There is nothing one-sided about Vincent Aplincourt’s love affair with Edinburgh.
A master boulanger from the North of France, he is passionate about his adopted hometown – and the Capital’s residents appear equally smitten with his bread and croissants.
It was while on holiday in the 1990s that Vincent and his wife Celine fell in love with Scotland and set their hearts on opening a business in Edinburgh.
La Barantine, their first coffee shop, opened at 202 Bruntsfield Place in 2011, followed by La Barantine Victoria three years later – providing a small production area as well as a second cafe in the Grassmarket.
The instant popularity and rapid growth of the brand has been a real surprise for Vincent, who did not expect it to work so well, so quickly.
Since the end of November, the smell of freshly-baked baguettes wafting through Bruntsfield has been leading a new legion of followers to the door of his third “Barantine” outlet, La Boulange. A new venture with Florence Kestelyn, his pastry chef since 2014, the bakery and shop at 10 Bruntsfield Place allows La Barantine to be fully self-sufficient, producing all the bread and patisserie needed for the two coffee shops.
It has also allowed Vincent to roll up his sleeves and get back to his craft of artisan baking.
“Customers come into the bakery and they say it’s like being on holiday; they thank us for bringing a little bit of France to the area,” says Vincent (40), who is from a long line of boulangers, including his grandfather and great grandfather.
The workings of the bakery are completely open to view, permitting customers to see the process from start to finish. It also has a small sit-in area and bookings are being taken for macaron-making classes, available for groups of up to four.
La Boulange, 10 Bruntsfield Place, 0131 221 9306, www.labarantine.com. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 7am to 3.30pm, closed Sundays.