Maison Bertaux is Soho to its bones, a patisserie with a 140-year history & a wonky charisma behind its blue & white awnings. There are a handful of seats in the main room, with its upright piano & window displays of home-baked croissants, cream cake & ‘figs’ made of dark chocolate & green marzipan. Pick your spot for proper tea served in plain white china – in true French style, ordering & paying are separate, & table service keeps things genteel. The decor could be described as ‘no-frills frilly’ – there’s a vintage teatime look, but you don’t get the feeling anyone has ever sat down & worried about style. Background music might be accordion tunes or a jazz singer barking out La Marseillaise, & the downstairs room plays hosts to eccentric art events.
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