Le Pain Quotidien, which apparently means daily bread, is a Belgian chain consisting of a restaurant and bakery, based unsurprisingly around it’s very high quality and correspondingly highly priced bread. The ‘concept’ is that there are long wooden tables in the centre of the restuarant around which everyone sits, ie you share a table. Although in the waterloo branch there are also a lot of smaller tables for the less european and more squeamish among us. The decor is all unvarnished wood and large wooden dressers selling jam and other such condiments.
I have never eaten an evening meal there so can only comment on what I have had, which is two boiled eggs, fresh bread soldiers and a very aesthetically pleasing paper wrapped french butter pat accompanied by a vat of lovely coffee served in a bowl. Joff has also only had the same, several times. Call us unadvertourous but we know what we like…and we are vegetarians which probably serves us right. Still, I have seen people eating all sorts of things there and they all seemed happy. Service is friendly and the clientele unreletingly middle class, I have never seen so many little boys in faux hand knitted sweaters in my life, except in chiswick.
I like it there. The coffee is excellent, the eggs are fresh, the bread is perfect: crusty, chewy and fresh. There is also something immensely satisfying about cupping a large white bowlful of coffee in your hands. It is of course absurdly expensive if you allow yourself to think about it, which I suppose in these crunchy times you should do, £4 for boiled eggs and £3 for a large coffee. But if spending money on good quality food is what you like to do and you can still afford to do it I recommend you do it here.