Patisserie Valerie, Donegall Sq West, Belfast (website)
Patisserie Valerie opened its doors to the Belfast public for the first time just over a month ago. Following the success of cafes in England Scotland and Wales, in its 90th year it has chosen Belfast for its debut in Northern Ireland.
Offering ‘a haven of self-indulgence’ with a range of artisan cakes, pastries and plenty more besides, all of which are made fresh on site. A clever little trick they do is display the vast majority of said treats in the window to test the resistance of the sweet-toothed passers-by like myself. Having put it off for a whole month I thought it was about time I gave it a try.
The café itself is a nice space to sit in with high ceiling, spaced out tables and large windows. Smart looking, friendly staff were constantly on the move serving a swarm of both sit in and takeaway customers.
As it turns out (and to my surprise) their menu is quite extensive with not only the expected cakes etc. but an all-day breakfast & brunch and a lunch/evening menu as well as continental breakfasts and some speciality sandwiches. Breakfasts include Danish pastries, porridge, fruits, eggs done several ways and the ‘Belfast Breakfast’. For later in the day options include burger, pie, quiche, lasagne and fish cakes.
Even though I could hear the burger calling my name from the kitchen, a very sensible panini served with French fries & salad was our choice in the end, filled with mozzarella, avocado, tomato and basil pesto dressing. A bit odd for me to choose a veggie lunch but very nice and I’m a converted avocado fan since my recent breakfast at AMPM.
With the savoury out of the way it was treat time! To be honest I could have tried anything on the menu and in time probably will but for my first time I decided to go for something a bit different, a slab of Selva Gateau. My friend went for the chocolate mousse. Both looked and tasted utterly fantastic.
It looks as though Patisserie Valerie has hit the ground running and its success is set to continue with plans for more shop openings in Belfast and further afield. Go forth and indulge!