One of Berkeley’s most popular brunch spots has a wait for a table on a Monday morning. La Note had couples, mums, groups, singles and uni students spilling out the door and lining up on the sidewalk.


I set up in a window seat and finished off my postcards to home.


I’d found a book in the shop next door while waiting for my table, on the culinary history of New Orleans. Serendipitous? I think so. My favourite research topic of the moment, it is going to make great reading for the next magazine article I am writing on cajun and creole culinary heritage.


Letters to home and an exciting new book. It could only be made better by the addition of one Lemon-Gingerbread pancake with blueberries, poached pears and maple syrup, and a half baguette smeared in goats cheese with red peppers and basil. And a gorgeous cafe with a definite Parisian vibe.