pastry

From the market’s parish church to the tastiest street in Paris

From the market’s parish church to the tastiest street in Paris

In Paris this winter, we visited Saint-Eustache as consolation for the closure of Notre-Dame cathedral. With its soaring spaces and grandest pipe organ in Paris, Saint-Eustache (saint-eustache.org/) provided a real spiritual uplift. Although the church's present structure dates mainly from the 16th century, part of the plan was loosely modeled on the 12th-13th century French Gothic cathedral—a hint of glory by association. Saint-Eustache was originally the parish church of the market district, known as Les Halles since medieval times. When Paris moved the central fresh market to the suburbs in 1971, many people viewed the destruction of the old market buildings as a crime against the spirit of the city. One of the side altars in Saint-Eustache memorialized the loss in a mass of statuary...Read More
Warming up with hot drinks in wintry Paris

Warming up with hot drinks in wintry Paris

We were happy to go to the Paris sales in January and early February because the climate there is notably milder than our home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. But winter is still winter, and cold rain and mist can be even more chilling than drifting snow. While tramping all over the city (the transit strike had slowed the Metro), it was nice to duck in for something warm. True, there was an enterprising vendor near the north side of Notre-Dame who sold cups of vin chaud to go. But drinking mulled wine from a plastic cup on a crowded sidewalk turned out not to be quite as warming as we hoped. So we explored a few salons de thé, the undisputed queen of hot chocolate shops,...Read More
Butter tart: the apogee of Canadian pastry

Butter tart: the apogee of Canadian pastry

We're just back from a few days of boating on the Rideau Canal in Ontario aboard one of the new cruisers offered by Le Boat (www.leboat.com). Stops on the waterway are at villages where the men and women of Parks Canada operate the mostly hand-cranked 19th century locks so boats can pass. We spent a couple of days docked next to the locks at Merrickville, a town that couldn't have been cuter if Disney had invented it (and wouldn't be so historic if Disney had). Several people had told us that we really shouldn't miss the butter tarts at Nana B's (318 Main Street West, Merrickville, ON; 613-454-1380; www.nanabbakery.ca). When we walked up to the bakery from the village center on a Sunday afternoon, Nana...Read More