Saturday, 17 July 2010

A birthday breakfast in Madrid

My heavy-handed approach to butter and mustard.

Pain au chocolat

Belgian bread at Le Pain Quotidien
This photo is from

My friends and I are huge fans of breakfast. Whether it's a greasy British fry up, a dense slab of campesino bread rubbed with tomato and drizzled with olive oil, or something that slides into brunch like eggs benedict followed by carrot cake. When I'm on my own, I'm guilty of missing breakfast, but back in my 'cooking days' I would occasionally have people round for creamy scrambled eggs or on one momentous occasion (can't remember what that was) a brunch of home-made sweetcorn blinis, smoked salmon and that creamy, gherkiny dip, liptauer. I do sometimes wonder what happened to that girl that loved cooking, and wish she would come back and make me stuff. Bring out the violins :p

Today was another memorable morning meal. We had a little celebratory birthday breakfast for my dear friend Catherine, who is queen of breakfast and all things wholesome and orderly :-)

At the birthday girl's request the 4 of us made it to Belgian bakery-come-eatery Le Pain Quotidien on Gran Via for 11am. We started off with big bowls of coffee and pain au chocolat - which were good though our francophile friend Kate said the pastries weren't quite up to Parisian standards. Could anything really ever be up to Parisian standards? Following this were boiled free-range eggs with 'soldiers' of gorgeous organic bread, excellent home-made hummus with just the right balance of earthy cumin, cloying olive oil and sharp lemon, and thickly sliced ham with mustard, tapenade and more of that great bread - all washed down with freshly-made lemonade, apple and ginger juice, and OJ. I really had to restrain myself not to order the whole menu here, one of their specialities seem to be tartines - toasted slices of organic bread topped with goodies like curried free range chicken with mango, harrisa and red fruits chutney, or the equally delicious-sounding marinated tuna with hummus and chives.

Our breakfasts are usually followed by a session of window shopping on C/Fuencarral (a digestive aid I say) and more often than not a stop at another cafe for refreshments. In this case, our favourite little vintage bar, Lolina, where we enjoyed raspberry and strawberry juice and a few good laughs (photos below).

P.s. have a great weekend everyone!

Felicidades to the lovely birthday girl :-)

1 comment:

Justo said...

The birthday girl is really lovely -and not only her, I guess-. What a wonderful picture!

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