Patisserie Deux Amis – French Deliciousness!

I stumbled upon this charming and small cafe while staying at a nearby hostel.  I stopped in one morning for breakfast since I had plenty of time and nowhere to run to. I am so glad I did!

Patisserie Duex Amis exterior
Patisserie Duex Amis exterior

With classical music in the background, softly inviting decor and perfect pastries displayed in tantalizing arrangements, I felt transported to a Parisian cafe with all its European flavor.  I did have a bit of trouble with the small seats as I am not a svelte size 2, but soon enough, I had myself comfortably arranged.

Patisserie Deux Amis interior
Patisserie Deux Amis interior

I ordered the mushroom and spinach quiche, the almond chocolate croissant and tea. Beautifully presented, I paused a moment, joyfully taking in the surroundings and the food on the table.  It was a feast for the eyes and a lift to my spirits.

I bit into the quiche and though the taste was satisfying, it was cold and I’m used to eating my quiche hot.  Next time I will just have to remember to ask them to warm the quiche, because yes, my friends, there WILL be a next time…even if it’s just for the croissants!

Mouth watering chocolate almond croissant and quiche!
Mouth watering chocolate almond croissant and quiche!

I have heard of people rave over French croissants for as long as I can remember.  I couldn’t understand why as I’ve had some very good croissants in the states, but I could live without them.  NOW I understand!  The subtle almond and chocolate flavoring were like a mixture of heaven in my mouth.  The croissant was flaky, light and buttery, but not oily.  It was just the right amount of sweetness and oh my goodness, I’ve seldom had a dessert that tasted that good!  (My mouth is watering right now remembering the taste.)

Inexpensive, delicious and beautiful…my three favorite words when it comes to any meal!  And Patisserie Deux Amis delivered on all three!  I highly recommend this charming, quiet cafe for all my readers!

Patisserie Deux Amis

63 Judd Street London WC1H 9QT

020 7383 7029

Tea and Scones at Ma Battley’s Tearoom

Ma Battley's Tearoom
Ma Battley’s Tearoom

On an overcast, rainy, very cold February day, I was walking down the street in Enfield (another suburb of London) running errands.  I had forgotten my gloves and my hands were numb from the biting rain.  I still wasn’t used to the cold humidity of a London winter and I felt the wind cutting through my overcoat.  All I could think about was getting warm.  I hadn’t planned on eating out, but I was tired and hungry.

I had walked no more than a block when I, literally, almost stumbled upon a sidewalk sign advertising Ma Battley’s Tearoom (Yes, I can be a bit clumsy sometimes).  I glanced up and saw an old-fashioned candy store with a variety of delicious sweets gracing the window display. It said Traditional English Sweet Shop and I, with my unhealthy addiction to just about anything sweet, seemed as if I had stumbled onto a bit of heaven.

Stepping into the colorful warmth of a sweet shop, there was such a contrast to the gray drizzle outside that I instantly began to feel better.  The woman behind the counter (Ma Battley herself?) called out a cheery “hallooo!” and I responded with a smile and asked where the tearoom was.  She pointed upstairs, so I made my way through the sweet shop and upstairs to a medium sized-room filled with pink and white checkered tables and a row of windows at one end.

I sat by the white lace curtained windows and glanced over the room.  It was simply decorated in a Country Victorian theme, but without an ounce of pretense.  I felt almost as if I had wandered into someone’s kitchen and was sitting at their kitchen table instead of a formal restaurant, and yet it felt just right.

I glanced over the menu and it was filled with simple, but delicious items such as Jacket Potatoes and sandwiches.  But on this bleak, wet day, sitting in a London tearoom, what else could I order but tea with scones and clotted cream?  What could be more classically British than that?  When it was presented to me, it made such an artistic picture that I had to photograph it.

Tea and Scones at Ma Battley's Tearoom
Tea and Scones at Ma Battley’s Tearoom

The picture didn’t last long, though, as I slathered my currant scone with jam and Devon clotted cream.  Oh my goodness…I had no idea that cream could have the texture of silk!  The sweetness of the jam and the texture of the cream were a perfect accompaniment to the berry-flavored tea.  My hands finally began to thaw after holding the teacup for a while and I sat there and savored the moment.  No wonder the tradition of afternoon tea is so loved by the British!  Not only was the food delightful, but just the feeling of hot tea melting away your cares was so beautifully relaxing.  I smiled to myself as I thought what a happy cliche I made.  Afternoon tea and scones on a rainy day in London…another dream come true for this wandering wallflower.

http://www.mabattleys.com/

Sunday Morning Bells

Sunday Morning view of Loughton, Essex, England
Sunday Morning view of Loughton, Essex, England

I meander slowly up a neighboring hill on a cool, sunny, spring Sunday morning in Loughton, Essex.  I pause for a moment to enjoy the view overlooking this quaint, old town.  My town…home.  I take in everything from the rows of brick homes on the distant hillside to the budding branches of a tree near me.  The air shimmers and the translucent light springs lightly from rooftop to tree branch to the wet grass at my feet. To my left is an empty, green cricket field and to my right, a 200 year old mansion restored to full splendor. The wind is brisk and I breathe in the glorious sweetness of it.

Nothing will move me from this spot as I am filled with wonder. How did I get here? How did I get from my small town in Utah to this charming suburb of London, England?   I pause to remember the hard work, sacrifice from others, faith and lots of prayers it took me to get here…and I am filled with so much gratitude and joy that I wish I could share it with the world. And suddenly, as if on cue, distant church bells ring out across the hills.

And there it is…a reminder of how I came to be here.  I was meant to be here.  This place has been calling to my soul for many years.  It took time for me to hear the call and time for everything to fall into place just right, but it did and I am at peace.

And so it begins…this new adventure and chapter of my life.  This blog will be filled with my adventures of the everyday (and the not-so-everyday) experiences.  I feel I am on the cusp of the best part of my life and I am brimming with excitement at what it will bring.  The wallflower has finally blossomed and she turns her face up to drink in the sun.