Thursday, November 30, 2006


I had an irresistible craving for some Le Pain Quotidien praline spread today which is just about my favourite thing in the world and I haven't had it for ages, not having been in Paris for a while. I suppose it's my Starbucks, I know I'll always get a good coffee there - which makes it nothing like Starbucks but you know what I mean. I've actually been quite disappointed by the LPQ branches in London so far. The one in Marylebone is really noisy and always full of botoxed eurotrashy ladies who lunch. The one under the arches at Waterloo would be nice if it weren't for the trains thundering overhead and the water dripping from the ceiling. I haven't been to the one in Kensington because I have absolutely no reason to go to Kensington ever. I hadn't tried the one in Great Marlborough Street, almost opposite Liberty and the entrance to Carnaby Street, which has been open now for a month or so. It's big and in a modern building which usually makes the whole rustic styling thing a bit hard to swallow, but somehow it works. Their coffee is fairtrade and organic and they have free wi-fi so I totally forgive them for being a chain. Anyway I had a lovely time there, me and my big bowl of coffee and a basket of bread with ALL the chocolate spreads to choose from. I felt like I was in Paris. (I know LPQ is Belgian but I always go there when I'm in Paris.) Then afterwards the shop I wanted to go to was unexpectedly shut at 2pm on a Thursday and I really did feel just like I was in Paris.

But Beyond the Valley was open. It's such a nice little shop because not everything is super expensive, they have quirky bits and pieces too, all very well chosen. I love the little matchbooks with "call me" written on perforated squares of paper and the mini books by Lucy May Schofield. And they had the Donna Wilson knitted doughnut that I just really, really needed to buy for someone.

And they also had the necklace by Kyo Hashimoto I've been lusting after but felt sure I wouldn't find anywhere.

The black and white one, ain't it purty? I'd love to have it but at about half the price they're selling it for in the shop.

And then of course I ended up in Selfridges where the Benefit girls got me again. They see me coming a mile off, all haggard and dehydrated; weighed down with shopping bags (of Christmas cards but they don't know that). They entice me to their stools with silky tones inviting me to take the weight off, let us make you feel better, and then you know the rest. I am wearing more products on my face than I have all year and I look suspiciously healthy. I also have another eye cream but two new products in one year isn't that bad really is it, when they're able to work that glowy light reflecting magic on me.


Bombay Beauty said...

LPQ! LPQ!! If you could just see me smiling: a broad smile, as I remember my Saturday mornings there, early days when I didn't know too many people in NY but knew I always had a good cup of coffee and croissant and those spreads. They were my friends! In the last several years I haven't been going as regularly as I have found other places to go (and bought a good coffee machine at home). Have I betrayed my friend? Is he lonely without me? In a strange way, hearing about and seeing LPQ’s all around the world makes me feel like I've got a friend who randomly pops up in different cities, where I'm least expecting him, but naturally in all the best neighborhoods, a bit like a traveling gnome.

LPQ I have not forgotten you! LPQ I love you still.

Cheers for now (must go and shed a few tears into my hankie...),


Serena said...

I definitely have to stay away from makeup counters. I have so little resistance to all of their pretty wares.

Julia said...

I've never been to LPQ, but this praline spread sounds insanely good. Cravings for something you've never had are the worst.

Anonymous said...

You can buy Kyo's necklaces directly through her studio, and you know what the means ;) More info on her website