A friend needed a bit of a break from work and I didn't need much prompting to go with her. In my book, any reason is a good reason for a merienda or gouter break. We headed off towards the Marais, as is our wont but this time, our destination wasn't the usual cafe or tea place I'd gotten accustomed to. Instead, we headed towards the Swedish cultural center. The center is housed in a lovely hotel particulier called Hotel de Marle which was built towards the end of the 15h century. The center has been in residence since 1971.
Its a lovely place with a big courtyard where they'd cleverly set up chairs and tables for their cafe. Normally its packed but as the day proved to be fresh with a brisk wind, only two people were brave enough to sit outside. More prudent souls like ourselves headed inside where we were welcomed by the aroma of freshly baked bread and cakes. The atmosphere is casually friendly and convivial with paper lanterns providing much of the light. Folks line up and point to their cake of choice and then grab one of the tables.
Of course, I went for a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of cake. The chocolate was served steaming hot with a more than generous dollop of chantilly cream. Delicious...
But the real stars of the cafe, as far as I'm concerned are their wonderful cakes. They are freshly baked everyday on site and flavors depend on the season. Their best seller is their carrot cake and unfortunately somebody had grabbed the last slice so I had to go with another choice. Luckily, their banana chocolate cake more than made up for missing the carrot cake. It was just yummy. It hit just the right balance between the chocolate and banana and there was a flavorful explosion in the mouth. This, I thought to myself, as I devoured my cake, was what we're talking about when we say merienda time!
|A shot of their cakes, the empty plate was the carrot one|