Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Le Flaneur

Take a break from that excel document, and come down the rabbit hole with me…

And on the way let's stop by the rather whimsical little cafe, Le Flaneur!

I do like that word whimsical. I don't think it can be applied to enough things or places or beings these days, where most are trying to be slick and 'cool'. Or ironic, whatever your calling may be.

But I adore the playfulness of the interior of Le Flaneur and was very glad that I had asked Bryan, one of my partners in crime, to come along with me.

Oh how we squealed and swooned and swaned over everything in the cafe. I love the mismatched wallpaper. The benches that are secretly camouflaging as individual chairs (they're out to get us!). The anthropomorphic motifs and imagery that flowed through the restaurant, the overall…genteel and gentlemanly feel to the place, amongst all the colours and softness. It harks back to a cuter time, when gentlemen wore suits and had hats, which they off tipped off to greet ladies that sauntered by.

Brad and I were just at the museum the other day where they were showing films of Melbourne in the 1920's and 1940's...oh it was so cute! Everyone wearing hats, looking quite demure, men in suits on the beach! Hilarious yet adorable at the same time.

I digress (as usual), but I suppose my observations reflect the sentiment in the name, as Charles Baudelaire, a French poet in the 1800's, defined 'flâneur' as a 'gentleman stroller of city streets'. How quaint!

So Bryan and I didn't order for ages, as we were too busy snapping pictures and pointing out details to each other, that the other may have missed. "Oh I didn't even see those pictures!", "Ooh, there's a clock projected on the wall!", so on and so forth....

In time though, coffees were ordered, my usual chai was lovely, quite sweet, but lots of flavour. Lots of cinnamon, mmhmm! It was a touch hot for me and I couldn't hold the glass straight off the bat, but I tend to prefer my drinks to be ready to gulp down the hatch. So that's just personal preference.

Bryan has now moved from magic's to piccolo's these days! You'll have to visit his blog though to get a better idea for the coffee, he didn't seem to mind it too much though!

After fawning over the menu for a bit, we finally (FINALLY) settled on our breakfast dishes. I've really developed a thing for smashed avocado, and went with the smashed avocado with lemon infused danish feta, with soft poached kangaroo island free range eggs, with sourdough. Bit of a mouthful to say, but absolutely delicious to eat.

Eggs were beautifully poached and I loved the lemon infused feta. Gave it a really interesting tang that really cut through the richness of the avocado. The feta was also gorgeously creamy and surprisingly quite mild, I suppose it might need to be to infuse with the lemon. Perfect companion to the avocado though!

My only downside, would be that although the bread was beautiful, it was a bit hard to cut through!

Against my fairly minimalist and neat looking dish, Bryan's Atlantic eggs, wilted spinach and butter scrambled kangaroo island free range eggs, smoked salmon, hollandaise sauce and sourdough, was an absolute smorgasbord on the eyes…and well, mouth too!

The eggs looked so incredibly creamy and luscious, along with the beautifully pink salmon.

Our clamouring, laughter and vigorous camera snapping, obviously attracted a bit of attention. If you hang out with Bryan and I…you'll learn we're not particularly subtle. Not really. But through our meal, our waitress, who was absolutely lovely came over and chatted us up and talked about the food, the drink and well, Melbourne's odd weather. She also had the cutest British accent and was all smiles, which well, makes you all smiles too really doesn't it?

After our plates had been cleared, and Bryan was considering a second cup of coffee, she came over to try and convert us all to cold drip. Even me. Who doesn't drink coffee.

But of course, I couldn't resist taking a sip when she brought over a tiny little sample for us to try. How cute are the cups?!

My gosh. If I had to drink coffee. This would have been it. Whilst I may not be the best person to describe coffee, this is marvellously refreshing, with an absolutely beautiful and very elegant aroma. It honestly tasted like a beautiful bouquet of flowers, subtle, light and sweet.

I very almost ordered a cold drip. But even after the tiniest sip I could feel the caffeine in me. So weak.

Instead I ordered a French breakfast tea (from Mariage Frères) and just hovered over Bryan's cold drip set and swooned over his coffee ice cubes which I thought were just the cutest things ever.

Isn't it just a dream to look at poured as well? In the light, against the glass, reflecting off the spoon, the coffee was a beautiful pool of amber.

I love how both drinks were presented on elegant little trays with delicate glassware. All very pretty, quaint and rather…gentlemanly stroller like I guess.

Oh, and no brunch is complete with Bryan until you've had dessert. When I saw the earl grey macarons, I knew immediately that the macarons were by Josephine, so despite Bryan not being a huge fan of macarons…well we needed them. End of story.

Earl grey, salted caramel and pistachio. Salted caramel took the cake, but it's hard to be disappointed by Josphine!

I love that Le Flaneur is so close to me and I certainly hope to be back more for quiet brunches and a break from the concrete jungle once in a while. With good food, good drinks, delightful staff, what's not to like really?

Le Flaneur

5 Church St
Hawthorn, VIC 3122

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