cnr Featherston and Balance streets, central Wellington
Opens 7am; closes 4pm, weekdays; closed weekend
Granola $12; Peoples Coffee, Libertine teas
French café and patisserie La Cloche has three outlets in Wellington. There’s the main premises at Kaiwharawhara, which is popular in weekends, and two in the CBD: this one in Featherston St and a smaller café on The Terrace (both open only on weekdays). The menu at Featherston St includes French classics such as croque monsieur, French onion soup, salmon tart and quiche Lorraine, along with a selection of amazing looking pastries. Plus there is granola.
The granola is strongly toasted, shiny and crunchy but not at all sweet, suggesting it is toasted more with oil than syrup or honey. It does have a very high volume of dried fruit though, mostly raisins and cranberries besides a small amount of apricot. And there are slivered almonds and coconut flakes with smaller quantities of linseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds plus the odd walnut.
Alongside the muesli was a very creamy and somewhat bland yoghurt, a nicely acid berry compote, and chopped-up black doris plums, one of my favourite fruits.
More tempting than the muesli is the array of exquisitely presented pasties and other sweet delicacies. One reviewer has suggested that they look better than they taste, but we shall see. I hope to report back on this. I can say that the batch-made filter coffee was very good though and would be the perfect complement to one of these sweets.
The cafe environment is pretty much oriented to the business person in for a quick bite. There’s nothing much to love about it, except the now so ubiquitous former school chairs and perhaps the light-toned plywood table tops, though the utilitarian nature of the space has co-opted these for its purpose too.
Good filter coffee and amazing looking pastries. Granola has too much dried fruit in it but the added fresh and preserved fruit are good. The environment doesn’t invite lingering.
Reviewed March 2020.