Authenticity makes an eating experience all the more interesting and memorable. Too many chains selling foreign food blandly reference the origin of the cuisine.
This is less commonplace with the good old independent outlets. Monsieur Dejeuner is a good example of this, where wandering in beneath the Tricolour proudly hanging over the doorway is like stepping foot into a small Parisian cafe.
Quaint in size, the walls are painted in white and brown. Wooden tables contribute to a French farmhouse kind of look while steel chairs add a touch of modernity. Cheerful, short-stemmed white flowers adorn the tables and on the walls are framed pictures of French scenes. Rather than feeling contrived, the look feels authentic and sunlight streaming in through the front window makes this a welcoming visit.
Open between 10am and 5pm, it specialises in French breakfast and lunch courses.
This is an establishment that celebrates its heritage. It hosts occasional special events such as ‘One Night in Paris’, an occasion in June which featured an enticing combination of live music, French wines and platters.
There is even the odd French language lesson hosted at the venue for adults of all levels of expertise with the next one scheduled for a day in September.
On this lunctime trip almost all the tables were full but despite it being busy the waitress, who spoke with a French accent and thanked us in, presumably, her mother tongue, was attentive and showed us to our seats next to the counter.
From the menu we ordered two croque monsieurs, a bottle of lavendar lemonade and a short, strong noisette coffee - tres francais.
There are crêpes and sandwiches on offer too with walk-ins welcome and takeaways also available.
An array of different fillings can be chosen on baguettes, crêpes or salads, and for those with a sweet tooth to satisfy there are a range of sweet crêpes, tartines, viennoiseries and cakes.
Monsieur Dejeuner also advertises itself as a coffee shop and has plenty of options to choose from in both coffees and teas. For a French taste, a macaroon is recommended to go with your caffeine fix.
The food we ordered on this occasion - a spontaneous first-time visit - was very tasty and served within ten minutes in good-sized portions that fully sated our lunchtime appetites.
All in, the bill came to a pleasing £13.90. Authenticity and good service in a relaxing atmosphere at a fair price. What’s not to like? Worthy of a visit.