As my regular followers may have guessed, I am a huge fan of Le Pain Quotidien. Being able to enjoy healthy, scrumptious food in a soulful bakery-cafe environment makes LPQ my city oasis. I regularly visit their South Kensington and White City branches but with over 200 locations across 17 countries, Le Pain Quotidien is quickly becoming a welcoming familiarity. Today, there are many restaurants that put profit ahead of healthy, quality ingredients, so its refreshing that Le Pain Quotidien provides a rare alternative. Their ingredients are organic, ethical and nutritious and combined into meals that your body will love you for!
I was absolutely thrilled when Le Pain Quotidien invited me to test out their new summer menu along with a few other food writers and bloggers. It was a fabulous evening sampling the most delicious dishes and drinks and discussing what worked and what didn’t. Needless to say, everything went down a treat! At the end, the lovely chefs and members of head office gifted everyone ‘The Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook’ so we could try out some recipes at home. They also gave us a giftcard which I have used to introduce some friends to LPQ!
Having been sworn to secrecy for months, I am jumping for joy that I can finally introduce you all to Le Pain Quotidiens summer menu! Whilst not every dish made the official menu, here are some of my favourites from the selection that did! Oh and please excuse the random phone photos – I was far to busy tucking in than to worry about my SLR!
1-a-Day Green Juice (pictured above right) -£4.30
Despite there being several alcoholic concoctions to test, this healthy number was my favourite – I know, what has happened to me? The 1-a-Day Green Juice is packed full of seasonal greens, celery, orange, apple and lime’s with a surprisingly delicious kick of ginger. At first I was unsure about the flavour, but then I found myself knocking it back pretty quickly and craving more! Healthy, delicious and refreshing is something I could happily enjoy more than once a day!
Watermelon Cooler (pictured above left) – £3.95
When the sun is pouring into London and you find yourself fantasising about a tropical oasis, the Watermelon Cooler might just be the next best thing!
Blueberry & Elderflower Fizz – £5.45
This delightfully pretty summer drink just oozes summer and sophistication. Visually, it’s stunning, with artistically curated layers and textures that look like artwork in itself. To taste, it is refreshingly spritzy with an addictive combination of delicate flavours.
Roasted Golden Beetroot, Carrot & Goat’s cheese salad – £9.95
When it comes to salads, Le Pain Quotidian are experts. Portions are always in abundance and the vibrant colours make each dish look so inviting! Goats cheese is quite possibly my favourite thing to eat, so when I saw this on the menu I was excited to see how they made use of it’s intense, creamy flavour. The sweetness from the vegetables tastes heavenly with the goats cheese and the combination of textures and flavours works wonderfully!
British Heritage Tomato & Mozzarella di Bufala Panzanella Salad – £10.75
The chunks of organic bread nestled amongst generous portions of mozzarella and British heritage tomatoes results in this rustic salad that oozes fresh flavour. I am often disappointed when ordering salads from other restaurants but the cheese and greenery at LPQ comes in abundance. Its fresh and colourful as if it’s come straight from the chefs kitchen garden.
Tuna Gribiche Tartine – £8.40
Theres something about tartine’s that make them so satisfyingly healthy. This Tuna Gribiche Tartine is just basking in flavour and the creaminess from the Gribiche sauce complements the textures and tastes of the other ingredients. It’s a hearty meal with out feeling heavy – which means more space for dessert 🙂
Pea, Farmhouse Cheddar & Smoked Pancetta Frittata – £7.95
The softness from the cheddar works beautifully with the peas and hints of smoked pancetta. It’s a generous portion and definitely one to try if you fancy something a bit heartier then a salad.
Strawberry Tartine – £7.95
This dish is as pleasing to the eye as it is to the pallet. Succulent British strawberries draped over a generous layer of velvety cream cheese with pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, mint, basil and the most divine blueberry & elderflower dressing. When the chef first brought this out, everyone’s eyes lit up at the vibrant colours and glistening ruby red pomegranates. We all knew we were looking at summer on a plate. A British summer just wouldn’t feel right without strawberries, and whilst a handful of the little gems doused in cream never goes a miss, I’m in love with LPQ’s refreshing take on it. The chefs have turned a traditional summer treat into a light meal that is packed full of soulful flavour and is gloriously beautiful. It’s perfect if you’re debating whether to have something sweet or savoury, providing a mouth wateringly harmonious combination of both.
Strawberry Victoria Sponge – £4.90
I’m not afraid to admit I’ve eaten my fair share of Victoria sponges over the years and after a few extra holes in my belts I think its fair to say I’m a good judge when it comes to everyone’s favourite British cake. LPQ’s handmade sponge is one of the lightest and most delicate sponges I have eaten, and for me that means I can enjoy it after a main course, without it feeling heavy. What I particularly love about it is the fact it is an individual sponge cake, not simply a slice. It definitely adds to its quintessentially British appeal.
All of the dishes are light and summery, traditionally british and perfect to enjoy in the sun. There is an emphasis on quality ingredients that is evident in every dish and the portion sizes are incredibly generous. I sat next to a lovely lady who was in charge of sourcing the ingredients for LPQ, and it was clear to see how passionate she was about organic, healthy, locally sourced produce. The dishes are packed full of goodness – healthy ingredients without any of extra’ rubbish’ you usually find so not only did each dish taste amazing, I felt like i’d made some healthy, sin free food choices too!
Have a look here to find your nearest Le Pain Quotidien so you can enjoy the taste of summer too!