So London, as well as being about the food we didn’t eat in Paris, also became about the shopping we didn’t get to do in Paris. We stayed in a hotel off Oxford Street so were well-positioned for retail action, but not before a room service breakfast to get us going. Some fluffy waffles, rich hot chocolate and eggs Benedict with curiously browned Hollandaise sauce later, and we made our way to Selfridges.
A well-stocked supermarket with deli, salad, sushi and sandwich counters could be found with further specialty areas further up the back. Several chocolate and lolly brands had retail corners and kiosks, as well as this:
Another chance to try Pierre Hermé macarons? Mais bien sûr! I got to spend quite some time to consider flavours choices, as payment could not be taken until 12 noon due to industrial trade laws. I narrowed it down to a chocolate and caramel, as well as the “Infiniment vanilla” with vanillas from Tahiti, Mexico and Madagascar.
Our next stop was Harrods and, while I knew that it was big, I hadn’t been quite prepared for it to be so big – it’s like a casino resort without the hotel rooms and casino part. Harrods has its own themed merchandise gift store – you know, where people get the signature thick, plastic carry bags with the cute terrier/teddy bear – but also its own restaurant, café and ice-cream parlour. It’s definitely up the posh end of the scale, with lots of pricey branded merchandise and even a department devoted to (expensive) petwear and accessories. But it’s their beautiful food hall I’ve come here to admire, with their vast selection of teas, deli smallgoods, cakes, pastries, fresh fruit and more – it’s like the David Jones’ Food Hall on steroids.
Stopping in at Harrods also provided an opportunity to revisit a certain pastel green store...
With cooler weather in London and a bit more time on our hands, I finally got a chance to grab a madeleine (lemony), éclair (crisp choux pastry) and Mont Blanc (how I love squiggles of chestnut cream) as well as another round of their macarons. Salted caramel and pistachio were revisited, being our favourites from Paris, while we also gave coffee (loved the intense aroma), orange blossom, red fruits, and rose (not overly floral, thank goodness) a try as well. Needless to say, can’t wait for Ladurée to open in Sydney!
Then it was off to the airport to head back to Munich, but not before grabbing a snack to have on the plane. A quick nip into Pret a Manger provided us with smoked salmon and roast beef sandwiches – two protein types which are mostly missing from Bavarian diets!