Le Pain Quotidien Takes Over Balans Site

Company has acquired lease and applied for planning permission

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Eating out in Chiswick


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Chiswick's popularity as a coffee-drinking, artisan-bread consuming community has attracted another high-end brand to the High road with the advent of Le Pain Quotidien.

The Brussels-founded bakery-cafe, which has over a dozen branches throughout London, has taken over the lease of the former Balans premises on the High Road, and has applied for planning permission to make some alterations to the building.

The company specialises in artisan bread and organic food products, and has an all-day menu for breakfast, lunch and takeaway bakery products as well as evening meals. It is famous for its stone-ground bread which uses the traditional levain method instead of commercial baker's yeast. The daytime menu includes tartines( open sandwiches), salads, platters, cakes, tarts, breads and specialist grocery items for sale range from jams, to olive oil and pastries.

The company was founded in 1990 in Brussels by chef Alain Coumont, who opened his own bakery after he became frustrated by not being able to source traditional breads. Often referred to as "LPQ' for short, the name translates as The Daily Bread.

The cafes are also distinctive for their communal tables, and often use exposed brickwork and traditional sustainable timber interiors. Other branches in London include Soho, Covent Garden, Southbank, High Street Kensington, and Notting Hill , and the company is expanding with new branches for Victoria and the City. It has over 150 bakery-cafes throughout Europe and the US.

A recent planning application has been lodged to change the signage outside the premises as well as seeking permission to remove the distinctive glass blocks and replace them with a timber framed structure. A Victorian-style retractable awning will also be installed. Workers are already busy inside the premises, but it is not known when the company plans to open or how many jobs will be created.

February 9, 2012