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Out and About, Reviews

Cafe review: C’est Ici, Barons Court

It’s been little more than one month since I finished college, and yet it feels as if ages had passed. As leisure reads and blog posts replace textbooks and assignments in my evening routine, I find myself wondering how something so close in time can look so remote, indulging to memories every now and then. I miss the people I shared those six months with, but I’m not sorry to have dropped the routine that study had imposed on me: although the simple, uplifting fact that I could leave the office early on Tuesdays was enough to fuel me through evening classes, weekend classes were really hard to cope with. Imagine eight-hour slots that covered four weeks’ worth of lessons, next day assessments, overnight preparation. Top it with quick, on-the-clock lunches, that felt as if we were really working a shift. If you’re thinking “nightmare”, well, you’re pretty close.

As weekends are the only times I can afford sitting down and enjoying a hearty meal, those lunch breaks were particularly challenging. I’d be looking for something suitably tasty, as a well-earned reward for making it through four hours of class. Suitably filling, to avoid further cravings to get in the way of the remaining four. Suitably far from college, for nothing kills a joyous Saturday mood like a measly snack consumed on a classroom desk. A relatively easy task in a city like London; a treasure hunt in the surroundings of the Hammersmith Campus, offering students an unflattering view on Talgarth Road’s traffic congestions – and not even one supermarket in sight.

Uncertain, unprepared (“I will get lost. I haven’t consulted Great Little Place. I should have googled “West Kensington cute cosy tasty cheap cafe” beforehand. I’ll never make it back on time. Oh my, oh goodness, oh me”), I’d end up roaming around a small cafe near Barons Court station. The sign, reading “Cafe Patisserie”, couldn’t be more inviting. The word “quiche”, scribbled on a blackboard inside, got me hungry for more. And my romance with C’est Ici started.

C'est Ici Cafe - Barons Court

C'est Ici Cafe - Barons CourtThe interiors looked cosy and welcoming, with a bunch of bistro tables on the upper floor, and enough space for a large communal table in the basement. Peeking out, I saw a cute little garden: sadly not an option on that first March Saturday, stormed by a heavy snowfall. I made a mental note of it, filed it under “Reasons to Return”. And then, as I set my eyes on the food, realised that list was only bound to grow.

C'est Ici Cafe - Falafel and Roasted Pepper SandwichAmong the usual combinations of paninis and bagels – chicken and bacon, salmon and cream cheese, you name it – there was The One: a roasted red pepper, houmous, spinach and falafel sandwich. Served in warm basil bread (never tasted before, forever craved afterwards), this glorious combination felt as far from a tasteless supermarket meal deal as I could possibly ask.

The cake counter teased me on my way out, tempting me to grab a fruit tart for the road. We’re talking four more hours of class on a Saturday, remember. But then the custard tarts looked too cute, the flapjacks too promising, the brownies too decadent. The remainder of my lunch break would have never been enough to decide upon one treat, and not regret missing out on the others. By the time I was back at my desk, I was already scheming to make sure I’d stop by again, with no scolding tutors standing in the way.

C'est ici Cafe - Barons Court

C'est Ici Cafe - BrowniesOver the months, C’est Ici became much more than a passing affair. It was my go-to lunch spot on all the college weekends to come, and the celebratory mid-morning coffee place after my last Sunday assessment. And then my course ended, together with my reasons to venture to Barons Court again; until, a couple of Saturdays ago, I took an afternoon stroll with my partner as the long-awaited excuse to reignite the flame.

Far from the 12.30 – 1pm rush hour, the cafe was pleasantly uncrowded. It being past two thirty, I wasn’t shocked to see that most sandwiches had sold out: after three years in this country, I’ve finally come to terms with the irreconcilable conflict between my Mediterranean habits and British meal times. Plus, I had no cause to complain, as several specimens of The One were still promisingly laid out on the food counter. The eating area was flooded by sunlight, and felt even more cosy than I remembered. However, nothing beats eating outdoors on a warm end-of-summer day: having our sandwiches out in the balcony, watching the comings and goings of people around us, was a little weekend pleasure worth indulging in.

C'est Ici Cafe - Barons CourtC'est Ici Cafe - Barons CourtI had, of course, the usual: I had missed my falafel and basil bread too much. My partner went for a chicken, bacon and lettuce ciabatta, of which he offered me a little bite; the toasted crusty bread and the tender, juicy chicken tasted like a match made in heaven. Our experience overcame all objections on spending five pounds for an eat-in sandwich: a price we’d normally find unreasonable for a quick bite, but not at C’est Ici, where said quick bite has so consistently proven to be both flavoursome and filling.

C'est Ici Cafe - SandwichesA light meal that doesn’t leave me craving for more is not something I come across very often; and yet, at the end of my lunch at C’est Ici, I felt thoroughly sated. The desserts on display looked more like a treat than a necessity; their line in the “Reasons to Return” list remains yet to be ticked off. A wrong I should right by coming back for breakfast, having myself a frothy cappuccino, and getting some cake. Anyone care to join?

C'est Ici Cafe - Barons CourtC’est Ici
47 Palliser Road
London, W14 9EB
020 7381 4837
Open Monday to Saturday 7:00 – 18:00, Sunday 8:00 – 18:00
C'Est Ici on Urbanspoon
Square Meal



7 thoughts on “Cafe review: C’est Ici, Barons Court

  1. You can’t go wrong with a falafel sandwich. It looks delicious.

    Posted by Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy | September 24, 2013, 3:10 PM
  2. The reviews below must have been written by fake people, or people who just ordered food and seat down without any customer activity.

    The food is ok, but very very pricey.
    The fat woman behind the counter who has been there for a long time is rude, very rude, I think she is Polish or something… the Italian little guy who makes the coffee doesn’t seem to like or enjoy his job is not only rude but also has really bad manners. He was almost breaking the plates when taking the plates out from the washing machine, very moody and aggressive.
    He got upset when I asked him to make my coffee stronger after he already made the coffee, because he didn’t hear the lady from the counter asking him that when I placed my order, he almost told me to fuck off… people who don’t like their job should just fuck off themselves from the job they have…if you don’t like it, maybe you should get another shit job rather then treat people with disrespect…

    The food and coffee is ok, but the price is very very pricey and the customer service is really shit. As long as you say hello it’s ok, if you complain that you found a hair in your food, they treat you badly rather then just having a good attitude about it, like the fat woman who has been there for a long time now… she is so rude… she doesn’t like what she does either, go back to where you came from…
    very poor customer service…

    For my point of view, its a good location, the place is nice, but that is it…people there has got a really really bad attitude and no manners, I have no idea who is the owner or managing this shop, but they must find other people or they are like this people themselves… I was very disappointed!

    Posted by Renata | June 9, 2016, 3:42 PM
    • It sounds like we had very different experiences of C’Est Ici. Even though I haven’t visited in a while, prices seemed to me well within London standards, and I never noticed anything inappropriate, or remotely odd, about the quality of service. I still stand by my positive review – it reflects the experiences I’ve had when I was a regular, in 2013. Your personal comments about staff members sound way out of line though, so I thought I’d expand on the impression they gave me: https://whatevergetsyouthroughtheday.wordpress.com/2016/08/06/brexit-comment/

      Posted by Iris | August 6, 2016, 10:39 AM


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