Thursday, 24 July 2008

PIERRE HERMÉ

So the wedding was over but life didn't exactly calm down over the last few weeks.

The following week was my 29th birthday and a long awaited lunch at Petersham Nurseries Cafe. After reading and loving Skye Gyngell's book this meal was everything that I wanted it to be and more but has had the unfortunate side effect that I now want to go back to see what it is like in Autumn and Winter and Spring and any other time that I might be able to squeeze in a visit - any rich gourmands fancy treating me?

Anyway birthday weekend over and time for wedding part deux. Last weekend we Eurostarred it over to France for the Burgundy based celebration held for all of the friends and family who couldn't make it to Edinburgh. We arrived in Paris on Friday morning and just managed to squeeze in lunch in the Marais before jumping on the TGV to Montbard. The evening meant a walk and a kir before a uniquely French pizza of potatoes, lardons, onions, and reblochon then time to sleep and anticipate what was to come.

What was to come was food and wine and lots of it. Saturday and Sunday passed in a haze of very good wine, obviously not that hard to find in Burgundy, and more food than should reasonably be eaten by anybody in 48 hours but we survived, just.

Anyway, the point of all that preamble is to say that on Monday morning we arrived in Paris with nothing to do except walk, check out a few places we wanted to see, and eat. Monday's revelation was a new found love of raw beef. I accidentally ordered a tartine that was topped with raw ground beef and it was delicious. Next step, try steak tartare but pass on the raw egg.

Day two and ice-cream and macaroons were my main focus for the day. More specifically ice-cream from Damman's Glacier, which we stumbled upon five years ago and where I fell head over heels in love with their salted caramel ice-cream and salted caramel in general, and macaroons from Pierre Hermé. So first things first on a boiling hot Paris afternoon we headed for the Jardin du Luxembourg and Rue Bonaparte and Pierre Hermé. I wanted to live there forever, that isn't entirely true but I certainly wanted to live next door so I could go and buy a macaroon as a post work snack (maybe two). I somehow managed to leave clutching just six precious macaroons, rose, pistachio, jasmine, passionfruit and chocolate, vanilla, and of course salted caramel. Then Chris suggested trying the ice-cream, 'but what about going to Damman's' I said, 'well we could share one from here and then share one from Damman's later' he said, 'sounds sensible to me' I said. So back I went to buy a small tub of plenitude ice-cream, chocolate with fleur de sel swirled with salted caramel with nibs of caramel. We sat on a bench and we ate and we sighed, really we audibly sighed, and we mmmmed and we licked the bowl clean.




We stashed the macaroons away for later and started the walk towards ice-cream number two, or so we thought. All that way in the heat and it was gone, long gone from the look of the unit which had since seen something else come and go. It seems Damman's Glacier is no more but I will continue the hunt, surely it can't just have disappeared? Needless to say hooray for Pierre Hermé ice-cream and hooray for Chris for accurately assuming that I would happily eat double ice-cream on a hot day in Paris.




(p.s, see how intently I am staring at the ice-cream? That's how I eat sweet things when they are really really good.)

3 comments:

Christian said...

This is a great blog-- thanks for writing it. I'm obsessed with food and I've been trying to write more about London restaurants on my own blog http://backwardscity.blogspot.com/ Let me know what you think.

Gemma said...

Hi Christian,

Thanks for the comment. Had a look at your blog and it looks great, I'll keep checking back.

Gemma x

carine said...

Aaaaaarrgh I just typed out the longest comment ever and blogger threw me out. Anyway, it went something like this:

My god, where do I start? I also munched my way through those sublime falafel from Chez Marianne the last time I was in Paris.

Pizza with potatoes, lardons, onions and reblochon? Mmmmmm. In Alsace we have tarte flambee (or Flammekueche to give it it's 'proper' title) which has a thin thin crispy base topped with creme fraiche, smoked lardons and onions. They bring it out to you in huge rectangles which you share around the table and the waiter continues to bring these out to you until you ask him to stop! Heaven.

And as for salted caramel - I'm with you. I found a jar of salted caramel at Peter's Yard (Middle Meadow Walk) which looked good - I toyed with the urge of buying it to make ice cream but managed to resist the urge. Now I fear I may have to give it a try - my diet thanks you.

And macroons? Always, always when I'm in Paris...

xx