Minions Chez Frederic Cassel Chocolatier

Frederic Cassel Minions

Waahh! How adorable are these little marzipan minions found at the internationally awarded patissier/chocolatier Frederic Cassel. I stumbled upon them this afternoon and was so psyched that I had to share them with you all. These yummy minions are part of the chocolatier’s Easter collection, year after year the selection is impressive, and the choice is between a marzipan or chocolate minion (above) and more traditional chocolate egg with a tiny minion (below).

Frederic Cassel Minions

Waahh! Je suis folle de ces petites créations adorables du fameux pâtissier / chocolatier Fréderic Cassel. Je suis tombée dessus cet après-midi en me promenant dans le centre ville de Fontainebleau et j’étais tellement fan que je ne pu m’empêcher de les partager avec vous. Ces petit minions du film Moi Moche et Méchant font partie de la nouvelle collection de Pâques du chocolatier, chaque année la sélection est impressionnante. On peut choisir entre une version  pate d’amande (en haut) ou en chocolat (ci-dessous) pour les gourmands petits et grands !

Fashion Food from the POP Bakery

pop bakery london

I recently discovered the cutest little bakery run by a mother daughter duo in North London and I’ve just been obsessing over their blog ever since! The POP Bakery in North London is a small bakery which specialises in the fashionable cake pops and alongside their amazing creations, which include everything from cartoon-like animals, Russian dolls, designer handbags as well as mini Karl Lagerfelds and tiny Vogue covers, they also provide a custom service allowing you to select the theme of your yummy treats!

Take a look at some of my favourite images below and if you happen to be in North London… or not…. make sure you head straight to the bakery and try out some of these tasty delights!

pop bakery london

pop bakery london

pop bakery london

pop bakery london

The Rise (and slight dip) of the Macarons

Ladurée is to macarons what Chanel is to the petite robe noire. The absolute crème de la crème in taste and elegance, the boutique stores themselves are breathtakingly beautiful! In fact, I write this feeling very guilty… Searching for Ladurée images, I stumbled upon the gorgeous macarons key ring and although dangerously close to being maxed out on my overdraft, I was hitting confirm payment before even realising what had happened… well what can I say, I like to follow the ‘live for the moment… deal with the consequences later’ attitude. The company also have a stunning range of gifts from scented candles to cahiers and papiers à lettres.

Now world-renowned, this favourite Parisian salon de thé has a fascinating history which few recognise. Dating back to 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée opened his first bakery at 16, rue Royale in Paris during the time in which the Madeleine was rapidly developing into one of the most elegant districts of the capital. It was actually due to the consequences of a fire in 1871 that the bakery was transformed into a pâtisserie and the interior design entrusted to Jules Cheret. The famous painter sought inspiration from the painting techniques of the Sistine Chaple and l’Opéra Garnier adding depth and relief to the stunning ceilings.

The company’s rise to fame was not until 1930 when Louis’ second cousin, Pierre Desfontaines, first had the idea of joining two macarons shells with a delicious ganache filling (previously macarons had been served separately with the addition of jam, liqueurs or spices). Every season Ladurée adds a new flavour to its range of macarons as a tribute to its most famous creation with this season’s mouthwatering selection including Pomme Granny Smith and Forêt Noir although my favourite is still Pétales de Rose which is a beautiful pastel pink shade.

Once the preserve of high-end pâtisseries, the macarons has sadly also found its home in McDonald’s of all places, with an add campaign depicting the ‘snack’ as a mini hamburger! Like a tuxedo-clad man at a football match, these delicate French treats are totally out of place at the all-American diners and rightly caused a stir in France, my neighbour went as far as to write an angry letter of complaint although she still hasn’t sent it!

Despite the negative feeling about these luxury treats becoming mainstream, the ‘little macs’ are chewy and quite heavy and taste nothing like the light and airy macarons of Ladurée or Pierre Hermé (as Pierre says, ‘there’s macarons and then there’s macarons!’) so if you are heading to Paris for some tasty gourmandises, I recommend you bypass McDo and head to Ladurée or Pierre Hermé to enjoy the world’s finest macarons!

L’Hôtel de La Ponche – Lieu de Vie et de Culture

Grandparents evoke a thousand memories. When I think of mine I see cacti on the Côte d’Azur, the smell of lavender in my nose with the sound of the cigalles all around me as the sun goes down over the Mediterranean but one of my fondest memories is of lunching at the Restaurant de La Ponche during the summer holidays.

This quaint seafood restaurant (belonging to the renowned hotel of the same name) encompasses all the charm of the picturesque fishing village that Saint-Tropez once was before it was transformed into a playground for the rich and famous. Elegant and convivial, the terrace restaurant opens to the sea overlooking the beautiful sandy beach where Roger Vadim filmed Et Dieu Créa la Femme (And God Created Woman) starring Brigitte Bardot.

I guarantee you won’t find a better meal than the exquisite seafood from Chef Christian Geay and his staff at your service for more than 20 years. As a conceited sixteen-year-old I once tried to impress a group of family friends by ordering seiche avec riz à la sauce de son encre (cuttlefish with rice in ink sauce). I was deceived by the word fish in cuttlefish which I now know bears absolutely no resemblance to any fish whatsoever… it is in fact a freaky looking giant squid-like creature and I was far from delighted with my plate of tentacles covered in small suction pads. Unfortunately due to my Parisian pride I was totally unable to admit my error and was left with no choice but to finish the entire dish although I must admit that after a few mouthfuls I started to really enjoy this strange delicacy and now order it regularly… Fresh seafood here never disappoints!

Celebrated followers of La Ponche include Simone de BeauvoirBrigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, as well as Romy SchneiderKylie Minogue and Jack Nicholson to name just a few and I highly recommend this hotel/restaurant to anyone visiting Saint-Tropez, especially those who are keen to discover the authentic culture of the town behind the superficial facade!

Take a look at the website for more information and when in Saint-Tropez visit L’Hôtel de La Ponche at 3 Rue des Remparts.

Restaurant La Ponche Saint Tropez 3Restaurant La Ponche Saint TropezRestaurant La Ponche Saint Tropez 2

Bubbledogs: An Original Champagne Bar in London

Bubbledogs champagne bar

Some days it’s great to treat yourself to a little extravagance. A delicious meal which is so beautifully decorated it’s hard to resist snapping a picture before you tuck in, a glass of champagne served with appetizers of the finest ingredients or an overpriced cocktail with the best view in the city, it’s fun to splash out on something a little less ordinary but whilst you sip on your luxury drink and observe the crumbs which make up your meal, don’t you sometimes just wish you could sink your teeth into some real food?

This is why I love Bubbledogs. It has all the ingredients for a perfect night. Choose your bubbly from the selection of the world’s greatest grower champagnes which Bubbledogs promotes,

‘These smaller champagne houses have very little to compete with the grand marques, therefore this is our support for them.’

Once you’ve picked your drink, you can forget about mini appetizers or caviar, at Bubbledogs you’ll find gourmet hot dogs of the finest ingredients with original toppings to cater for all tastes. Choose from the Naked Dog, a plain and simple hot dog or the more exotic Jose Dog with salsa, avocado, sour cream and pickled jalepenos. There’s even a Breakie Dog complete with fried egg, black pudding and tomato relish!

On a recent trip back to London, a catch up night with the family was the perfect opportunity to try out Bubbledogs although I will warn you now, you might want to wrap up warm because the queue is longer than I would usually expect to wait for a meal! About twenty minutes into our waiting time, we were very much torn between sticking it out until the end or just heading off elsewhere (tummies were rumbling and the November weather was really kicking in!) but the window into the room revealed smiling faces and very tempting hotdogs so we waited the extra 20. Yes. It really was worthwhile! Once inside, we were seated promptly and the menus arrived swiftly. I was torn between the Jose Dog with the fresh sounding avocado and sour cream filling but ended up going for the New Yorker and of course we ordered the sides; Sweet Potato Fries and…. Tots…. no idea what to expect with these but they turned out to be like mini hash browns or potato croquettes; absolutely delicious!

The long wait was quickly forgotten as we all sipped on bubbly and tucked in to hearty hotdogs spilling over with yummy ingredients and a quick scan around the room revealed that we were not the only happy customers!

So next time you’re planning a celebratory meal, head over to Bubbledogs and leave with a full tummy rather than an empty wallet!

Bubbledogs is open from Tuesday to Saturdays 11.30 to 4pm and 5.30 – 11pm at 70 Charlotte Street, London W1T 4GQ.

Bubbledogs champagne bar

Top right: Chef James Knappett, Bottom left: Restaurant Manager, Sandia Chang

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