Dearest Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
Today, it is only you and I having our special Valentine tea in front of the fire.
My mind returns again and again to the theme of today's party...
Fruit, beautiful, sun-ripened, sweet, luscious fruit...
The purples and reds of fruit juice,
the pleasure of the sweet,
the pucker of tart,
the intoxicating madness of that first bite of fully-ripened summer fruit.
Some people get this rush from the first sip of their favorite alcoholic tipple or a drag from their first cigarette of the day. (I myself do not understand this, but I have seen the unguarded look of pleasure on the faces of people indulging in these things, so I know it is true.) But for me, the miracle of my first bite of the fresh produce of the season provides that momentary dizzying high. This one living object, devoting its whole life to being the most perfect version of itself that it can be. What lies sleeping in seeds, in dormant plants, in the Earth at this very moment, just waiting to bring us pleasure?
I dare you to sit on the purple couch in The Tearoom, under the enormous wall decoration of fruit I have placed there for our party today, and not feel just a fleeting moment of this singular pleasure....
Welcome, Dear Friend, to a Valentine's Tea, fairly bursting with life!
Can't you just smell the fragrance coming to us from the ornate tea pot?
It is a tea that I am still just dying to try: Charlotte au Chocolat, from Dammann Frères of Paris
with flavors of sugared almond and chocolate,
with sunflower petals for brightness!
Can't you just taste it as we speak of it?
Can you imagine how really decadent
a cup of this would be with a dabble of cream
and (if you wish), a bit of sugar?
I could drink it all day!
Oh, but My Dear, we have some catching up to do!
It has been such a long time since we have
taken a tour around Paris to see what is new
and just with us for Valentine's Day only!
The House of Dalloyau has a luscious-looking pair of religieuses named Valentine et Valentin (sold only as a pair, not to be separated until shared with you and your love!) A description of them: "My Pulpy Raspberry delicately scented with violet reveals a tender and luscious raspberry heart. My Soft Caramel is sure to thrill with its cream flavored with rum ..."
Here is another of Dalloyau's Valentine treats: the Duo de Macarons Coeur, in raspberry and chocolate/duja (chocolate and hazelnut) flavors!
The House of Laduée surprises us with a tangy, creamy combination in their newest macaron flavor: grapefruit and vanilla!
"From The House of Pierre Hermé, exclusively for Valentine's Day, the Envie macaron, which he describes this way: "Macaron biscuit, vanilla-violet cream and blackcurrants. The "Envie" combination featuring blackcurrant, vanilla and violet was created by Pierre Hermé in 1992. The intense floral note of the violet, tempered by the vanilla, softens the tart bitterness of the blackcurrant."
And a macaron not specifically with Valentine's Day in mind, but only available until the 27th of this month, his new "Jardin Enchanté" with the flavors of rose, lime and touched with the tingle of Espelette pepper! It is the first of his new collection for spring, which I will be following closely. For more information, please click here.
And of course, returning like the dearest of old friends, some of the most lovely things:
A pair of Ispahan heart macarons filled with luscious fresh raspberries, with notes of rose and litchi. If you just can't get enough of this most romantic of flavor combinations, please take a glimpse here for the dizzying array of other forms this one of his Fetish flavors comes in.
Our old friend the Coeur Infiniment Vanille,
made even more complex and beautiful with Monsieur Hermé's signature combination of vanillas grown in
Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico, looking just as elegant and beautiful as ever...
Because we just can't have enough today, couldn't we just go for something luscious and chocolate? How could we forget when
The House of Fauchon graced us with their Joconde eclairs?
Have had enough sweets today? Here's a visually arresting, beautiful and nutritious salad recipe from Etsy, especially for Valentine's Day! What a great example of the miracles of nature that are available to us each day that are delicious, fascinating and so good for you.
Thank you, Dear Ones, for celebrating Valentine's Day with me today and indulging in some of the most beautiful and delicious that Paris has to offer.
We now look forward to spring and the birth of yet another new shop on Etsy....
(Thank you, as always to Asunder Ephemera, The Picture Palace and The Graphics Fairy for some of the graphics used in the collages.)