in group, with their friends, their parents and even their dogs for a couple of cocktails, a bite to eat and the garantee of a great time.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

There’s a small but to-the-point cocktail list, with brilliant African-inspired drinks full of tropical flavours.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

The Draquecito: rum, lime, cane sugar & mint

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Basically a pimped-up mojito, and just as refreshing as you’d expect!

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Punch Bimbo, a citrus-y take on the Caribbean classic.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

And a few too many glasses of the obligatory Planteur.

In hintsight, a few less of those would have been wiser, but the combination of rum, orange, pineapple, guava and mango was just too good to resist!

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Starving and a little bit tipsy, we made our way to the next room in search of some nibbles to match.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + WhiskyA Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + WhiskyA Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + WhiskyA Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

With that same flea-market-y feel that runs through the whole thing, super friendly staff & a short-and-sweet sort of menu, Comptoir Général’s restaurant is basically a piece of central Africa in the heart of Paris.

With food to match!

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

We started off with a double order of a Salt Cod puffs with ‘Chien‘ dipping sauce.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Delightfully light and subtle fish doughnuts, and not one dog in sight in the sauce!

Despite it’s name, the traditional dipping sauce from Martinique is actually made of herbs, garlic, chilli, lemon & oil.

Sour, fresh and rather pungent, its the perfect accompaniment to cut through the richness of the salt cod puffs!

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + WhiskyA Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Corn hush puppies with fiery Chipotle mayo

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Followed by the Special of the day, an Indian-inspired burger.

A vibrant and tasty hommage to the flavours of India, that are becoming more and more popular in Africa.

A Taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris | Cake + Whisky

And an excellent Chicken Maffé (a traditional peanut-based stew from Sénégal), which took me back to a trip to Africa I did many years ago.

Down to Earth, homely food that tastes just like what an Africa Mamma would cook, good cocktails, some cracking music and a winning experience everytime, Comptoir Général is the perfect place to get a taste of Africa in the heart of Paris!

Go with friends, book a table and stay ’til late… It’s always a fun place to be!

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A taste of Africa at Comptoir Général, Paris

A walk about Paris + Lunch at Le Comptoir

On our last day in Paris, we had a bit of a late start (due to a few too many cocktails, fireworks and having to walk across all of Paris to go home afterwards).

The plan was originally to climb the towers of Notre Dame, but when we turned up, the queue was already winding up half of Ile St Louis, so we decided to pass.

A walk about Paris | Cake + WhiskyA walk about Paris | Cake + Whisky

Instead, we explored Paris charming little flower market…

Before heading right across the street to one of my favourite Paris’ sight.

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Hidden behind the golden doors of Palais de la Cité (the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century, now used as Paris’ Court of Justice), the Sainte Chapelle is an absolute gem of Gothic style.

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Built in only seven years, the Sainte Chapelle was intended to house precious Christian relics, including Christ’s crown of thorns, acquired by Saint Louis.

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Besides the stunning white stone portal is the lower chapel, which served as parish church for all the inhabitants of the palace, which was the seat of government.

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + Whisky

With low ceilings, richly coloured and decorated walls, the lower chapel is an excellent reminder of the religious and political influence coming with the possession of the sacred relics.

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Up a flight of stairs, you’ll enter the upper chapel, adorned with the same fleur-de-lys ceiling and coloured patterned walls.

But nobody will blame you for not spotting them…

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Indeed, the Sainte Chapelle most feature is its stunning stained glass windows, for whose benefit the stone wall surface is reduced to little more than a delicate framework.

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + WhiskySainte Chapelle Paris 19

Arranged across 15 windows, each 15 metres high, the stained glass panes depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments recounting the history of the world until the arrival of the relics in Paris in August 1239.

Sainte Chapelle, Paris | Cake + Whisky

The level of detail in each window is absolutely astonishing, and I could have spent the day admiring each one in awe.

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But my grumbly stomach had other plans…

A walk about Paris | Cake + Whisky

So after one last look at the Sainte Chapelle’s stunning stained glass windows, we crossed the river in search of lunch.

A walk about Paris | Cake + WhiskyLunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Eventually settling at Le Comptoir, ‘bistronomy‘ (bistro-gastronomy) chef Yves Camdeborde acclaimed restaurant.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + WhiskyLunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

With its retro look and its sunny terrace, it’s not hard to see why it’s become a locals’ favourite…

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The excellent selection of wine (including a stunning Bandol rosé) and delightful crusty bread probably didn’t hurt either…

But refrain from nibbling to much of it while you place your order, as the food itself is absolutely glorious.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Melt-in the mouth Daube de boeuf, with carrots and pasta.

Rich and indulgent, it had been cooked for hours, and was so soft a spoon could cut through it.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

A bit of a Greek twist of the classic Steak tartare.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Served with aubergine purée, anchovy paste and grated feta alongside the traditonal capers and shallot, it was super fresh and the perfect dish to have on a sunny day!

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And a little side salad, because greens never hurt!

Especially if you’re planning some rather indulgent dessert action afterwards!

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Baba au rhum with Chantilly cream and praline.

The French classic, litteraly drenched in rum (much to the horror of the American couple having lunch next to us!)

But the cherry on top of this fabulous bistro meal?

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

This stunning Coffee Crème Brûlée!

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + WhiskyLunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Topped with a wafer-thin layer of crispy caramel, hiding a silky-smooth, intensely coffee-y set cream.

Lunch at Le Comptoir, Paris | Cake + Whisky

Everything a good brûlée should be, and then some more, much like the rest of the dishes at Le Comptoir.

Simple, to-the-point bistro food, celebrating the variety and seasonality of French cuisine.

‘Bistronomy” at its very best!

A walk about Paris | Cake + WhiskyA walk about Paris | Cake + Whisky

And just enough fuel to reach nearby Jardins du Luxembourg for a stroll around the breath-taking Sénat (the French equivalent to the UK’s House of Lords) building and a bit of a snooze on one of the park’s deck loungers…

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A walk about Paris | Cake + Whisky

A walk about Paris + Lunch at Le Comptoir