If France and England have a tense history, you wouldn’t know it after eating at Le Bal Café, a new spot where lines of Parisians seem more than happy to scarf down scones, kippers and kedgeree.
Hidden at a tiny impasse near place de Clichy, Le Bal is an exhibition space housed in a former bordello and ballroom (thus le bal). The café has been open since September.
Whether you come for the art and stay for the food or vice versa doesn’t matter: there’s no shame in either. Two alumnae of Rose Bakery are running the kitchen, and the menu is an appealing assemblage of cross-channel specialties.
Consider the Welsh rarebit or kippers (smoked herring) on toast.
I kept it simple with an English breakfast of fried eggs, seriously good bacon, roasted tomatoes and toast, and was not disappointed; this is not the sloppy hash-slinging you find at many brunches, but thoughtful cooking with plenty of fresh touches.