The temple. Poilane Bakery
The little bread shop is hidden at 46 Elisabeth Street, close to main Victoria Station. It looks pretty similar to that first one which is located on Cherche-Midi in Paris. At the window you can find some pastries but these look completely different from big loaves resting on the shelves. Those really look seriously and proudly. This is it. Huge, round loaves with beautiful "P" scar. Their skin dusted with flour, and the smell, this smell. Everything remains same as much possible as in Paris. Even the bread art on the wall and the bread chandelier (did you think of that?!). We took some great Poilane, a log of walnut bread, and rye and raisin rolls. All of them dark and heavy.
Other churches. Gail's
This is where I used to work (does anyone remember me from that time?). I was seduced by these smelly, colourful breads. One of the best is our version of the Poilane bread called French Wholemeal Sourdough Bread. That resembles a good Polish bread the most. But yet my absolute favourite is the Walnut Campagne Bread. The most nutty bread I have ever sampled. Perfect in Gail's sandwich of pear and gorgonzola cheese. My other beloved breads are sultana and fennel bread and potato and rosemary sourdough bread. Beware: addictive. But what I came there for was the CHOCOLATE FONDANT. The best chocolate thing I have ever eaten. Necessarily eat warmed up. Think about how something already baked can be co runny? Yummy!!!
Of a basilica's size, this huge store offers wonderful range of edible stuff. I just haven't noticed Polish food anywhere in front of my eyes but have no time to look for it carefully during this visit. What I love there is the cheese room (seperate space - the smell is too overwhelming), fruits exhibition, breads exhibition, well it looks like I love everything there! I love the samples, thanks to it I found the real Dutch gouda cheese and a wonderful Calamata extra vergin olive oil. So much taste in it! And, of course, great breads which remain fresh for days. My white chocolate and apricot was delightful. Melted pieces of white chocolate bursting from the surface and all over the crumb and big chewy pieces of dried apriocots make it a perfect festive bread. I only mention some of the other breads: white sourdough and rosemary fougasse. WM is going to be my definite destination next time!
And maybe in next 2 years....
This time I have no time (again...) to check Paul and Le Pain Quotidien. If anyone wants to share his or her own opinion about the aboves please do so. What would you recommend?
And in the end there is a story inviting you to a food trip to Poland. The last evening in London we were sitting with our friend Gosia and trying different Poilane breads. I was fighting with the shadows to get some nice pictures for you. Together with Darek we were talking Gosia (from about 3 days till then) about how marvellous the Poilane bread is. That it is the sourdough, truly French bread, baked in a wood-burning ovens, wholesome and natural. Finally (means: on taking photos) Gosia took a slice of the great Poilane loaf and said: 'Great, this is really good Polish bread'.