Where to start in regards to my new little invention of crumbly, buttery, delicate shortbread with white chocolate whipped mascarpone ganache and pickled ginger?
My father was in Paris a few weeks ago, and I am only now putting up pictures of our beautiful tea-time at the Plaza Athenee, where I work as a pastry chef when I "want to work"- not my words...!!
I started my little tour de France as you recommended me to do last year. You would always say, "Abi, Paris is not France! Go and explore la vraie France."
I admit to you now, this wasn't even thought out or organised in any way. And for that very reason I feel like it's a kind of pre-destined journey, one of finally discovering this beautiful country.
On the Eurostar from London to Paris, my friend Anja gave me a phone call to tell me that a little outing was being organised the next day. "Where are we going?" I am curious, worried. And what if I don't like this place? Anja tells me that she doesn't know where we are going, but we are going. Thankfully she was granted the trust of her friendly landlady for use of the car, otherwise I am not sure I would have jumped on board. You know how I am capable of being very stubborn sometimes.
So, we begin our Road Trip from Paris to I-don't-know-where.
What beautiful weather we had that day! After seeing a banner which pointed in the direction of Monet's house, I find out that we're headed to a little village called "Roche Guyon."
Roche- Guyon is a comune in the Val-d'Oise department in the North of France. I call it a village but it is actually a comune which was built around the Chateau de La Roche-Guyon.
I made a new friend that day. He's an Italian chef called Leandro, you would get on well with him. Philippe was also with us, radiant and funny as always, as was Roberto, Anja's multi-italian boyfriend and Anja, of course.
What did we eat? That is obviously the question I was waiting to hear! We bought some crunchy tradition baguettes and we savoured them with some regional patè, bought by a smiley vendor who was happy to call it a day. You would have been proud!
You know, with Italians, we prefer to drink espressos than climb castle stairs. So we enjoyed an Italian afternoon in the French countryside. Cafè, dolce, la bella vità.