By Tsz on November 10, 2011
This photo may not look it, but to me, this is as monumental as the man walking on the moon. The reason is, although I am a bona fide Francophile, I’ve never step foot atop French soil until this past month.
It’s one thing to watch Amelie in the comfort of my own room, or even do a presentation on couture fashion for my 7th grade English class (completed with a play-by-play commentary on the Chanel resort collection). But to actually fly 15+ hours to a foreign country where I don’t speak the language? Yikes. Yes, I admit I am weaksauce.
I took the easy route until this year when I had enough of my own wussy-ness.
The result was a 2 week trip to the fashion capitals of the world: Paris, Milan and just for fun, a stint in the Côte d’Azur. It was life-changing and oh so delicious!
On my first day in Paris, I lived out my childhood dreams by *window* shopping on the Champs-Élysées and indulging in pastries from Ladurée. Since my time in Paris was limited, I opted to forgo dining in Ladurée’s tea salon and went instead on a search for a picnic area outside.
That spot was right outside of Air France’s office building, facing what looks like the gates of heaven. Let the feasting begin.
First up was the Religieue Violette. I’ve been dreaming of this since Chef Ludo showed me a photo of it on his phone 2 odd years ago when I asked for his favorite pastry recommendation in Paris. Picture two of the most delicate cream puff pillows filled with a dreamy violet cassis flavored pastry cream—a religious experience indeed.
Next was the iconic Ispahan as it’s mandatory to try the macaron from its birth place. A ring of plump raspberries and almond goodness hid even more goodies inside—rose creme and litchi. Not too sweet, nuanced and full of surprise, this is the epitome of French dessert perfection.
Last was the Saint-Honoré Rose. It was the prettiest of the 3 specimens with swirls of faded pink chantilly creme. Alas, it didn’t take so well to the journey. Nonetheless, it was still divine with its hidden raspberry compote and rose creme.
What a day. I thought seeing Paris in real life would cure me of being a Francophile as rarely do reality match fantasy. In this case, I was completely wrong. Paris je t’aime!
Ladurée Champs Elysées
75, avenue des Champs Elysées