Saturday, 7 February 2009

I Hate Fauchon!

This is a sad state of affairs for once I loved Paris's fabled food store at the Madeleine. I could never afford it but still it was fun to go in and look at 'smoked salmon millefeuille' or a turquoise blue eclair ("vanille et menthe glaciale")  that only a French pastry chef could get away with. 
Then they remodelled. They picked pink - shocking pink. This has been a trend lately - Hediard across the way has been red for years - more recently and quite disastrously, dear old Fortnum and Mason's in London decided to go turquoise. In all three cases this means that rows and rows of identical boxes are placed on shelves. Hundreds of pink (or red or turquoise) tea caddies line up on shelves just across from hundreds of pink (or red or turquoise) chocolate boxes. I can think of nothing less tempting to the consumer.  Big blocks of one colour. That's it. That's all.  So, the pleasure of Fauchon has long gone but yesterday, tired and footsore, I thought that their relatively new teashop upstairs might merit a visit. I steeled myself to pay 5 euros for a cup of tea - it's a scandalous 4 euros elsewhere so I factored in the Fauchon extra and headed upstairs. The place is dull and cold - wispy and grey was the impression I had. And the tea costs 10 EUROS!!!!!!

What is it with Paris and tea? What do they think that we think that they are doing back there in the kitchen? Anybody who has drunk tea in Paris knows that they are turning on the hot water tap and running it over a sad sachet of tea factory floor sweepings. Now, I grant that Fauchon may have actually gone out and bought real tea, may even be serving it in loose leaf form but 10 Euros??? Ten euros is about £6. 50. 

I headed off to Angelina on the Rue de Rivoli - expensive too but still elegant and with a uniquely rich, dark hot chocolate at 6 Euros 50, I felt that I'd made 3.50 euros.

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