Going for brunch on a lazy Sunday morning isn’t just about waking up and eating late. It’s more about becoming Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha meeting up in a fancy design space preferably on a high-street venue, indulging in creamy lattes and sweet crepes because what the hell, gossips go better when they are sugar coated in deserts.
TV shows have planted this idea of fabulous brunch so most cafes are now turning into design spots rather than just a place to grab a latte and a croissant. The French have irreversibly influenced the way a coffee shop must look like and it’s no wonder that the most attractive are those recreating the French chic style.
Madeleine is such a cafe located in the heart of Birmingham, inside The Cube building. During my stay there I passed by every single day wishing to spend my morning there but I was supposed to work and couldn’t afford to linger more than half an hour. So I delayed and delayed the pleasure until my last day and gave the verdict. The food, the place, the people – it was worth it.
It’s the first place where I took more pictures of the food rather than the space itself but seriously – it was either this or ordering from all cakes.
Right… now that we’ve naturally increased the glucose level let’s go back to the pretty place and increase it some more. There’s a reason the place design is called French chic: it looks like a Parisian cafe down the Seine and it’s chic. It’s like a vintage-looking dress you discover in a high-street store and don’t mind paying 100 EUR to look as though you stormed grandma’s wardrobe.
Madeleine is pour les connasisseurs a beautiful representation of French country style. The delicate white furniture, high counters, pots, fruit baskets on the floor, big vases – all these are prominent features. There’s something very typical about this style: there are no perfect boundaries between indoor and outdoor and especially when it comes to having breakfast, dinner or…brunch.
I loved the rough wooden shelves softened by delicate porcelain and the big silver pot with flowers working perfectly as the centerpiece.
Here’s a typical French country interior and below my own pictures of Madeleine.
What’s missing to have a true country decor are the textiles: natural fabrics with flowered and antique patterns, toile de Jouy and handmade touches. I think the place could’ve had a more authentic feel with different floor tiles or some carved details above the cabinets but overall Madeleine got it right. It wasn’t just it’s delicious gourmet food but also they’ve managed a space that is inviting and different from the urban metropolitan feel of Birmingham’s city center.