La Maison Fauchon. The venerable gourmet food shop set up by Auguste Fauchon at Place de la Madeleine in Paris has thrived in the same location for 123 years. They have since expanded to neighboring buildings and the jewel of a shop now offers over 25,000 different items on sale. From jams and preserves, to cookies, caviar, fruits, wines, oils and vinegars, this chi-chi-est of the chi-chi is a mecca for foodies the world over. Fauchon have built up their brand as only the French seem supremely positioned to do so. They manage to make even a simple mangosteen worth its weight in gold. After our first breakfast buffet, we went for a short aimless stroll in superb 60F+ weather and somehow found our way to Place Madeleine, almost like a horses returning to their stables… :)
We reached the square, Place Madeleine, rather early in the day, so most of the shops in the area were still closed. The patisserie and take out foods section of Fauchon was already open, however. The season’s promotion was entitled “Paris on Your Lips,” hence the poster in their fantastic windows.
Each window was bedecked with a riotous color display almost mocking the arrival of spring. Amazing how a food shop expends so much effort on their display windows. But then again, thousands of tourists and customers flock to Fauchon daily, so this is really all about business.
In one display window were several tins of the finest caviars, along with their classic partner, russian vodka.
Indoors, I managed to take snapshots (as inconspicuously as possible) of prepared salads laid out on recently renovated counters. The store may be 123 years old, but the interiors are cutting edge modern. The kind of place that screams “you will have to pay a minor body part’s worth of rubles in exchange for a salmon sandwich”, if you know what I mean. :) You’d think the place was selling jewelry, the interiors were THAT snazzy!
And the cakes laid out in the windows minutes before we arrived… OMG, these were veritable works of art! A feast for the eyes, and almost certainly for one’s tastebuds as well!
It might just be a chocolate cake, but it wasn’t just ANY chocolate cake. Fauchon, after all, has a reputation to uphold.
Even eclairs ran the gamut from the expected, to the frou-frou, to images of Mona Lisa’s eyes somehow embedded in the icing!
And in case you forgot about the brand, the little bright pink boxes and tins at the checkout counters will leave no doubt you are shopping at Fauchon. While prices were indeed intense, I believe it is certainly worth a once in a lifetime visit. Or at least once every five years or so. I would happily give up a dozen Diet Cokes back home in Manila for a superbly executed eclair or slice of cake every few years or so…
The bakery also had a wonderful display of breads on offer, and if you decided to sit and have a snack, they had sandwiches, salads and other goodies on offer. Later in the day, you can go right next door and shop at the main store which has a head-spinning selection of goodies…
26 Place de la Madeleine