After Deyrolle, we returned to food and drink. Chapon is a divine chocolate store that offers, in addition to exquisite squares of chocolate with pink peppers, or pistachios, or smoked sea salt, a mousse bar.
Alma revealed that it was her fortieth birthday (that's why her cell phone kept going off), so she had first dibs. So delicious.
The wall of the shop was covered in chocolate molds. Alison and I bought some chocolate for presents and also a couple for ourselves. The pink pepper chocolate square was indescribably delicious.
We went on to an elegant patisserie. The goods were displayed here with counterweights so that the glass bells could be raised and the pastry removed as needed (although they really had lots in the back so they didn't have to disturb the design).
The birthday girl chose this egg-shaped pastry, while Meg recommended the Breton pastry made with lots of butter and just a little sugar and flour. Alma's choice proved to be - well, I'm running out of adjectives. Suffice it to say that the white chocolate covering hid an interior of chopped dates and citron that was much, much, much better than it sounds.
Meg swore to us that some people ate the Kouign Aman for breakfast.
But wait! Before we ate our pastry, we stopped in at another many-generations-old business, this a wine and liquor store that specializes in Armagnac. Here are rows of Armagnac arranged by vintage. We tried an aged blend and then a single from 1972. Intense. I could admire it without actually liking it.
In a little back room were bottles of Bordeaux. My wine budget tops out at $30 (okay, I'm boasting, it's really $20), but others cooed over the bottles of Petrus, for sale at 1850 euros ($2,563.73).
According to the charming young Polish woman who showed us around, they've had lots of Chinese buyers for Petrus after it was highlighted in some recent film or other.
Here we are in a nearby park at the end of our walk, with Meg presenting the pastry to Alma.
Amy and Alma enjoying the pastry.
A close-up of the pastry.
And the shop made this lovely chocolate Joyeux Anniversaire presentation for the pastry.
This was a highlight of the trip, and I plan to stalk both Amy and Meg on their blogs. I would take another Context tour in a New York Minute (don't know about NY, but they are in London, Madrid, Florence, Rome and other places).
p.s. Here is Amy's take on the tour - great photos!