Even during a particularly busy spell, every customer we saw entering Montparnasse was greeted with a chirpy ‘bonjour’. Just steps from Kensington High Street, this buzzing café is a magnet for expatriates and Francophiles alike, offering a selection of delicious sweet and savoury snacks. We particularly enjoyed our galette, which was generously filled with flaky salmon, fresh mozzarella and spinach. It was a vivid reminder that there is much more to lunch than the humble sandwich. The coffee is strong and really hits the spot, while the tempting selection of pastries and breads ensures that Montparnasse ticks the boulangerie box, too.
The delicious light breakfasts such as croque monsieur, crêpes and spinach omelette are the ideal way to start the day, and you can watch the world go by from the seating at the front. London has no shortage of cafés inspired by the arrondissements of Paris, but Montparnasse is genuinely different. From the native staff through to the classical music that can be heard playing softly under the hubbub, it exudes an air of authenticity seldom found this side of the Channel.