We won’t tell you how posh Teddington, located next to Richmond, is except to say this: on the bus ride from Richmond station to The French Tarte we heard schoolboys discussing the cost of buying a canoe. This made us laugh. They’d obviously grown up listening to their daddies discussing the cost of buying yachts.
Surrounded by bridal wear and antiques shops on Teddington High Street (and near the lovely Kitchen Synch cookware shop, well worth a visit), this branch of The French Tarte opened in early summer. It’s a chic little Parisian-style café, with a patisserie and boulangerie counter plus a tiny kitchen area to one side. The original in Surbiton is located next to their award-winning restaurant, The French Table; and the Surbiton branch delivers freshly made pastries and savouries here every day. Overseeing the main kitchen is head baker and pastry chef Michel Rissons who has worked at the Ritz and Yauatcha.
Here there are breads displayed in wicker baskets and on wooden shelves, such as baguettes (95p-£1.50), olive bread (£2.50), rye bread, grand siècle and ‘Eric’s sourdough’ made with apples (all £3). Plaited pain au lait (£1.20), a slightly sweet milky bread, has become our favourite new breakfast bun. We loved the almond and chocolate croissant (£1.40) too — particularly as it remained fresh even two days after our visit — but there are also almond-only and plain croissants should you want something less indulgent.
‘Little treats’ include mini pink and white meringues in glass jars, colourful cake pops attractively displayed in a pretty bucket, coconut rochers, chocolate and hazelnut brownies and almond financiers. You can further indulge your sweet tooth with a tempting array of pastries (all £3-£3.50): black forest mousse, passionfruit and raspberry mousse, paris-brest, mille-feuille, chocolate éclair, chocolate praline gateau and lemon meringue tart. ‘Healthier’ options include carrot and walnut cake and banana cake (both £2). The eponymous ‘tartes’ are available in flavours like pear and almond (£2.10) and apple and apricot (£2.20). More flamboyant is the raspberry charlotte (£15) in the window display — a large, beautiful cake studded with swiss roll-like slices of pink and white sponge filled with raspberry jam.
It’s not all about indulgence though. There are salads too, like couscous with broccoli and carrot, or butternut squash and cauliflower with hazelnut pesto, parsley and celery. More lunch options include pork and sausage rolls (£3.55); beef, chickpea, paprika and yoghurt pies (£3.60) that look like over-sized samosas, and several quiches (also £3.60) in flavours such as salmon and leek or blue cheese with mixed vegetables. Or you can opt for ham and cheese croissants (£3.20); toasted brioches with fillings like egg, tomato and bacon (£3.40); sandwiches such as salmon and cream cheese in lemon and dill loaf (£3.50) or the pizza of the day (£3.75).
We think the prices are reasonable for the area (the ones listed above are for takeaway only; they vary for eating in). So if you live or work locally, fork out for a tasty French treat — and keep the change to save up for a canoe.
The French Tarte, 45 High Street, Teddington, Middlesex TW11 8HA. Tel: 020 8977 6063.
Previously in this series
Note: businesses featured in this series are chosen editorially, and not as part of a promotion.