Tucked away on the cobbled streets of Lancaster is a ‘coin perdu’ of little french fancies and delicacies waiting to take your taste buds to provencal heaven for less than you’d think.The recently opened French cafe is quaint, cute and makes you feel a little bit more sophisticated than your average Starbucks/Costa fare whilst boasting some truly fanciful finds in the historic city of Lancaster.
Lancaster is no stranger to artisan coffee shops, in fact, the city is almost European in it’s prominence of cafe culture, so what makes The French Institute that little bit special?Well, for one, it’s charming host, Lorna, who actually happens to be from Scotland, fronting the shop for French genius that is putting the ‘la’ back in to Lancaster is one of the main selling points of this Parisian paradise. On approaching the chic cafe, we were enticed in by Lorna, an effecti
On approaching the chic cafe, we were enticed in by Lorna, an effective business woman in her own right, making sure she took down our orders before we had chance to escape the clutches of the magical words such as ‘crepes’ and ‘croque monsieur’.
We were not disappointed. Lorna served up our French inspired paninis with the right amount of jokes, genuine interest in our lives and professional distance, to ensure her presence was more a comfort, than oppressive in the little cafe. I had the goats cheese and olive tapenade panini and I’m glad to report it was utterly delicious, served stylishly on a wooden board and without the pointless bagged salad some cafes insist on serving limply next to your order.
Whilst the sandwiches were to die for, we couldn’t leave without sampling their selection of macaroons. How very cosmopolitan! The French Institute served up little crisp shells of pure pleasure in flavours ranging from the delicious, such as raspberry, lemon and chocolate, to something a little bit unusual, including their black truffle (5*), carrot and cumin (sweet and spicy) and tomato and basil (Willy Wonka anyone?). Their chocolate/lemon tarts and other french pastries looked too good too. If only I could fit more in! Everything was very reasonably priced, with macaroons only a £1 each. Bargain for a little treat
This recent discovery made me even sadder that I was soon to be leaving the City of Lancaster! So, next time you’re stuck on what to do for lunch, take a trip over the metaphorical English Channel, drop the Greggs and come to the French Institute.