Weekend breakfasts while living on the French Riviera were one my favorite little luxuries. We would often enjoy a weekend breakfast ritual à la Française. Le Chef and I would take our dog, Heidi, for a long walk along The Promenade des Anglais and then sit down on a terrace to enjoy a frothy cappuccino, a basket of viennoiseries and flip through the Nice-Matin and L’Equipe papers while people watching along the seaside.
Starting a weekend off with a leisurely breakfast is such a treat now because we rarely have time for breakfast during the week. Between getting ready for work, dropping off our toddler at daycare and walking the dog, “breakfast” is often an apple eaten at my desk.
While there is no Promenade des Anglais in the Washington DC Area, (quel dommage!) Le Chef and I have found ways to mix our French Riviera tradition into our American lives.
Weekend Breakfast Ritual
Bébé wakes us up early and within a few moments we are already out the door. We walk slowly up the hill from where we live to our neighborhood Le Pain Quotidien . It is a good 20 minutes walk and we talk as we go. We are often the first on the patio. Coloring books have replaced newspapers and we order our cappuccinos as we peruse the menu and Heidi rests under our chair. A basket of croissants or a Dragon fruit smoothie bowl (yes, Le Chef makes superfood choices too!) and we delight in seeing our toddler color and play at the table.
For parents, LPQ has a great toddler menu that Valentina really enjoys. They put multiple small dishes together in healthy combinations for bébé at a small price, which we appreciate.
When the weather is not optimal or Valentina is napping, we try to create the Café terrace experience at home.
All it requires is a little preparation – it is all about the “mise-en-place”. Prepare your breakfast and put everything you need on a tray (cutlery, napkins, everything!) Popping up and down for forgotten items is a surefire way to break the peace you receive in a restaurant. Then go to your favorite spot in the house with soft ambient light. It doesn’t have to be the kitchen or the dining room – it could be the balcony, the living room or even back to bed for a laid back lounge feel to your breakfast.
An example of a French Café Breakfast tray:
- baguette or croissants if you have them; if not hot buttered toast works well too
- 1 jar of your favorite jam ( I love Bonne Maman Peach or Apricot jam)
- A large pat of butter
- a pot of coffee/tea
- a small bowl of cut up fruit
- glass of juice (orange, grapefruit or whatever you choose!)
C’est tout! Keep it simple, you will appreciate it so much more. Place everything out and allow yourself a good half hour of down time. Turn on soft music, put away your phone and enjoy your weekend breakfast ritual à la Française.
Le Chef’s Wife