The Handbook
The Handbook

What? A traditional French boulangerie serving up freshly baked artisanal breads, patisseries, breakfasts, brunches and lunches.

New?  Yes, following the success of the Fulham Road and Kings Road sites, Orée opened at the start of September.

Where? Fuelling south west Londoners with carbs and cakes, the latest Orée can be found at 147 Kensington High Street, W8 6SU,

On the Menu: As well as breads and patisseries like mille feuilles and raspberry tartelettes you’ll find classic brunch dishes such as poached eggs with bacon, soups, quiches, open sandwiches and cakes including several muffins.

The Look: A pretty, pale blue shop front frames the window which is adorned with gold leaf signage hand-painted by France’s last remaining traditional ornamental glass artist, Lucien Helle, but really what draws you in the are the rows and rows of patisserie sitting on the marble topped counters and in the window. Inside it is relatively small and so they’ve kept it simple – walls are lined with mirrors to give the feeling of more space, but tables are quite close together so you run the risk of hitting the backs of others when you squeeze pass with your bags. The ovens also sit at the back, so in the summer months try and get a spot at the front if you don’t want to feel like you’re baking along with the bread, that said I imagine in the winter it’s pretty snug.

What We Ate: Whilst we could have just gorged ourselves silly on cake, we showed some self-restraint (although not much) and started with open toasts. Both coming with salad, we went for the Goldstein smoked salmon with plenty of cream cheese and cucumber and red and yellow tomatoes with mozzarella, pesto and basil. Both thinking that we’d prefer the tomatoes and mozzarella, it was actually the simple salmon and cream cheese that had us fighting for the last mouthful.

Being indecisive we asked our waitress to recommend her favourites, she chose the Chocolate Lover and raspberry tartelette – she has excellent taste. The raspberry tartelette is a shimmering dome of raspberry and vanilla mousse, plump raspberries and sweet pastry.The Chocolate Lover is a vanilla infused crème brulee encased in a dark chocolate mousse with a praline and chocolate sponge and finished with chocolate crème puffs. It sounds sickly – it isn’t. Rich yes, but overpowering? No.

What We Drank: Going with the scientific theory that if you have something healthy it definitely cancels out the sugar in the cakes, we went for cold press juices. The green gives you a dose of apple, spinach, celery, ginger and lime whilst the red juice provides a hit of apple, carrot, beetroot, pomegranate and ginger. Otherwise there is Monmouth organic coffee, teas, matcha and chai lattes and different waters including coconut and Birch. A traditional boulangerie it may be, but they are keeping up with the trends.

Go With:  Perfect for catch ups at the weekend, take your parents/ grandparents / friends/ housemates – as long as you like carbs you’re going to like Orée

Final Word: The world needs more boulangeries, more places where the smell of freshly baked bread greets you, where it’s fine to eat cakes at any time of the day and if Orée are leading the crusade in South West London then I’m happy with that.

Like This? Try These: Maison Bertaux, Outsider Tart, Balthazar Boulangerie

Orée: 147 Kensington High Street, W8 6SU