There aren’t many moments from my teenage years that I remember fondly – between bad skin, questionable haircuts and battery farm hen level hormones pulsing around the body, it’s a difficult time for most.
But conversing en Français in the classroom is something I recall with great affection, and to this day I still consider myself somewhat the Francophile.
After all, what’s not to love or, indeed, adore? Fromage, pain au chocolat, croissant, steak frites, vin rouge – oh, how the list goes on.
And so, on a recent visit to Edinburgh, I was pleased to find somewhere I could combine two of the great passions in my life – a simple, fuss-free scone, and delicious French food.
A contradiction some might say, but I was very happy to see some friendly Anglo-French relations.
Located within the new French Institute on the Royal Mile, Le Bistrot by Patisserie Maxime serves up authentic, traditional cuisine every day, treating diners’ taste buds to delicious pastries, main dishes and light bites from breakfast right through to dinner.
On the all-day menu, classic mains such as moules marinières, risotto and even haggis sit beside a choice of desserts and cheeses.
And if you’re in the mood for a tipple or two, there is an extensive drinks menu featuring the usual coffees and soft drinks, as well as wine and cocktails.
I visited at lunchtime so a quick snack was all that was required.
I must admit, the array of sweet treats on display really is enough to make your mouth water, and I found myself quite tempted to forgo my usual crumbly bake in favour of a delicate, flaky pastry.
But I am the Scone Spy, not the Patisserie PI, so I refrained and ordered a plump fruit scone alongside a latte – which was thankfully served in a proper cup and not one of those modern, tall glasses.
My scone was a good size, moist and not too crumbly, but the accompanying jam was a little too runny for my taste.
I couldn’t fault the French bakers for their dedication to creating a great British teatime treat.
And although the food is first-rate on my visit, it was the atmosphere in this smart, modern bistro that really made it stand out and shine.
The friendly and attentive servers speak to you in their native language, making it a fabulous place for brushing up on your schoolboy or schoolgirl French.
Plus, the light music is the background, lovely décor and relaxed ambience are enough to make you want to lounge at Le Bistro all day.
I will certainly make a return visit to this gem of an eatery.
After all, it’s nice to visit our neighbours across the Channel without having to decant my shampoo into a little bottle.
WARM WELCOME 8/10
LOCATION, LOCATION 8/10
SCONE SCORE 7/10