A visit to Paris should definitely include a visit to Ladurée

IMG_1744This totally deserved it’s own post…

I missed it the last time I was in Paris, but this time round, it was number 1 on my agenda:  a visit to Ladurée on the luxurious Champs-Elysees to buy some of their world famous macarons (also commonly referred to as macaroons – whatever you prefer, I don’t get all fussy about it).

I must say, I was really surprised by two things:

  1. They allowed me to take as many pics as my heart desired.  Woohoo!  I had heard from several people that they had a “no photographs” policy.  So not sure what happened to that, but I certainly wasn’t complaining.
  2. They do a whole lot more than just macarons people.  Anything your sugar-craving-heart desires, it’s all there.  PLUS they also have a champagne & wine bar, which I was extra excited about.

Now, let me share the opulence with you:

  • This is inside the store:
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  • This is the champagne & wine bar (which is equally fancy btw):
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Look at those happy faces…

  • And this was my purchase:
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Boom bitches…

Now the final verdict… yes, their macarons are amazing.  And I’m really, really, really glad I finally got to sample them.  But strangely, I would still rate my beloved Cassis macarons as my absolute favourite.  And an added plus point is that they don’t come at the hefty Ladurée price tag (a box of 8 cost me 14.50 euros – that’s about R200 for the 8), #ouch.

But definitely a must see if you’re visiting Paris.  Hefty price tag or not.

xxx

Tempting treats at Ma Mére Maison

Olive oil and roasted almond nougat, honey & vanilla bean mashmallows coated in roasted coconut, soft white chocolate and stem ginger fudge…

These are only some of the amazing  things you will be able to sink your teeth into at French style confectioner, Ma Mére Maison.  Hidden away in the Salt Circle Arcade in Salt River, to me it seemed like this just has to be of Cape Town’s best kept secrets. 

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Their home borders Woodstock and is not too far away from the Old Biscuit Mill. Salt Circle Arcade is on the opposite side of the road and very close to the big traffic circle that takes you into Salt river.  If you enter from Albert Rd, you pass through a little alleyway of shops, then a courtyard and into the next building’s foyer which is filled with a pretty fountain, some greenery & some water features.

Then look to your left and you’ve arrived:

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I was already very very excited at this point…

Ma Mére Maison in French mean’s “my mother’s kitchen” and you certainly feel that welcoming, cosy feel of a family kitchen as you step into their workshop.

Owner, Lexi Bechet & partner, Di Spicer, are both passionate about crafting beautiful handmade treats and Lexi spends a lot of time in that kitchen coming up with wonderful new creations.

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Heaven… I’m in heaven… (good luck with getting that song outta your heads now)

I got so sample some of their hottest sellers.  First up their Parisian macarons:

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How beautiful is that selection? And I can tell you, they taste equally good. And at only R6 per macaron if you buy a box of six (even less if you buy large quantities), it’s an absolute steal.  These totally matched up to my favourite babies from Cassis, and that’s never happened before…

Next was their signature salted macadamia nut brittle:

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Brittle. Is. So. Addictive.

And their salted macadamia nut, sea salt & honey nougat:

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Mmmmm… love at first bite…

That whole salty & sweet thing has become huge hasn’t it?  And for good reason.  It’s absolutely delicious.  I made the mistake of telling the boyfriend about my loot… and my brittle & nougat mysteriously disappeaded…  but luckily he only got to it after I had already managed to basically inhale those macarons. :)

Oh and get this, they also do red velvet cake pops.  I love cake pops and I love red velvet, so to me this just sounded too good to be true.  Sadly they didn’t have any for sampling as they do them on special request.  But they were nice enough to send me this piccie to drool over:

Red Velvet Cake Pops

I’m feeling a little Valentine’s day gift from me to me coming on (OK not so little, I’m thinking about 2 dosen should be enough. hehe).

You can purchase Ma Mére Maison’s exquisite goodies directly from their shop or from a variety of wine farms and delis around the Western Cape.  But most of their time is spent working on orders for weddings and special events.  I mean just imagine how happy your guests will be with a little Ma Mere Maison party box, or even better, a tower of macarons!  But before you go and call them up for an order, please also make sure I’m on the guest list… pretty please. ;)

Find Ma Mére Maison at:

  • Unit G3, Salt Circle Arcade, 19 Kent Road, Salt River (opposite the Old Biscuit Mill)

Or contact them on:

  • info@mamere.co.za  / 082 445 2091

Also show them some love by giving them a “Like”on their Facebook page or following them on Twitter (@_mamere).

Here’s to sweet Ma Mére Maison dreams for everyone… 

xxx

Pamper party bliss

The past few months I’ve been on bridesmaid duty.  When my dear friend, Lucy first asked me to be one of her bridesmaids, I was nervous… like REALLY nervous.  I mean, I know absolutely nothing about weddings!  But luckily, thanks to Luce’s amazing organising skills and bubbly personality, helping out has been such a breeze…

My major responsibility was to put together the bachelorette celebrations.  Lucy being both a fabulous lady and a mean party girl, I decided to do it in 2 parts:

  1. An afternoon pamper party
  2. A night out on the town

For part 1 – the lovely ReyJeane from ReyJeane Salon & Spa in Mouille Point hooked me up by offering us her gorgeous salon for the afternoon.

Pretty chandeliers, velvet seating, great view…

A fresh, modern look and super friendly therapists all ensured that everyone was very happy.

The ladies attending got to choose between a mini mani, a mini pedi or a luxurious hair treatment & blowdry.  Or hey, even all 3 if your heart so desired – which is exactly what we organised for our “bride to be” to ensure she got the full pamper experience.

Just look at the seriously cute pedi stations!

I only had to bring in my own champers, because food wise they also had us totally covered with decadent French snacks from Cédric, a French pastry chef who shares part of the premises with ReyJeane.

Large quiche (R250), macarons in various flavours (R5.50 each) and white & milk chocolate mini eclairs (R6 each).

All the food went down like a treat.  I really couldn’t believe the amazing quality taking the prices into account.  Normally regte egte French goodies like these would set you back way more.

Then this has nothing to do with anything, but there was a lady in the store that had the cutest ugly doggie!  (I loooooove ugly doggies – the uglier they are, the more I want to cuddle them)

He’s like: Come down here so I can give you a kiss baby… if only I wasn’t allergic… sigh…

The pamper party was a great success.  We all left there looking beautiful and ready for the big night ahead.  A huge thanks to ReyJeane and her ladies & gents for letting us take over the place for the afternoon.  And also to Cédric for the amazing food.

I would highly recommend this to any other bridesmaids out there who are stuck with ideas.  Or even if you just want to organise a bit of a girls get-together.  Every girl can do with more pampering right. :)

xxx

PS.  I’ll tell you all about “part 2″ in my next post.

The people at Voila! are pure evil ;)

Seriously, have any of you tried walking past Voila! in Cape Quarter without stopping for a little snack?  I’ll give you the answer…. NO!!!  Why?  Cause it’s humanly impossible to pass by THIS table without totally cracking…

You see what I mean?  I am pleading to the people at Voila! to please add some kind of covering so I can’t actually see the table when I walk by… my ass needs a break please! :)

On a different note, being in a renovating mood of late, I am totally obsessed with the lights they have on the inside.  Check it out:

Gorgeous right?  You can’t see it properly in this pic, but they are actually large glass teacups.  Really cool.  Would love to somehow work something similar into my apartment.

So I dare you guys – go take a walk past there and see what happens.  You’ve been warned…

xxx

Macaron heaven…

So…. I actually came back from my Italian holiday 1kg lighter than when I left Cape Town!  How awesome is that?  The whole time I was stressing about coming back the size of a house with all that eating I was doing…  I think it must have been all the walking and stair climbing that helped me out. :)

To reward myself, I decided to get something a little extra special… some macarons!  And where do you go in Cape Town for only the best?  Cassis of course!  They have two stores in Cape Town – one in the Gardens Shopping Centre (that’s where I go) and then another one in Newlands.

They do cost R5 a pop – so you have to pick carefully and really savour them.

Hello babies!!!

I went for the following flavours:

  • Strawberry (pink)
  • Citron (yellow)
  • Pistachio (green)
  • Passion Frui (purple)
  • Coconut (white)
  • Chocolate (brown)
  • Orange with dark chocolate (orange)

Which one was my favourite?  I can’t pick just one!  That would be like cheating on the others… haha.  I had promised myself that I would eat them slowly, maybe even one a day… but then I was like “who am I kidding!” – I ate them all in one go. :)

Now I have to get my ass back into the gym…

Chat soon. xxx