Sunday funday is not my personal motto. For better or for worse, neither is Sunday, laundry day. No, my personal motto is something more akin to ‘Sunday, do we really have to do this again?’. Since that is a touch too long to catch on, I generally just give a general shrug at any mention of the day. It does the trick.
In my dream life Sunday would always begin early, preferrably with a croissant at Ottolenghi in Belgravia. Last week I was fortunate enough to begin Sunday exactly so. I set my alarm clock early after a fitfull night in my orange hotel room, delighted to get up and out into the grey London day. I was at Ottolenghi seven minutes after they opened at 9 am. And good thing, I was nearly too late to get a prized seat at their back table.
I admired the array of pastries without any doubt as to which kind I would choose. One croissant please, to have in. Oh what the heck, I’ll have a cappuccino as well. I sat down, my one tablemate already elbow-deep into the weekend edition of the Financial Times. Moments later we were joined by a French couple, armed with a week’s back-issues of Le Monde. I blinked and then there was a man reading his copy of The Guardian. Add in me reading The New York Times on my phone and the table was full. I glanced down at my watch, 9:17. That was quick.
Then our food began to come out. People had ordered everything from pear upside down cake to fruit bowls and scones. The cappuccino was popular, but I felt a pang of jealousy when I saw the fresh mint infusion come out. My croissant was served on a bright yellow plate, a spot of sunshine on a grey Sunday.
The croissant certainly looked appealing. With a shiny outerlayer, visible layers and delicate crackle, it was all I could do not to dig in before my cappuccino arrived. Yet I waited and the suspense made the first bite taste even better, if that’s possible. The end was crispy, buttery and perfectly browned. There was a bite of caramel and a touch of sweetness, but neither overpowered the butteryness that’s so crucial for a good pastry. The layers were moist and distinctly layers. The outside was crispier than the rest and delicious. While I would have preferred my pastry a touch more golden, complaining about this croissant would be like complaining that Eden is too perfect. It was, hands down, the best croissant I’ve had in England.
I don’t know what my tablemates were reading, but I discovered that Bill deBlasio studied Italian and that made me feel quite legitamate. OF course, any news would have been good news after eating that croissant. I may not be able to enjoy it every Sunday, but even one glimpse into my perfect world feels good enough to me.
What would you do on your perfect Sunday morning?