When my friend told me a new French cafe had opened in town, I had to rush down there as soon as possible to test it out! Boulangerie Victor Hugo (or BVH, if you’re going to be cool about it) is located down town, past the Bargate and just past Zen and La Lupa.
My husband and I love French restaurants and cafés – he lived in France for a year when we were students so we have lots of fond memories of staying there together!
And of course, like any sane person, I love French bread and patisserie, and washing it all down with a good cup of coffee.
BVH, to me, is the perfect little French cafe. Not pretentious or intimidating, authentically French, and full of tempting treats that you’ll want to come back for again and again!
For example, I’ll definitely have to come back for a delicious ice cream – check out the luxurious folds and swirls in the freezer cabinet! They also do crepes and milk shakes as well…
We went absolutely crazy when we saw they sold flan nature! It’s so hard to find this in the UK, because we have the similar custard tart. Even though both are made from basically the same ingredients – a custard with a pastry base – they couldn’t be more different. The English custard tart has a crumbly, shortcrust base filled with a silky smooth, light custard topped with nutmeg, whereas the French flan nature is a thick, creamy, robust custard, topped with a glaze and sitting on top of a flaky, buttery crust. Both are divine!
Sadly, we had to skip these beautiful open sandwiches, but I am definitely going to try one next time!
A decent boulangerie needs to have a great range of bread, and Victor Hugo’s selection looked fantastic. Supermarket French bread just can’t compare!
Can’t you just imagine the crispy crunch of that thick crust underneath your teeth? And the soft fluffy bread underneath? Get me a pat of butter and one of these and for lunch!
Sadly, there were no almond croissants by the time I got there at around 3pm, but these plain ones still look amazing. And it’ll give me an excuse to go back – I’ll travel a long way for a good cappuccino and an almond croissant in the afternoon…
Just because, here’s another look at the patisserie cabinet…
Why order by the piece when you can have an entire cake? I am so going to get one of these babies for my birthday this year!
Even if you only want a little morsel of something sweet, they have you covered – why not have a little choquette?
The inside of BVH is so beautifully French that if it wasn’t for the English menu you might wonder whether you had taken a wrong turn and wound up the other side of the Channel…
After cooing and photographing EVERYTHING, I finally got to sit down with my goodies and enjoy my late lunch!
I ended up splitting some quiche with my husband, and having an almond pain au chocolat – and stealing some of his flan!
The quiche was gorgeous – and the flaky pastry base was so tasty, too. English and French quiches are another example of a basic dish that uses the same ingredients and yet tastes different because of just a few subtle changes.
Yep, I’ll definitely be making many, many return visits! We also purchased a baguette to take home for dinner and it was as good as I hoped it’d be!
Here are a few more snaps of the interior:
And, a bonus bag ‘n’ shoes snap just because I thought I’d wear my Chanel-esque quilted French Sole flats in tribute to the theme of Frenchness in general!
(You can buy similar French Sole shoes here: frenchsole.com/products/view/SM325. The Mulberry Lily in emerald is current season, available here.)
Boulangerie Victor Hugo is located at 50 High Street, SO14 2NS. You can call them at 02380 632744, and find them on Facebook here. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for a price list for bakery orders which can you can pick up later in the shop. They even have a stall at the market, so you have no excuse not to experience Boulangerie Victor Hugo for yourself!
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