So I get out at Montparnasse and it's freezing cold and pissing down with rain. But all I want to do is go and check out my favourite little patisserie which is on my way home from Montparnasse, the wrong stop.
So I walk, a little faster this time because the sugar is calling for me (only a salad at lunch, 2014 resolutions and all that) and I inhale deeply. The sweet smells usher toward my nostrils like a seductive strip teaser and I advance onward like a creepy man, checking out his prey.
I was told about this patisserie by my sister who was told by my cousin who was told by someone else. It's the place I go to remind myself that sweet things really are what I want to spend my time obsessing about. This happens often when I get frustrated with ridiculous french patisseries that are overly complicated to make, not that delicious and should just stop being so coincé (uptight).
I watched an interview with Nigella Lawson and how she believes herself to be a "home cook" and therefore aims to attract people who just to-put-it-plainly- want to learn to cook at home. I've been thinking about this phenomenon more and more in the last few months as a pastry chef trainee. I'm all day hearing big name patisseries such as Pierre Hermé, Lenotre, Fauchon, as well as overly elaborate patisseries, both at work and at patisserie school. It´s like the Kate Mosses and Naomi Campbells of cake.
I guess home made food is still always the kindest.
A fake grandma statue stands at the entrance of this patisserie, luring you in like a grandma does. I feel like little red riding hood, except my coat is black (and other differences too.)
Everything is freshly made and tastes brilliant. It is classic french patisserie with no nonsence elaborate thrills.
(Apart from the chandeliers I suppose..)
I suppose the other huge factor of why this patisserie is not only brilliant but also very popular is that the prices are low. You know you will always get a great value for your money.
The decor inside is like walking into a French grandmothers kitchen, with copper pans hanging from the windows and straw bags dismissed to the side.
I buy two slices of cake, one raspberry tart and the other a raspberry cheesecake. I haven't had a good cheesecake in Paris yet so I think it is worth a try.
Often when I get off at the wrong stop accidentally-on-purpose I need to go to the supermarket for groceries, so I pop my head in to the little patisserie just to see how it's going and stuff. But today I decided that I wasn't going to go to the supermarket. Of course, there is always something that I will need to have in the fridge or cupboard such as goats cheese, gruyere, white wine or dark chocolate with roasted almonds- just-in-case, but today I decided that I should start saving those 30 euros a day instead.
Instead I walked down my road. It was still raining, those irritating droplets of rain that mean you don't put your hood on but your nose is always damp.
On my way home I found a beautiful design shop.
The entrance to the shop was incredibly inviting and I couldn't help but walk in. I had never seen this shop before so I was incredibly curious.
"Is this shop recently opened?" I asked the sales assistant, in my perfect french accent and British modesty.
"No..we've been open since 2009," the sales assistant smirked. "Perhaps its you who's been away..".
I smiled nostalgically.
Perhaps, I thought, I'm finally discovering my home town, a place I thought I knew but am just a foreigner in.
patisserie boulangerie Jean Paul Charbonnier 123 rue des Vaugirard 75015 Paris
home design shop: Serendipity 81 rue du Cherche Midi, 75006 Paris
All photos taken by Abigail Scheuer and if used must be referred back to blog site.