You didn’t think I would just stop at Edinburgh did you?! Although Edinburgh is fantastic for its cakes and coffees there is a whole world out there to explore. So when visiting any place in the world it is always my aim to experience what they have to offer in all aspects of food. Of course the sweet treats are always on top of my list (I am on holiday after all). I love visiting a new place and stumbling across a new patisserie or chocolatier that completely surprises me, especially when it is so good that the taste experienced instils a memory of that place that lasts forever. Its these memories that I have that I can pass on to you so that you can try them out if you are ever in the same place. These are my following #high5 of the places that I have been and recommend;
Located in the centre of Vienna, Austria is the beautiful Demel Pastry Shop and Chocolatier. Established in 1786 its interior style exudes historic charm with a beautiful Neo-baroque style. When you arrive you are greeted by white-aproned waitresses who are known as the Demelinerinnen. The bakery can be seen through glass partitions at the back of the coffee house, where you can witness first-hand the skill and concentration of the bakers as they produce their tantalising array of delicious treats such as cakes, scones and of course their famous chocolate.
It was here I tried an amazing cake containing different textured layers of chocolate all of which melted in the mouth. A must try is their well-known gekühlte Schokolade basically like a hot chocolate but cold. This thick delicious drink is like nothing you have had before, I wondered how they manage to keep the chocolate liquid while at cold temperature. This smooth and velvety drink will tantalise any chocaholics taste buds, I would even go as much to say that I would even return to Vienna just to taste this again.
Attached to the coffee shop is a beautiful area where they sell their confectionary and chocolate boxed in beautiful old fashioned packaging, perfect for bringing home as gifts or simply treating yourself.
Created by my good friend Laura Petit is her fantastic cookie establishment ‘Scoop Me a Cookie’. Laura identified that most countries had their own versions of this American treat however Paris seemed to be exempt from this. With this in mind it was Laura’s idea to bring this treat to the streets of Paris. After months and months of testing she finally had the chance to sell some of her cookies within her friends frozen yoghurt establishment ‘It Mylk’. She then went on to sell some in the famous department store ‘Galleries la Fayette’. Paris is usually all about fussy patisseries but due to Laura’s constant strive for perfection and her consistent quest to find the best organic ingredients Laura has managed to create an American cookie but with a certain je ne sais quoi that the Parisians have welcomed with open arms (or mouths). After three years she finally opened her own establishment in the Menilmontant area. Its contemporary and fresh design is perfect to display her assortment of sumptuous gourmet cookies. They have become so popular that Laura has now opened a second establishment in Batignolles area.
With a large display of flavours such as Banana & Dark Chocolate, Peanut butter, pretzel and milk chocolate and Chocolate & caramelised almonds and sea salt you have more than enough to choose from. My personal favourite has to be the ‘Matcha Light’ green tea with milk chocolate and of course the ‘Wee Treat’ oozing with chocolate and pieces of candied orange. There are countless more that I have yet to try as Laura is constantly thinking up new creations. A definite must for anyone visiting Paris is to try these tasty good quality treats and you are sure to say “au revoir” to any other cookie!
Quebec City, Canada.
Located across from the oldest church in North America, the church of Our Lady of Victories is the small coffee shop of La Maison Smith. Tucked away at the side of small square this beautiful place was a savour in the ice cold temperatures of the outside. As I sat at the window looking out on to the square it was like a scene from a Christmas card. This small establishment doesn’t disappoint having an array of macarons, pastries, cakes and coffees. You can watch them outside as they drop maple syrup into the snow to harden, scoop them up on sticks and eat the toffee textured delight as it slowly melts again. I opted for a lovely chocolate cake (you can see a common theme here) and a maple syrup latte beautiful served in mason jar style mugs which I also purchased.
Opened in 1939 this beautiful coffee shop is located on the corner of Piazza San Giovanni in the historic centre of Florence. Its location makes it perfect for sitting in its outdoor seating area and looking out towards the square where the famous Duomo towers above it. This establishment sells traditional pasta, biscotti, cakes and chocolates including their famous gingerbread. I of course settled for one of the more touristic choices of tiramisu and there lovely strong coffee served in their beautiful china. The freshly made tiramisu was fresh with light and fluffy layers and a gorgeous hit of coffee. It’s not the cheapest place to sit and have coffee but for the buzz, the view of the cathedral and watching the world go by this is the best place to enjoy that perfect Italian coffee and an selection of treats.
Located in the world heritage site of Toledo 70 km south of Madrid is this little heavenly bakery shop that is sure to perk you up after a long walk around this amazing walled city. Founded in 1856, Pasteleria Santo Tome named because of its location in the centre close to the Santo Tome Church sells some of the best mazapán (Marzipan) in the area. Freshly baked every day the array of mazapán in all shapes and sizes is laid out before you. Here you can assemble your own selection to take away in a lovely gift box or purchase a few for yourself for a quick hit of sugary delight. It is rather expensive compared to other mazapán in Spain but here you know it is freshly made and the quality is fantastic. I tried mines with pine nuts and almonds which with the softness of the mazapán and the crunchiness of the nuts was delicious. There are also an abundance of others to choose from some filled with chocolate or fruit jam. Because this place is so well known, be prepared to wait. But I can tell you now that it is well worth the wait!
I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~Jason Love