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Aubaine, Hampstead

Last week it was my 30th birthday. Rich and I have a tradition that we always go to Aubaine - the French restaurant mini-chain - for breakfast on our birthdays, and so this time was no different. We strolled over to Hampstead and ordered ourselves a mimosa each, feeling very pleased with ourselves for a little weekday treat.

Rich's menu choice never ever varies from their Full French breakfast, solely due to the amazing Toulouse sausage it comes with. It's really flavoursome, herby and lean and I'd love to know where they source them from so I can buy some to have at home. There's also some really good Alsace bacon, plus all the usual trimmings (cassoulet-like beans are yum) and very well made bread. It's an all round winner, but admittedly giant.

A beast.

I'm usually a big fan of the Eggs Florentine, but this time I fancied a change and went for the Croque Madame. I was pleased I did; as you can see in the title shot, the bread was gloriously crisp and caramelised with just burnt butter and it was full of lovely ham and a rich bechamel. I was sold and more than a little annoyed that Leo was equally struck on it and kept nicking it.

Luckily he's so cute I forgave him.

We chased our breakfasts down with some straight up champagne and paid up (£60ish) before moseying over to good old Gails Bakery where we bought goodies to make this excellent birthday buffet snack...

The sausage rolls (one pork, one lamb mint and pine nut) were perfect - special mention for the pecan brownie too.

A morning well spent, I'm sure you'll agree! (OH, and Isla Fisher was across the room - great spot!)

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