Book in Bar : a bit of England in Aix-en-Provence

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       Victim of a “London calling” ? Did you know that you could find a little bit of England hidden in between some isolated streets of the sunny Aix-en-Provence in the South of France ?

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         Book in Bar. This name sounds like the ideal novelistic English setting: books everywhere, scones and teapots. Who wouldn’t imagine a genius writer expressing endless creativity while drinking a cup of coff….tea – of course!

         Book in Bar is the favourite bookstore of many international students visiting Aix. A relaxing tea room where you can explore both British and American literature, study and even eat some cakes if you’re hungry for more adventures!

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Not sure if it’s appropriate to drink coffee at an English tea room. Ooops.

         Take a seat, practise a bit Shakespeare’s language and get ready for an immersive experience !

[Around the World] Once upon a time…Aix’s Calissons : a story of love, hugs, smiles and sweets

 

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        Ever visited Aix-en-Provence? You should not be surprised to see people buying little white diamond shaped sweets made of almonds, candied fruits (particularly melon) and sugar!

         Today, I visited Aix’s famous “calissons” factory called « Les Calissons du Roy René », and had the chance to meet two amazing people (and one of them is the confectioner!) who told the story of these traditional sweets from Provence. I was surprised to learn from them that there are many legends about the origins of calissons. It almost sounds like a nice fairytale…

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         It is said that calissons come from medieval Venice and that they were made to celebrate religious holidays. However, they travelled to Provence where professional bakers decided to alter the original purpose of the « calissons ». Originally, René of Anjou, count of Provence, was desperate because his wife Jeanne de Laval was sad all the time by his side. Consequently, he asked his bakers to create a sweet shaped as a smile for her. When René of Anjou gave some to Jeanne, he said (in the “provencal” language) : “ Di calin soun… ” (Here some hugs…) which bought back her smile. Not only is this story cute, but it also shows that “calissons” are an important part of the culture from Provence.

 

         So don’t forget to get her some “calissons” to make her smile. Jeanne de Laval loved them so much that she had an affair…with the confectioner! However, who wouldn’t be tempted to get more « hugs » ?

 

 

[Around the World] Maison Weibel : Aix’s most typical bakery is a museum of cakes and sweets

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         While Aix-en-Provence, Southern France’s city of arts is famous for its unique museums and inspiring artistic figures – such as Paul Cézanne and Emile Zola, it also remains a classy and “chic” place for foodies around the world. Are you bored of this Starbucks’s Unicorn Frappucino trend? Pay a visit to Maison Weibel and enjoy a nice vintage moment.

 

            Founded by Georges Weibel in 1954, Maison Weibel’s products have always been greatly appreciated and considered fresh and delicious. The family business extended considerably when his son Nicolas Weibel became Maison Weibel’s chef. He is a talented baker and chocolatier who aimed to improve the bakery by offering completely new creations, such as fine cakes and artisanal ice cream.It is true that Maison Weibel is a small establishment hich seems a bit isolated around Aix’s town hall, however, its vibrant purple facade cannot go unnoticed. Some people are enjoying a drink outside while sharing a piece of French traditional cake.

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“L’Aixois” is the purple one. It is made of « calissons » , a traditional diamond shaped sweet from Aix-en-Provence.

         Maison Weibel takes the cake game to the next level. Baking is an art and I would even say : a “provencal” art. From the traditional calissons to lavanda flavours, Maison Weibel explores every facet of Aix as one of its most popular cake “L’Aixois ”. Not only does it have a delicate taste, but i twill also take you on a journey to a sunny and joyful Provence as soon as you enter the bakery.

      If you have the opportunity to visit Aix, you should definitely take a look (and a taste!) at this museum of sweets.

 

A consommer sans modération ! 😉