COFFEE: Le Poutch, 13 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris

I have to admit, I stumbled upon this place completely by accident, as a friend and I were hoping to have a work date at nearby uber-hyped Holybelly.

That said, it was a happy accident, as I really enjoyed spending a sunny afternoon here working and chain-drinking punchy cafe glaces.

Le Poutch is, for me, the perfect ‘coffee shop office’, with it’s big windows that stream light in, a casual and friendly atmosphere and great coffee. And while it’s not so Instagram-famous as neighbouring Holybelly, it’s not got a 4.5/5 rating on Google for nothing – it’s a lovely little cafe that attracts a steady footfall of Parisian locals, expat types and tourists alike.

For their coffee, they use beans roasted at Parisian roasters Coutume, who are among some of the best in the business on the Parisian scene. Their iced coffees were just the thing for a sunny May afternoon, but if iced black coffee isn’t your bag, there are 15 different coffee options (yes I counted!), and that doesn’t even take into account the fact that they’re perfectly willing to customise orders.

They have multiple gluten-free options, and for vegans and dairy-free people you’ll be happy to hear that they have two different options for alternative/non-dairy milks available here: soya and almond milk. On my visit the food was also veggie/vegan-friendly, but as they mix up their offering regularly, I can’t say for sure that you’d be able to find vegan-friendly food options here should you visit.

The only downside to our visit was that we were heading to Holybelly for one of their infamous brunches, and the food offering at Le Poutch just doesn’t quite cut the mustard when you’ve mentally prepared yourself for something hot, hearty and indulgent. Food options include salad, cold soups; you know, the kind of food that you’d find served by a place that finds quinoa as delicious as a fry up. I can’t count myself amongst that crowd, so we opted for one of the cakes to keep us going through the afternoon.

If you are into healthy food (which I’m fully aware is probably most people!), they you can grab a great deal with ‘petit brekky’, ‘grand brekky’, ‘formule healthy’ or ‘formule pouch’ menu deals which give you meal deals for no more than 13 Euro. Just be aware that these are only available Monday to Friday.

The gluten-free chocolate cake that we both went for was an interesting choice. They are batch-baked which meant that we both ended up with two very different cakes. Rebecca’s, ordered an hour or two before mine, was light and fluffy with just the right amount of gooeyness to make it indulgent but not sloppy. Mine was on the verge of being more like a mousse or fondant. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I preferred the more brownie-like texture of the first. The flavour of both, however, was a rich in chocolate-taste, but not rich in texture, satisfying sweet treat that went wonderfully with a coffee.

The interior is relatively large inside for an indie coffee shop in Paris, with an open and airy feel. There are not too many tables and chairs crammed into the 25-or-so square metres of the coffee shop floor, as you often find in more traditional Parisian cafes. It’s also impeccably clean both in the cafe itself, the food preparation area and in the bathroom. The result is a calm and serene atmosphere which was extremely pleasant to spend a handful of working hours in.

It’s also very pretty inside, with a perfect balance between trendy hipster joint with Edison bulbs and mis-matched industrial chairs, and Parisian vibes of the grey and terracotta floor tiles and filigree wall tiles and wallpaper. You can also sit outside on a small terrace area which catches the sun in the morning and early afternoon.

Complete with a decent WiFi and friendly staff, it’s a place that I’d definitely come back to for an afternoon’s work. You can even order bottles of wine or beer, so you could even finish for after-work drinks when the working day comes to an end.

Le Poutch website: www.lepoutch.fr
Instagram: @le_poutch

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