Seems as though I'm only interested in sandwiches, but it's not true. But I am rather fussy when it comes to my sarnies. No soggy sandwich for me. Ideally, I would have either fresh bread, just toasted, with some ham, tomatoes and cucumbers with chilli mayonnaise, or grilled bacon and chilli mayo (has to be Japanese Kewpie mayo with my favourite chilli sauce). Or Japanese sandwiches, egg mayo or katsu, mmm. However, no toasters allowed in the office and it's just not meant to be.
Luckily for me, these past few years there's been a mushrooming of incredibly good sandwich shops (mainly French) in London where you can get an almost perfect baguette (well, we aren't in France). And so I treat myself to a weekly mixte baguette filled with jambon and emmental, smeared with some wonderfully creamy unsalted buerre, and happily sit at my desk with a book.
And where do I get this picture of loveliness? Where else but my favourite French boulangerie, Paul. My local one is on Regent Street, just north of Oxford Circus with its spanking new scramble zebra crossing.
They also do some gorgeous canelé, proper coffee éclairs, plum tarts and the best black forest gateau in London. Britain seems to have a love affair with this cake made of chocolate, cream, cherries and kirsch (schwarzwälder kirschtorte) originating from southern Germany, but most I've tried in England have been truly vile until I came across Paul's. But if you really want to wow your friends, you can try Heston Blumenthal's recipe, although I drew the line at vacuuming bubbles into the chocolate and decided to just buy one.
And I always come away with a loaf of olive bread, sliced. Toasted, they are light, crunchy, buttery and perfect for breakfast (...or lunch... or dinner).
277 Regent Street
*Sakura is mixed Sri Lankan/Japanese, lives in London and blogs about books at chasing bawa. Her column Slightly Peckish will post every other Tuesday.