Wednesday, June 11, 2014

French Eats: Sebastien Bouillet

If you're looking for a Willy Wonka-style experience in Lyon, head over to Chokola. If you're looking for a gorgeous bakery snack, head over to Henri Bouillet. Both are owned by Sebastien Bouillet, a sexy French chocolatier and pastry chef.
I read about Chef Bouillet a little before we'd gotten to Lyon but his shops were even lovelier and magical than I could have imagined.

If you want to hit up both Chocolat and Henri, you're in luck because they're just around the corner from each other. You can do like we did and take the Metro to the Croix-Rousse stop. There's a little square there with benches and trees, a perfect spot to enjoy your treats, if you can't wait.

The first thing you'll notice when you walk into Chokola is the smell. The smell of chocolate will punch you in the nose. Okay, being punched in the nose is not a good thing, so let's say the smell of chocolate will swirl around your head like a deliciously enticing swarm of bees. I'm sorry! I can't come up with a good analogy! Anyway, the chocolate smell is not only due to the tons of chocolate fare on several shelves. It's from a chocolate waterfall and a chocolate fountain. I asked the shop girls (in perfect French of course) whether or not they use that chocolate. It turns out that the waterfall is purely decorative but they use the faucet.
If you're not into chocolate, maybe you're into marshmallows? There are several cute glass jars filled with fluffy marshmallows in several flavors.
You can customize your own specialty box of chocolates too.
Maybe you're into chocolate makeup? How hilarious would it be to sit in some public place, say on a busy bus, and whip out this lipstick. People will watch as you bring the lipstick up to your pout, expecting you to swirl on some color but instead, you'll give the candy a chomp. Talk about a delicious prank!
And if your current shades just aren't cutting it, a chocolate pair might be the solution.
And no music is sweeter than the kind recorded on a chocolate CD. Wait, do people still buy CDs?
Of course, you can just go a conventional route and grab a package of good ol' bonbons. There are also stacks upon stacks of chocolate bars to choose from. The chocolate comes from all around the world and there are bars with higher cocoa content, higher milk content, filled with rice, filled with nuts, nougat, caramel, pretty much anything your chocoholic heart desires, you'll find here.
There's even chocolate sausages. The chocolate's got little bits of nougat mixed in to look like bits of fat in real sausage. How creative.
Baby sister and I aren't big on chocolate so we just left the shop with a little package of marshmallows. E wasn't feeling well so he and my cousin headed back to the hotel early so we got him a little 'get well' chocolate bar.
In between Chokola and Henri, we stopped in at La Cave Valmy to grab a bottle of vino. We were planning a picnic in Annecy so we thought a bottle of France's finest would be a great accompaniment.
It's quaint, well-stocked, and there are adorable pigs hanging from the ceiling.
Okay, so because I don't know enough about wine, we ended up leaving with just a bottle of this sparkling pear wine.
Back to colorful treats! This is Henri Bouillet, a shop full of delicious macarons, pastries, tarts, and cakes.
We would've bought out the store, I think. All of the treats looked so fantastic. Eventually, we settled on a raspberry almond tart and a good ol' classic fruit tart. We asked for them to be wrapped up because we decided to take them back to the hotel to share with E and S.
But, on our way home, we stopped by the Opera to sit down and enjoy our poofy shmallows. We got a vanilla, raspberry, and chocolate; our fluffed up spin on Neopolitan.
The marshmallows were squishy and soft, like a cloud, and the flavorings were subtle but delicious.
Okay, so despite the careful boxing, I guess we were a little rough with our package from Bouillet because when we opened up the box back at the hotel, the tarts were looking a little worse for the wear. No matter because they were delicious anyway! The fruits were perfectly ripe and fresh and delicious, the crusts were buttery and crisp, and the fillings and flavorings were sweet and sticky.
If you're ever in Lyon, sate your sweet tooth with Sebastien Bouillet. You won't regret it!
xoxo.

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