3 Jul , 2017 All-day dining,Brunch


Marilia Dinamarco struggles to stick to her diet when faced with such fabulous choice

The other day I had that moment – the one where you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror, the shop window, or you see a bad photo and think: “My God, I need to wire my jaw shut!” In an effort to reduce this shock, I had been clean eating for two whole hellish days when my friend called me and asked if I wanted to try out a French place in in Finsbury Park: Boulangerie Bon Matin.  Sometimes, you just have to have resolve. You have to resist temptation. No means no.

So, I pulled up to the boulangerie and found parking right outside, albeit at £4/hour.  It’s a neighbourhood breakfast and lunch cafe/bakery/rustic salad place with lovely cakes displayed in the window.  I sat down quickly before the cakes could start doing that thing they do when you’re on a diet. To my utter surprise and incredible disappointment, there were loads of healthy options on the menu – myriad chunky vegetable salads, fruit and vegetable smoothies, and grilled salmon. Traditional fare like eggs royal, crepes, pastries and quiches were also on offer. Because I’ve been very public about trying to lose weight, I had to save face. So, I ordered the oat bran pancake versus the 36 homemade croissants I wanted to eat. The pancake was a decent size, with a good dollop of Greek yoghurt, dotted with plump fresh berries and drizzled with agave to disguise the healthiness whilst doing good things for the ‘glycaemic index’ (I have no idea what that means). It had a more fibrous consistency, but was still satisfyingly fluffy. I could taste some buttery deliciousness that somehow snuck in there and I thought, maybe best if I don’t finish it….

After I cleared the pancake from the plate, I decided I had eaten a well-portioned amount and should start making my way to the exit, which is located just beyond all the salads on display…

So, I had sampler plate of the salads. The quinoa salad was very simple, yet flavoursome with lots of coriander, lemon, honey and the obligatory pomegranate seeds.  The other salads were also quite nice and a bit Ottolenghiesque – including skin-on roasted butternut squash wedges tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing, sprinkled with toasted nuts and coriander. Another was thick roasted aubergine slices with dollops of garlic yoghurt and a sliver of red pepper on top. The rest of the salads were good as well, but not really my cuppa tea.  I obviously still ate them, because: vegetables. At this point, I was a bit thirsty. I thought I really should order some water to hydrate and aide in weight loss… when my nitro cold brew coffee arrived; it was really incredible. If sex and coffee got together, nitro cold brew would be their baby.  If you’ve never tried one, this is something worth a trip. It’s basically a super smooth coffee that tastes slightly weaker than an Americano but more flavoursome. They pass nitrogen through it, which gives it an incredibly slight fizz. It’s my new favourite thing, even without the condensed milk I was offered (insert clapping). I heard Costa also carries it, so I stopped by on my way home and picked one up just to compare. It wasn’t the same. It was in a bottle instead of from a tap, and tasted quite bitter.  Anyway, I didn’t know it has loads more caffeine than a regular coffee so now I’m sat at home totally cracked out. I typed this whole thing in 12 seconds.

I’m delighted to be able to use my card here. I’m now used to getting a discount everywhere I go… sort of like the Queen (I doubt she pays full price for anything).

If you’re local to Finsbury Park, try out Boulangerie Bon Matin. It seems they have a sister cafe in Crouch End called Sable D’or as well.

PS I also had an apricot danish because: F*** it.  It was delicious.