I can be a bit judgemental about store logos. This never has, and I am going to guess never will, served me well. There have been countless times I’ve walked by a store with a ho-hum logo only to find out later that they are supposed to be brilliant. On the flip side, I am constantly enamoured with beautifully designed store fronts, only to enter and realize they spent all their money on the outside that they forget to invest anything within.
This particularly applies to coffee shops. Stay away from the ones with flashy logos. The smaller the better.
Bristol, in general, is a bit like an odd store front. You can never quite tell if the street you are walking along is breathtaking, or just ho hum. You can never quite tell is that cafe is amazing, or a large chain.
For pretty much all of first year, I thought that the Chandos Deli I regularly passed on my way into uni fell under the umbrella of chain with questionable quality food. Well, I was wrong. It’s a mini-chain of sorts, they have about three or so posts in Bristol, but hey also sell amazing food. The word deli is misleading.
One pleasingly warm and sunny (!!!) Sunday morning, I set off to find my croissant in Clifton Village. I usually have a plan before I set off; however, that day, for some reason, I didn’t . I had a vague idea that I might go to Bar Chocolat, but I wasn’t set on it.
So, as I walked by a just-opened Chandos Deli and smelt something heavenly wafting from the door, I walked in. I got my croissant, paid the delicious price of 85p and went outside to sit at their one lone table on the street.
The croissant looked great and even felt promising. You can tell if a croissant will be good or bad simply from how it reacts to being put into a bag. This croissant yielded a bit, but stayed mostly intact. The outside would be pleasantly crunchy, I could tell.
Upon opening the little paper bag, the smell of butter filled my nose. I picked the croissant up and gently placed it on some napkins, admiring the golden-brown crust. From ripping off the end, I knew it was going to be spectacular.
And it was. It was soft and yielding, yet finely layered. The outside was crusty but not hard. The word bread did not once cross my mind. It wasn’t a doughy mess and it tasted like butter. I would feel perfectly content saying that this is the best croissant in Bristol.
After finishing, I decided to go in and ask the question that has been weighing on my mind each time I try a new croissant, where do they come from? Chandos Deli sources their croissants from Cuisine de France. From what I can tell, they get them partially baked and finish the process (with proofing, I assume) in their own oven on the premises. Thus, the croissant is slightly warm when you get it, heightening the buttery flavor. Well, I gotta say, they are doing something right, because it is delicious.
Do you judge stores based upon their logos? Do you prefer mini-chains or truly one-off stores?