Friday 27 May 2011

Lafayette Gourmet, Paris

London has Harrods, but Paris has Lafayette Gourmet and it is far superior (sorry London)!!!

Lafayette Gourmet is located in Galeries Lafayette, the premier department store in Paris geared to both tourists and locals alike. The shoe department alone was enough to keep a girl occupied for hours but after a quick tour, I headed to the Lafayette Gourmet.

The market stocks the greatest selection of fresh produce from around the world, together with ready-to-eat meals and pantry items. The usual weakspot for a market in Eurpoe is the lack of asian ingredients but Lafayette Gourmet had all the requirements needed.

I started to take photos of each of the sections but was advised by a security guard that photos were not permitted so I can only show you a handful of photos from the patisserie sections.

Take-away cakes

This is about 1/3 of the macaroon section

Single-serve cakes

One of my favourites - the Croquembouche

Touring around all this food was starting to make me hungy so I looked for a place to sit and have a bite to eat. There are many small establishments in the food hall with their menus highlighting the produce for sale in that area. I settled on the Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto (near the charcuterie section) and pulled up a seat at the bar.

The waiter talked me into the beef carpaccio which was served with fresh bread and a small side salad.

The carpaccio (side dishes not pictured)

Whilst sitting at the bar and talking to the other patrons, I allowed the waiter to talk me into ordering one of his special cocktails - a mix of champagne, limoncello, martini and framboise, which was very refreshing

I ended up sitting at the counter for over 90 minutes, enjoying my food and talking with the other patrons. During that time, without charge or request, the waiter brought over to me a plate of jamon, another cocktail and a cheese plate!!! He was threatening to bring over more food when I begged him to stop or I wouldn't have room for dinner.

The cheese plate (with provolone, parmesan and gorgonzola)

The waiter, Mauricio and I

I would hope that the department stores in Australia take note of the wide selection stocked at Lafayette Gourmet and try to replicate the formula (and stock) back home. The closest we seem to have is the David Jones Food Halls but they really do pale in comparison.

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