Pâtisserie Ann Marie, Balham
1 Ramsden Road
by Bree Oshe
Pâtisserie Ann Marie appears like a mirage upon the vista of Balham High Road: a tiny fragment of Paris, transported through time and space, providing everything you could desire in terms of Franglaise cuisine. Upon entering you feel as if you’ve stepped out of droll, repetitive London and into another more pleasant reality, one where the furniture is old and heavy and delicious tartlets glimmer on the horizon (and the staff really are French, so your imaginary Gallic séjour feels all the more real).
Aujourd’hui I chose the crêpe Parisienne. I must admit I was a little disappointed on its arrival, having hoped for a large buckwheat galette similar to those I demolished daily during my time as an art student in Nantes. Instead I was presented with a modest, perfectly toasted semicircle of pancake, filled generously with fresh salmon and oozings of melted cream cheese. The side salad was a typically bland lettuce and tomato combination but that said it was fresh and crispy, making a good contrast to the richness of the pancake. Although it was not the best breakfast crêpe I have ever had (and I have had many), for a mere £3.85 it was excellent value for money and a delicious and light alternative for those feeling a little fragile on a Sunday morning.
Pâtisserie Ann Marie has won a place in my heart (and in my stomach) not just for the quality and variety of the food but because of the charming possibility it gives you for a little escapism, without actually having to go anywhere.