Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Full o' Chocolat

Waking in the hills of France this morning to the sounds of children playing, then winding down the country roads onto the express way into Monaco, to have lunch overlooking the marina in a gorgeous restaurant called Mandarine. The coolest yacht had on its uppermost deck a helicopter, a speed boat and two jet skis. Yes, two. For races, I’m sure. I had the most amazing cold confit of fish and tomato, drizzled with a deep green olive oil. And then, for dessert, could not ignore the moulleaux of chocolat caraibe with lemongrass icecream.

As we strolled around Chanel, Gucci and Hermes, I commented that it was surprising we had not happened across a fine chocolaterie in a place of such expensive tastes. Two seconds later a patisserie appeared with a cabinet full of chocolat. Still satiated by my mollauex I chose only 3 from their selection – to eat later.

Hours later at the airport I decided to replenish supplies of Valhrona (French chocolate is unsurprisingly cheaper in France, even in the airport). And after a supper of bread it seemed sensible to taste the earlier purchases. Jasmine, Pear and Mandarin. The pear ganache was unlike any pear flavoured chocolate I have ever tasted, almost as though you were biting into the stewed fruit itself. If you are ever in Monte Carlo, I don’t know if the patisserie had a name, but it is only a two minute walk from Zara, at the rear of the building that houses the cinema. Enjoy!

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