This post has been percolating in my mind for a while but is a bit delayed because in order to write the most accurate post possible, it was imperative that I make several visits and do extensive sampling. It all started a couple of Sundays ago when my husband I took a nice walk through Passy and stumbled on Aux Merveilleux de Fred*. In the back of my mind, I knew where it was but I had never been. On this somewhat bleak Sunday, Aux Merveilleux was one of the few things open on rue de l’Annonciation. It was beckoning us! It was surely a sign! It smelled so good, it looked so good! The shop was so small and cozy! But, being models of restraint, we walked past, feasting with eyes and noses, but not buying anything. Well, I have to say, that was one of the stupidest decisions ever! And don’t worry, I complained loudly about it to myself and my husband all week. Needless to say, it has been my mission to get back there and do some tasting. Wow!! Les merveilleuse are little clouds of airy yumminess built on a foundation of meringue and whip cream. (Try speculoos with white chocolate shavings, just sayin.) Real works of art with an amazing light texture but full of rich flavor. And as eager as I am to talk about les merveilleuse, I am doubly eager to tell you about the unexpected delight, les cramiques: a delicious brioche made in five flavors. Although originally I went for the express purpose of trying les merveilleuse, les cramiques with chocolate will keep me coming back. Les merveilleuse have a “precious” feel and take center stage in the shop and the display cases. In contrast, the brioche feels like comfort food that you can nibble on as you walk out the door. Les cramiques occupy a small portion of the counter, but they loom largely in my mind. When I visited, three flavors were available: sugar, raisin, and chocolate. I opted for the chocolate, « bien sûr », and I was in heaven. Warm from the oven, dense, slightly sweet, and generously flecked with dark chocolate, the brioche barely made it back to my house. Most of us have our own ideas of heaven, and while mine is a bit vague, it most certainly will involve warm bread. So, without a doubt, this has been added to the Sunday walking route!
*Aux Merveilleux de Fredthis
29 rue de l’Annonciation, 16th arrondissement
Open Tuesday-Satruday 9:00AM – 7:30PM
Pure magic. Nothing else to add.
As a child I adored spending time with my grandparents. One of my favorite pastimes was going through my grandmother’s jewelry box and searching for treasures. Plastic or pearl, rhinestone or diamond, it really didn’t matter. The fun was the search. Finding two earrings that matched. Finding a brooch in the shape of a peanut. It was all good. Well, my pleasure for hunting for treasures has never diminished – I love antique stores, thrift stores, and flea markets. I could spend hours digging through old crates looking for something that has just the right shape and color to suit my fancy. Which leads me to my favorite flea market in Paris: Le marché aux Puces de Vanves (in the 14th)*. For me it is the right mix of good antiques and junk that keeps me on my toes. There are enough dusty old crates that I feel if I search long enough I just might find a hidden Van Gogh. The flea market stretches along two streets with vendor after vendor selling their wares. You can find anything: dachshund shaped knife rests, a computer mouse without the cord, a beautiful oil painting, or turn of the century furniture. Whatever your price point and whatever your taste, you are sure to walk away with something.
*Ave Marc Sangnier & Ave Georges Lafenstre, 14th Paris; Metro Porte de Vanves; Open Saturday & Sunday 7am to 1pm
In my mind, champagne is quite simply the perfect drink. Something to celebrate? Have a glass of champagne. Feeling a little low? Have a glass of champagne. Catching up with old friends? Have a glass of champagne. The bubbles make me downright giddy. And if it is rosé, I just can’t resist.
The other night, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary so of course champagne was on order, but where to go? Le Dokhan of course. At the risk of revealing one of my favorite cozy spots for champagne, Le Dokhan hotel, just off Raymond Poincare (http://www.radissonblu.com/dokhanhotel-paristrocadero/restaurants-and-bars) has one of the most adorable, elegant, little bars in Le Sixteenth. My first visit was for a ladies night out and since then I am always looking for a reason to go back. The ambiance is flawless: sophisticated charm and a little island of calm. In my mind it is THE spot for an intimate evening out. They serve other cocktails, but it is the bubbles that keep me coming back. What a delight. Now, to find another reason to go back… anyone up for celebrating anything??