A contrast between old and new: having the oldest fortifications in North America to having the most haute, chic stores and establishments (boutique hotels to antique markets to art museums).
Cobble stone paths and horse-drawn carriages…are we even in Canada?
Quebec city is a cultural and historical hub. It is a gorgeous place and I was definitely enchanted by this Francophone city, especially by the Old Town. It’s also a good place to improve my amateur-level French language skills.
A French macaron are two airy almond meringue cookies pressed around a creamy filling (ganache). By looking at these colourful treats, my eyes are also filled with desire. The aesthetic beauty of these macarons make me want them even more. They, literally, look like pieces of art to my eyes. Viewing them and eating them are such pleasurable experiences. Both lovely to look at and enjoyable to consume, these macarons become addictive. As I bite into the eggshell-like crust, there is an exhalation, a sweet surrender, as the cookie crumbles, giving way to the chewy, almost half-baked interior—and alas, I feel pure bliss. The main flavor is in the filling: buoyant and intense pistachio ganache complete the gratifying taste of the French macaron. My taste buds feel like they are in heaven! There is such a distinct pleasure of eating such a well-made treat and there is such a sweet, succulent, taste. These tiny, but delicious treats delight my senses and I indulge in more than one. One is never enough, for these French macarons fill my mouth with joy due to its sugary sweetness. Furthermore, I must confess an irrational fondness for the macarons. I am always seeking these sweet treats for they give me such happiness and delight. French macarons: wonderful to touch; beautiful to see; enchanting to eat. They taste of perfection…
Especially if they’re from Ladurée, the inventor of the macarons. They are also a maker of luxurious cakes and pastries. The store itself looks like a museum of baked goods. The store is vibrant in colour with gilted gold. They offer miniature cakes that look too beautiful to eat.
(I went to the Ladurée in Harrods and another in Covent Gardens.)
A significant shift in culture occurred in France and elsewhere at the beginning of the 18th century, known as the Enlightenment, which valued reason over authority. In France, the sphere of influence for art, culture and fashion shifted from Versailles to Paris, where the educated bourgeoisie class gained influence and power in salons and cafés. The new fashions introduced therefore had a greater impact on society, affecting not only royalty and aristocrats, but also middle and even lower classes. Ironically, the single most important figure to establish Rococo fashions was Louis XV’s mistress Madame Pompadour. She adored pastel colors and the light, happy style which came to be known as Rococo, and subsequently light stripe and floral patterns became popular. Towards the end of the period, Marie Antoinette became the leader of French fashion, as did her dressmaker Rose Bertin. Extreme extravagance was her trademark, which ended up majorly fanning the flames of the French…