Eating and drinking

A taste of Alsace in Warren Street

Finally, a German bakery in the West End. It has always been a mystery why certain simple pleasures, such as a salami sandwich with gherkins, are so damned hard to find in this city. Does anyone remember just how difficult it used to be to get a simple loaf of crusty bread? I used to walk up and down New Cross Gate like a desperate hooker looking for a trick before closing time only to find the sort of mushy toast I wouldn’t even stuff my mattress with. Now, thankfully, baguettes are everywhere. Let us never take for granted the civilising effect of European cuisine on this once barren land.

So far, Kamps bakery only have three branches – I visited the one at 154/155 Tottenham Court Road. But you have to start somewhere, just look at Aldi and Lidl now. The kicker is the Alsatian tarte flambée, or Flammkuchen. This is a delicious ultra-thin, crusty pie covered with sour cream and garnished with stripes of bacon and chives. Baked to order, it’s a true delight, and at £3.50, good value too.

Amid the rain-sodden gloom of TCR, the Flammkuchen is a ray of light. Guten Appetit!