Last night I met my BFF Saskia who's fresh from a month performing at Edinburgh Festival for an overdue catch up dinner. We went to a sweet little French cafe on Upper Street in Islington called Espresso Chez le Boulanger, which serves salads, quiches, ciabattas, savoury and sugary crepes, pastries and cakes. It's perhaps more of a lunch venue but it's open until 11pm every night and as it was balmy we sat outside at one of the tables spilling out onto the pavement.
Its appeal lies in the basic, rustic decor - I'm a sucker for eclectic furniture and I'm always drawn to cafes with a countryside kitchen feel - higgledy-piggledy painted chairs around chunky wooden tables, stone walls and exposed beams, mismatched vintage crockery, pots and jars with different teas and coffees and chalkboards listing what's fresh from the oven.
We shared the chicken salad and smoked salmon salad, both of which were very simple but good, and a hot savoury crepe filled with feta, cherry tomatoes and pesto. The cake counter lured us in and we halved a delicious carrot cake and rum chocolate cake and washed it all down with some fresh, zesty Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley.
Monsieur Boulanger, we'll be back.