Food bloggers are brave and outgoing people. You wouldn't believe the amount of food bloggers that have suggested catching up with me over a bite to eat. These are people I've never met before, asides from on twitter or the comments section of our blogs - but they are quite happy to catch up and chat with a complete stranger...over food of course as it's our common love. I'm a bit of a chicken really when it comes to meet new people one-on-one, which is why this food-blogger bravery impresses an old piggy like moi.
Fellow food blogger Phuoc suggests a lunchtime catch-up now that we're both spending our days in the same suburb. This is going to be lunch and a mini-photography lesson as Phuoc and I both have the same type of camera. I'm sure in the blogging world this makes us kindred Canon G11 spirits. Phuoc has been giving me camera tips via twitter and email, so it's great to finally meet in the flesh to get some "hands-on" advice on my new camera. It's a bit like a blind date really, and what better place to meet someone than over baked treats.
Luxe Bakery occupies what used to be a five bedroom cottage on Missenden Road in Newtown. If you weren't really paying attention you could easily walk right by it. I'm urging you all to pay attention as happiness lies within. Trust me, it really does.
Phuoc has grabbed us a seat at the big communal table that occupies a good portion of the bakery. There are smaller tables dotted around if you're on a "real" first date and don't want anyone to overhear awkward attempts at conversation. This place is busy and buzzing with people popping in and out for lunch, or coffee and cake.
We get right down to the business of ordering. As well as all of the tasty treats on display at the front of the cafe, there is a huge blackboard offering a myriad of other lunch choices. Another blackboard offers tasty morsels for the breakfast crowd.
I decide (eventually) on a Pearl Barley Salad ($14.00). I'm determined to be healthy despite being surrounded by sweet temptation. That said this salad isn't exactly the picture of diet food with pieces of creamy, lush feta and deep-fried sourdough scattered amongst the pearl barley, lettuce, preserved lemon and Spanish onion. The pearl barely has a soft texture, and a slightly nutty taste. The preserved lemon gives a 'zing' that offsets the creaminess of the cheese and inherent guilt of eating deep-fired sourdough.
And see my photo - it's looking better than BPT (before Phuoc's Training). Phuoc suggests taking photos in portrait rather than landscape and tells me not to worry about trying to clear out all of the background mess of plates, cups and people that I think are in the way of a good photo. She tells me it's all part of the story of eating out. As I'm a total anal-retentive neat freak I'm not so sure about this, but I'm willing to give it a try and see "how I feel about it". A few tweaks to various buttons on the camera gives me that depth of field that I drool over in other peoples blogs (you know that effect where everything in the background is nice and blurry).
Phuoc's lunch is gold and I have instant food envy. The House Cured Trout with Hash Brown, Poached Egg and Truffle Oil ($16.00) is absolutely, without a doubt what I'm having the next time I come back here (though I did spy a tasty looking Wagyu Sandwich when I went up to pay for my lunch which will be the time after next time's lunch). The smoke trout is melt-in-the-mouth delicious and I loved the herb dressing with dill (I managed to nab myself a small bite).
There's a lot to love about this busy little bakery. I'll be making another dash down to Newtown asap to try what else is on offer...I might even try something sweet next time too.
Luxe Bakery is at 195 Missenden Road, Newtown.