Via Basilea 28, Lugano, Switzerland
On a driving holiday in Europe, we found ourselves checked into the Continental Parkhotel in Lugano, a lovely lakeside city in southern Switzerland. The hotel overlooks the old town, across a railway line, and consists of a grand old building, plus a newer annex where the cheaper rooms are.
Normally the breakfast buffets at hotels in this part of the world have a selection of hot food, bread, cold meats, cheeses, and fruit. Sometimes they have cakes or tarts. But as I surveyed the offerings on this fine morning, I spied, lurking between a row of doughnuts and muffins, a procession of vanilla slices! Having the luxury of taking whatever I wanted for breakfast, I first filled up on healthy things like muesli and fruit, before returning to the buffet to grab a vanilla slice.
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St Ives Shopping Village, Shop 67, 166 Mona Vale Road, St Ives, New South Wales
I made my way to the northern Sydney suburb of St Ives in search of La Petite Lorraine, a bakery which appears frequently when Googling “best vanilla slice in Sydney”. Its name jumped out of the web page so many times that I had to make the pilgrimage. Alas, when I arrived, La Petitie Lorraine was nowhere to be found, even with the help of Google Maps telling me that I was standing less than 5 metres from its location.
Assuming there was some location error, or that the place had closed, I sought refuge from the burning sunshine inside the St Ives Shopping Village – which is really just a mid-sized indoor shopping centre. There were a couple of bakeries in there, and I located one which had both sausage rolls and vanilla slices: the Bakehouse Cafe. Despite the “Cafe” in its name, it was really just a bakery counter front, with no tables or service other than two women behind the cash register selling the baked goods.
I procured the roll and slice, and then with no nearby seating available, walked the length of the shopping centre to the food court area to find a table. (Mrs Snot Block & Roll acquired a date scone, which was large and chunky, and declared it to be quite good.) Sitting down, I began examining the sausage roll, which had been packaged in a brown paper bag emblazoned with the logo of the Bakehouse Cafe.
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