So, a pesky volcano in Iceland means that you can’t make it to Europe anytime soon.

The solution? Get your dose of la dolce vita at The European.

The European is a restaurant that embodies my most romantic dreams of the Continent. The glass doors, dark wood interior and black and white chequered floor transport me to the elegance of Paris or Rome and it covers all the bases of the dining out day. From 7am it starts an extensive breakfast menu, moves onto business lunches especially popular with nearby Parliamentary suits, then turns into a romantic dining spot (in fact, I remember spending a Valentines Day dinner there) and a cosy supper club, finally closing its doors at 3am.

Running out of muesli at home was just a weak excuse to sample The European’s famous breakfasts. I was shown a table, given a sheaf of the day’s newspapers and the menu. Croque Monsieur or salmon with pancakes? Salmon pancakes or Croque Monsieur? I couldn’t decide until I spotted the specials board and the poached pear crumble with muesli, yoghurt and apricot, fig and prune compote ($14.50). Easy winner.

And the dish lived up to expectations. Healthy and fruity, light yet indulgent with warm spices and melting fruit. Gorgeous.

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