Wednesday 22 August 2012

Coquelicot bakery, Montmartre, Paris, France

 Oh la la! Paris is in my heart and this bakery too.

Everyone knows or has at least heard of Montmartre, mostly thanks to the movie "Amelie".

It still looks like an old village within Paris filled with artists, good venues and lively restaurants and cafés.

"Coquelicot" in French means poppy flower and it is the name of a bakery located in the heart of Montmatre close to the metro station "Abbesses" in the 18th district. They usually have loads of people queueing at the weekend to buy their daily baguette or morning butter croissants.

They also have a seating area both inside and outside.

They serve all day breakfast from 8.15am til 5.50pm during the week extended to 6.30pm at the weekend. They also do all day brunches during the weekend. Their cheapest breakfast is €4.80 and includes a hot drink, a slice of brioche and jam. You can also order "a la carte" items such as scrambled eggs (€3.80) or smoked salmon and toast (€2.90).

They have 3 types of brunch: The huge "Trendy brunch" is an expensive €20.05, for which you get a hot drink, a fried egg with cheese, a wrap, a mini hamburger, fried potatoes, some salad, a crepe and a fresh juice. I have never tried this one but I am sure by the name of it that the Montmatre hipsters go for it.

They also do a "tourist breakfast", aimed at satisfying American, English or Irish tourists. A french version of an Irish breakfast with a hot drink, bacon, a sausage, mushrooms, a tomato, green salad, fried egg and toast plus a fresh orange juice. It is actually healthier than your typical English or Irish breakfast, made with fresh products and including a bit of green, the meat items are rather small.

Being keen on salmon, I chose le "Brunch coquelicot" (€17.95), once again this is not cheap but you pay for the idyllic location and the "je ne sais quoi" atmosphere. Your choice of hot drink, smoked salmon on a toasted slice of freshly baked rustic bread, fried potatoes (maybe a bit too much of them) on a bed of green salad, a yogurt, a fresh fruit salad, a "madeleine" (sponge cake made famous by french writer Marcel Proust), a soft boiled egg with bread sticks and a fresh orange juice makes this brunch a healthy, hearty brunch which is filling and brings you all the protein, calcium and vitamins you need for a day of walking around Paris.

The service can be slow in the morning, especially at the weekends and the waiting staff sometimes come across as grumpy, but this is a parisian thing that you need to be aware of.

I would recommend this place for any Montmartre visitor. If you think the brunches overpriced, think of it as 2 meals in one. If not convinced, at least try their lovely bakery section and buy one of their tarts, éclairs or other traditional French viennoiseries and sit on a bench in lovely Montmatre looking at the world go by, like the French do.

24 rue des Abbesses
Paris 18e
Tél.+33 1 46 06 18 77