Britomart People / Lucy Franquet

If you’re after a genuine French cafe experience at Britomart, Lucy Franquet, manager and barista at L’Assiette, can talk you through the difference between a crepe and a galette, or a Croque Monsieur and a Croque Madame with the savoir faire of someone who grew up living and breathing this knowledge.

Are you from Auckland? I am from France. I was born in Paris, but I grew up in the southwest, near Spain, just below Bordeaux. I’ve been here for two and a half years in Auckland. It’s a nice city, quiet but not quiet, relaxed, a big city, you can find anything here, but it doesn’t feel like too big a city for me.

How do you get to Britomart? I’m living close to Ponsonby. I walk here, it takes me 35-40 minutes every morning. I love it.

What do you enjoy about working here? Britomart is like a small village inside a big city. I always see the same people, and regular customers every morning, and I get to know them more and more every day and it’s like a big family now. A nice mix of different kinds of people. And we’re close to Spark Arena so we get people who are going to shows there. It’s nice to feel the atmosphere before and after the concerts.

Where do you like to eat around here? Amano is my preferred place and Ortolana, for the price and quality of the food it’s very good. And it’s also because I know people who are working there. As I said it’s like a big family here so I know the managers next door and on the other side etc, and we all come to each others places. It’s like a big exchange. And for drinks I like Brew on Quay. The staff are really friendly and lovely, it’s a nice place to go.

What’s the best thing at your favourite place? I tried a dessert at Amano that has rhubarb and chocolate ganache. It’s beautiful. I’m a sweet person.

What do you like to spend money on? Wine! Then food and travel.

What’s your idea of a good time? Sharing a glass of wine with a friend after work. Having a dinner with my friends and family at my Mum’s house with all my brothers and sisters, just talking and chatting for hours and hours.

What’s your favourite hidden gem in Auckland? I like a bar in Ponsonby called Fhloston Paradise, the atmosphere is really good.

What would you say is the house specialty here at L’Assiette? We make the best French toast in Auckland. And then crepes and galettes.

What’s the best thing that ever happened to you, in Britomart? To find this job, because this job gave me the opportunity to stay here in New Zealand.

Are there any babes around here? Of course, it happens sometimes.

Do you know where they are? No. Otherwise I would be there with them!

Interview and photograph by Florence Noble. L’Assiette is at 9 Britomart Place.