The Sweet Life: Lille
Lille too, like all French cities, is populated by incredible Patisseries, and two especially famous ones have been touted to me by my family who are literally obsessed with their products.
A certain establishment that makes just 1 famous cake in three outstanding flavours, has been expressly hyped by my cousin who is intent on me recreating this specific cake and opening up a similar business based entirely on these cakes in Australia.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred began fifteen years ago in Lille and has since spread its wings to Paris as always with huge devotion from their loyal public. Their concept is simple crispy light meringue covered in tonnes of light cream and sprinkled with shavings of chocolate, flavoured with coffee, or spiced with crushed speculoos.
And so I was introduced to their three flavours over multiple occasions, firstly the original Le Merveilleux, the marvellous, a chocolate marvel, secondly L’Incroyable, the incredible, crunchy with spiced cinnamon and brown sugar speculoos and finally L’Impensable, the unthinkable, a coffee creation. I didn’t quite grasp the pinnacle and the magnetism that these three cakes hold over people, but they were incredibly tasty and texturally interesting.
Meert began creating pastries for the Flemish nobility in Lille in 1761, and since then has become one of the oldest and most celebrated French-Belgian pastry shops so much so that it was even named the official supplier to the kings of Belgium.
Meert’s fame has come at a cost, very high prices, but for many its unique version of the gaufre, a delicate waffle filled with a creamy vanilla centre has the ability to entice even the greatest sceptics. Have no doubt though, that it’s other pastries including a pistachio palmier and a sublime pain aux raisin are hard to beat. Their confiserie, patisserie and salon de thé protected behind an old style glass masterpiece are a haven filled with delicate sweets and there is always a line to follow into this must see establishment.
Finally making its way to Paris, there is now an even greater chance that you too can try their delicacies.
Aux Merveilleux de Fred – Lille
67, rue de la Monnaie, Lille
+33 3 20 51 99 59
Meert – Lille
27 rue Esquermoise, Lille
SALON DE THÉ, PÂTISSERIE–CONFISERIE
+33 3 20 57 07 44
Aux Merveilleux de Fred – Paris
29 rue de l’Annonciation, 75016
+33 1 45 20 13 82
129 bis, rue Saint-Charles, 75015
+33 1 45 79 72 47
Meert – Paris
16 rue Elzévir, 75003, Paris
+33 1 49 96 56 94