While some virtuous souls are pounding the post-Christmas cross-trainer with the kind of zeal previously accorded to lifting the lid on the Cadbury’s Roses, in a chi-chi corner of NW3 I’m being plied with gourmet salt butter caramel sauce and melt-in-the-mouth tarte tatin – hardly the stuff of which New Year resolutions are made, but welcome nonetheless on a blustery January day. In line with Janie Lee Grace’s ethos in, my feeling is that so long as it’s “real” food made with integrity, flair and above, all passion, then a little bit of what you eat, pray, love can surely be no bad thing… well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, like Lycra on a hot day.
The creator of these delicacies is Bruno Breillet, a softly spoken French ex-pat whose upbringing in Lyon and love of home-baking have instilled in him a deep respect for traditional cooking and top quality ingredients. Everything he prepares is scratch-made without scrimping, from the sublime all-butter pastry in his dark chocolate tarts to his innovative savoury cakes, currently a popular choice for corporate buffets and trendy soirées alike. His approach is instinctive and imaginative, matched only by a strong perfectionist streak that won’t allow him to resort to second-best for economy’s sake. Not surprisingly, such delights don’t come cheap but as with the extra calories, one mouthful will convince you they’re more than worth it.