Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Laurent Bakery Cafe - French and Fancy

I love a good bakery cafe.  You don't need much more than a really good bread for a satisfying lunch and you can walk away with wonderful loaves and tarts.  On the weekend when I did a camera course, I wandered among the city arcades with little success - too busy or too many spruikers - until I chanced up on Laurent.  This is an old favourite of mine.  It is an elegant old dame of the Melbourne bakery scene.

Just look at that curved staircase and chandelier.  Those tall arched windows remind me of the windows on Playschool before they went modern but in a far more charming setting.  The vase of flowers in the centre of the room is huge and lush.  Best of all is that this is an oasis of space and peace in the middle of the busy city. 

Laurent makes crusty baguettes and a good substantial sourdough that your teeth need to work at.  My aunts often visit my parents bearing this bread which is always welcome. Yet upon entering the store, it is the rows of gorgeous colourful cakes the my eyes are drawn to.  The French bakery does a great line in tarts, pastries, macarons and other French fancies.

After my brief camera course I wished that I could do the bakery more justice.  Seeing examples of how beautiful photography can be makes me feel inadequate.  Yet I hope you will at least appreciate the glorious red strawberry tarts or tartes aux framboise because this is a French-style bakery.

Yet for all that I lust after the pretty sweet food, the sensible side of me knows that I will be far happier with some savoury fare.  I chose the salad baguette.  It is a simple affair of lettuce, cheese, tomato, avocado and an excellent vinaigrette dressing.  My high praise of this salad roll demonstrates the quality of Laurent's goods.  I am usually very fussy about eating salad rolls that are ready made and on display. 

My lunch was delicious.  It wasn't cheap but I will pay a bit more for a decent sandwich.  I ate it while reading about Amy Winehouse in The Age, listening to foreign academics beside me and a cover of a Smiths song overhead.  Oh for such ambiance at more lunchtimes! The sandwich was very filling.  I couldn't face any sweets.  But I did purchase a raspberry marzipan tart, a strawberry macaron and a walnut raisin roll to take home for later.  They were lovely.

Laurent Bakery
306 Little Collins Street
Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9654 1011
Mon-Sat: 8am - 6pm Sun: 9am - 5pm
Check website for other locations
www.laurent.com.au

18 comments:

  1. Raspberry marzipan tart, ooooh! And hurrah for you having an unequivocally lovely lunch :) It seems that doesn't always happen for you, so I'm glad thsi place worked out!

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    1. Thanks Hannah - the peace of the lunch was just lovely because I usually either spend meals with sylvia running around like a crazy kid or rushing through lunch to get back to work!

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  2. Very true about pre made salad sandwiches-they don't end up being very good but glad to hear that this was an exception! :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - nothing I hate more than a soggy sandwich

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  3. Ooh, I'll have to get to this one! Sounds lovely!

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    1. it is a great little place when you need a quick but decent bite in the city - and there are quite a few suburban locations - though many on the wrong side of the river - just that sort of place!

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  4. Sounds (and looks!) like such a beautiful space to spend some time. And the food!! Yum. (and now I'll test my comment theory and see if this one goes through. . . ) ;-)

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    1. Thanks Ricki - yes, my sort of space - and yay for your comment being published

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  5. Really good and worthy bakeries like this are hard to find, but everything looks and sounds fantastic! Sometimes all you need is a good piece of bread to put a smile on your face and make your day brighter...at least that's my take on life. :P

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    1. Thanks joanne - good bread makes everything better

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  6. That really does sound like a perfect lunch, from the food to the surroundings to the music - and I say your photos more than did it justice :) I am also impressed with your ability to look past the sweet to the sensible (although clearly, in this instance, very worthy) savoury. I'm glad you got some things to take away too!

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    1. Thanks Kari - I'm trying to go easy on the sweet stuff unless celebrating birthdays - which means there are plenty of exceptions this month! Enjoyed the takeaway - though both E and Sylvia wanted the macaron!

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  7. wow - look at all those gorgeous macarons!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - they are gorgeous - heard someone today say Laurent macarons were their favourite

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  8. I'm with you, I love bakery cafes. :) Unfortunately there aren't many around here. At least not many great ones.

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    1. Thanks Ashely - there are quite a look of good ones in Melbourne - just wish some were closer to me

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  9. I like Laurent - their little cakes with fruit are my favourite.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - am more familiar with the bread than the cakes but must do some research :-)

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