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Posts Tagged ‘croissant’

Pastries and breads to delight!

Pastries and breads to delight!

A little bit of what you fancy!

A little bit of what you fancy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-alLxD6Zqwg

 

“The usual, ma’am?” 

“Yes please, a latté with one shot and a buttery croissant. Don’t forget the cheddar cheese on the side.” This is my favourite! I think you could wake me up in the middle of the night and I would devour it with the same enthusiasm. The flakey pastry, the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee combined with the cheese. This is manna from heaven!

I have discovered that Canadians are territorial when it comes to where they purchase their coffee. They all seem to make their usual stop on the way to work or to drop off the kids. Some establishments are even ‘drive thru’ which allow them to make a quick get away. But the less hurried one’s walk out with their coffee poised in the ‘Canadian Salute’ position. A smile breaks out once the first sip of caffeine hits their taste buds.

I, on the other hand, do not go in for the usual chain like establishments. Something quaint, intimate and personal is more my style. In this place I have become a regular too. Oh for someone here to know that I have ‘a usual’! There is a whole lot of comfort in that with so many unknowns. I gaze around and notice the magazines and daily newspaper lie ready for my perusal. The hat rack ready to receive my coat and the best……the croissants are fresh and ready to be eaten! While I order my coffee I notice a few of the other regulars. There is an elderly lady who slowly maneuvered herself around to her favourite corner. Her red velvet hat is perched at a cheeky angle. She eats alone but takes in her surroundings and listens to the chatter. She always orders an English breakfast with all the trimmings and elegantly makes her way through the whole lot. She smiles at those closest to her but seldom speaks.There is also  a quick visit by a hurried mother who charges in to grab a pastry for a fractious child and then darts out again. But most of us who visit this establishment have the gift of time to spare.

The warm coffee thaws my cold limbs and I feel the croissant that touches just the ‘right spot.’ This time I have Josh with me so I am perched outside in the street on a collapsible chair. If I am lucky a sunbeam might just touch the tips of my feet. It is less relaxing as I have to restrain Josh from any canine encounters. But he does initiate some conversation from passers by who are amused by his fervor. I  still receive the friendly greeting and get ‘my usual’ served up to me. The atmosphere stretches out onto the pavement. I savour it amongst my coffee spills from an overly zealous dog.

 

 

 

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The splendour………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The joie de vie……..

We rushed down the passage like Lord Cardigan at the ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’…..our mission was not to defeat the Russians but just to get to the park on time for Josh do his morning ablutions. It was early and I quickly slipped on his harness and summoned our lift. Josh had the uncomfortable look on his face and I knew that speed was of the essence. We ran out onto the Rue Jean Levesque and crossed over to the park at the church Marie le Reine. This majestic building towered over the street with its slender columns and intricate marble sculptures. We watch and wait and take in the cacophony of noise. The bleary- eyed commuters scramble out of buses and taxis tear round corners. Dogs are an unusual sight in Montreal and Josh caused many somber faces to crack a wry smile as the words ‘bonjour monami’ tumbled out.

I had a sudden craving for a croissant and a piping hot cappuccino. There were plenty of places in this town where they served this fair but it had to ‘fit the bill’. It had to be an establishment full of character with the French flair. This holiday was about making memories ……French ones! So the search was on….down to the OldTown over the cobbled streets and past the Basillica Notre Dame. The bells chimed out as we ran down the narrow alleyways. There it was, it fitted all the criteria! A charming Parisian café with a patio all decked out with the fragile wrought iron table and chairs. It would serve me well when it needed to be extracted from my memory bank, revisited and savoured. We sheltered under the umbrella as we watched ‘the usuals’ pop in for their preference. A limousine pulled up and well coiffed gentleman jumped out. His trousers were perfectly pressed and his hair slick. He was obviously en route to the airport and was going to indulge in one more cup of ‘his favourite’ before he had to fly off somewhere. Next came a lady all decked out in a sensible but tight fitting grey suit with a swish ‘up style’ hairdo. She carried the telltale pile of legal books and leather portmanteau which gave her profession away. She ‘tickered’ along and just made it up the stairs as a bicycle came swerving around the corner. This was most certainly a young student who was late for lectures!

So the walking, eating and watching continued around the streets of Montreal. There were plenty of opportunities to visit the shops with ‘solde’ emblazoned on the windows. I found some herringbone stockings to add to my collection! We took off our shoes on a hot afternoon and cooled ourselves in a fountain. It started a trend and soon we were joined by many a weary Montrealite. We walked past the magnificent buildings with their Doric columns, curved archways decorated with Fleur de lis and magnificent patterned wrought iron gates. We savoured the splendour of this beautiful city.

On our last morning we chose to walk through a different park. A solid brass statue of a soldier on a horse stood proud and bold. It was elevated on its plinth of rock surrounded by a brilliant display of well manicured red geraniums. The brave soldier was a memorial to the battle of Paardeberg which took place in the Anglo Boer War.  Here I was in the city of Montreal, on the other side of the world and I was reminded yet again…. how small our world really is. We are all connected in some way! You can find the connection if you just look for it!

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