Breakfast – the morning after:
I am sitting, not as you might expect, in our new Café Prestat but “across the pond” on the rooftop of the Soho House in New York. Its breakfast time: the good looking folk are swimming a 16ft length that perhaps I should do several of. The flapjack brown bodies are thinking eggs, avocados and sunshine. I am thinking about ghouls and witches, red faced Santas and pink-nosed reindeer. Yes it might be May, nearly 75 degrees Fahrenheit but the world’s chocolate buyers are wanting to place their orders for Halloween, Thanksgiving and, I think we are still just about to be allowed to use the word, Christmas. I wonder where Irving Berlin was when he dreamt of a White Christmas. Smugly, I know that answer, he was “Down by the riverside” not Babylon’s but in his case The East River, Manhattan side.
Flapjacks instantly remind me of our Chelsea Café. Heavenly, golden, nutty, fruity and honey scented. Now I am off, less diverted as the pool is empty, back in my old childhood haunts of Chelsea, SW3. At the Café, my brother and I have been keen to find the best of everything. Sally Clarke’s croissants, fine layers of sweet butter pastry, sprinkled with almonds, plump juicy raisons or gorging with chocolate batons. Or a sticky sweet Brioche Kouignette, light, tender and puffy- deceptively Chelsea. Wicked Treats pile high like the Manhattan skyline, on more Wicked Treats; none more so damnably naughty than our Posh Chocolate spreads: Rhapsodic Raspberry, Heavenly Hazelnuts, Divine Clementine or Plumptious Cherry. It’s a good word, “Plumptious”: attractive and healthy, ideal for sharing. Plumptious in NYC, togged up and ready to plunge: a bigger splash, plumptious, heavenly, divine and even a touch rhapsodic. Now there’s a thought.
Who could ask for anything more – well you might:
Prestat’s home-baked gluten-free spongy financiers, hazelnut or chocolate, raspberry or lemon. Mini bites or Dippy dinosaur size – the tastiest bites you’ll find outside the Natural History Museum. Fragrant cakes, courgette and olive oil, orange and rose, ancient, secret family recipes discovered on scrolls from Al –Oud. Chocolate truffles line the counter like miniature croquet balls: award winning sea salt caramel nestle against charismatic red velvet truffles, or the newest of all, the refreshing citrus tang of Yuzu Sake. Prestat’s founders created the first ever truffle recipe in 1896, and as Roald Dahl later wrote ” I do so adore chocolate truffles as Prestat makes them.”
Rose and Violet cremes climb up the shelves, eager to be seen amongst the gardeners of the Chelsea Flower Show. Bejewelled boxes of chocolates wait patiently to meet their RHS fans. Talking of which Its Chelsea Week, so wake up and smell the coffee: Monmouth coffee as you ask.
Café Prestat 186 Pavilion Road….