Only steps from Hôtel de Lutèce, our charming 17th century hotel in the heart of Ile Saint Louis on the Rive Gauche of Paris, was a warmly lit, colorful candy shop selling all manner of sweets – homemade candies stacked from floor to ceiling and painted tables stacked with delectable patisserie, Madeleines, and French macarons. There were 100’s of macarons, made in all colors of the rainbow.
As I meandered alone down the narrow street, camera and zoom lens in tow, I paused at this shop and stood like a 5-year old child peering in through the tall glass windows. I salivated.
Everything about the little shop looked movie-like: the bright lights, the colors, the charm and warmth emanating from its interior. It beckoned me inside. A shop worker, wearing a bright yellow apron stood helping customers find this and that….treats they didn’t even know to ask for.
I was transported to another time, another place. To pause for just a moment and remember the excitement of Christmas morning as a child, a special birthday with a treat made just for me, simple home made things that bring us such joy. I let my mind wander and my senses take in all that this little shop represented.
I became an aristocrat of 1920 getting ready for afternoon tea – a pot of tea sporting a tea cosy, feminine tea cups, a tiny tea table and tray, dainty colored macarons. I would only eat one – one was all I would need if I savored it slowly, gracefully.
Along with crêpes sold at crêperies on street corners of Paris (the way we have hot dog stands in America), the macaron exemplifies all things French for me. A macaron is a sweet meringue-based confection made with egg white, icing sugar, granulated sugar, almond powder or ground almond, and food colouring.
They are as feminine and upper crust to me as the city of love itself.
Oh the joy of pausing just for a moment and being swept away.