Guide to les Merveilleux de Fred in Paris & Giveaway Winners

Isn’t it wonderful to have one of these glad-to-be-alive days? The other day it was marvellous. With the back finally better after so many frustrating months of agony and the sun out to play, this was a morning escapade in Paris to catch up with my talented friend for a coffee-croissant-chatter before whizzing around the corner in the 16th Arrondissement to the dentist – inevitably showing a toothy display of what I had for breakfast.

My clever friend, Marinella, is Italian. She’s not only a wonderful (yet modest) cook, but she knows Paris like her pocket, as the French say. After 20 years as an adopted Parisian, she’s now sharing her insider’s guide to the City of Light by writing a Paris guide book, soon to be published in Italian. Meanwhile – stop press! – her blog, finestra su parigi (Window on Paris), is just launched. This is ideal for Italian visitors wanting more information on noteworthy Parisian addresses and useful for residents wanting news updates. Gradually, Marinella will also be translating each article into English for us non-Italian speakers.

“Are you taking some Merveilleux home while you’re here?”, Marinella asked. What? Merveilleux? Is it a marvellous cake or a meringue? (Friends are not obliged to laugh at my often ghastly clichéd jokes but for those unaccustomed to silly Scottish speak – ‘a meringue’ sounds like ‘am I wrong?’)

You mean to say I’ve been coming to my Parisian dentist in the 16th all this time and not checked this out yet?  (See the first of my blog posts, It’s a Small, Small World in Paris” for the same area.) Sure enough, on the same street – rue de l’Annonciation – in the 16th Arrondissement where I used to work – the posh baby clothing shop on the corner had disappeared since my last visit. Sad, since that’s where I bought my darling niece’s first posh outfit. In its place was an intriguing shopfront.

It wasn’t disappointing after all. One of the happy looking pastry chefs was preparing these particular Merveilleux pâtisseries directly in front of us, as we were just about licking the window.

That gooey chocolate wasn’t all; it was whipped into the lightest chantilly cream. These meringue hearts were then coated in it and rolled in dark chocolate flakes – the final touch being a dusting of powdered sugar then a dollop of chantilly on top.  Truly marvellous, n’est-ce pas?

This exquisite display is found at Aux Merveilleux de Fred. There are 2 other boutiques in Paris, 3 in Lille, one in St Omer and one in Belgium. To cater to everyone’s taste, they come in big, medium and baby bear sizes.

What would you go for as a first timer? Medium sounded good for a start.

What’s more, check out their cute logo on these beautiful boxes.

The medium ones deserve a bigger box with a huge logo. Foxy. For the moment, I have my eye on the boxes. They’re handy and chic for storing the homemade macarons later, bien sûr.

A couple of Incroyables (cinnamon speculoos added to the chantilly), a Merveilleux and an Impensable. All fit snuggly into one pastry box.

Next time I’m going back for the Belgian brioche and the BIG ones… What do you think? Marvellous, incredible or unthinkable? The Unthinkable/Impensable was our favourite – rolled in a crispy meringuey coffee but without the little blob of chantilly. We could deal with that, though.

Thanks to Marinella, my trips to the 16th arrondissement have never been the same again: a box en route home is compulsory. She knows – as well as my dentist – that I have a sweet tooth.

I’m looking forward to meeting up again soon with Marinella, my personal guide to Paris. Don’t forget to check out Marinella’s blog, finestra su parigi, for your own window onto an insider’s Paris. It’s packed with many more marvellous and incredible addresses like this one.

Christmas Giveaway Winners!

Waverley Books have announced the following winners, chosen randomly from the Christmas Giveaway. Bravo to Amalia Pagura, Carsley Paige Fuller, Ivy Liacopoulou, Jessica Hose, and Rachel Jacobs, who will all receive a copy of Mad About Macarons from Waverley Books. For those who wish to order a copy, you can find it on, and from The Book Depository, who ship for free internationally.

45 replies
  1. Ann
    Ann says:

    Wow – these certainly look delicious and I can see why you have to make them part of your routine! Congratulations to the winners of your book….I had my fingers crossed, but I’ll be hitting the book store soon to purchase my own copy!

  2. mike @ TheCulinaryLens
    mike @ TheCulinaryLens says:

    I love how these look and sound… I am still wrapping my head and tongue around “am I wrong” LOL I love accents.
    BTW I still haven’t gotten around to making stuff from your book. I am more than a little intrigued with the savory recipes.. I will keep you updated

  3. Ivy
    Ivy says:

    Visiting Paris was always my dream and finishing French Catholic School, I knew every part of Paris as if I had been there. This dream is getting very distant but as they say, hope always dies last. There is a pastry shop near my house where you can see them preparing cakes and chocolates and I always stop and gaze (and drool) whenever I pass from there.
    I am really excited to be one of the lucky winners of your cookbook and look forward to baking lots of macarons in the future. My daughter also got very excited when I told her about the cookbook.

  4. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Arhhh what a nice pastry shop! Japan bakery/cake shops also have lovely wrapping for each shoppers. I kind of miss that custom. Sometimes it’s waste if it’s for home use, but it definitely brings elegance. Here, everything will go into a plastic bag or simple box… hard to find elegance sometimes. I wish there is a Japanese blogger who talks about Paris in details. I can imagine there are so many secret shops hidden in the city!

  5. Vicki Bensinger
    Vicki Bensinger says:

    These sound delicious! Next time I’m in Paris I’ll have all these wonderful spots to visit just from reading your wonderful reviews. It must be hard to stay skinny while living in Paris, with all the luscious goodies!

  6. FreeSpiritEater
    FreeSpiritEater says:

    Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. I dream of visiting France one day, and to be able to sit in my living room in NJ and experience Paris through your photography and words still leaves me in awe today. Congratulations Marinella on your soon to be published guide and on your new site. I wish you continued success and happiness. =] Those patisseries look INCREDIBLE. I am dieting for my resolution and miss chocolate more than anything lol

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      You poor thing – dieting? No, no, no. Dark chocolate in little doses will give you magnesium 🙂 These pâtisseries are unbelievably light, too; hope you can make it to Paris – I need to show you!

  7. Amy
    Amy says:

    Hi Jill! I wish I could try some of these goodies, they sound delicious! It is awesome that they let you watch make them, I’ll bet they are amazing :)!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Aha – there’s that word, marvelous and marvellous. Apologies if any confusion, but I use UK English: it must look wrong to you. Oh, if only we all used the same – would be so much easier!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Emily, don’t feel bad: he takes it out on me very well by asking tons of questions just as he puts that sucker in my mouth. Try rolling the French Rs at the back of the mouth with that going on!

  8. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    You just gave me a walk in Paris – a peek – a spoonful. There is nothing as inviting as a Parisian bakery. My daughter is going to Paris in February for about 4 whole days. She’s a very poor graduate student and will be going through your blog among others to find places that delight and are on a budget!

  9. Becky
    Becky says:

    I love that you take us all around Paris, even to the dentist and of course the pastry shops:) I think that I am in Paris, Merci! Those pastries look so good, I would have a hard time choosing them. Even the boxes are cute.

  10. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite
    [email protected] says:

    Jill, I am SOOOO glad to hear your back is finally better 🙂 And this post is being added right now to my “must visit this summer” list. Cannot wait to be hack in Paris again! Happy New year and wishing you health and happiness in 2012! xox

  11. Kim Bee
    Kim Bee says:

    They would have needed a window cleaner if I’d been standing there watching. How did you hold back? I love coming by here to drool and get jealous of your culinary adventures. The highlight of my day was Taco Bell. Yup, Paris is sounding so good right now.

  12. Amalia
    Amalia says:

    Thank you again Jill, I cannot wait to get that cookbook and bake away 🙂 I think the BIG ones are a fabulous idea, I would definitely get them! My dream is to travel to Paris one day, hopefully study overseas and eat all these amazing and beautiful creations!

  13. Charlie
    Charlie says:

    They look awesome!

    Now let’s see if I have this right.

    You have baked meringues.

    The chocolate and chantilly cream is mixed together.

    The meringues are dipped in it.

    Then rolled in chocolate flakes. and coated with powdered sugar.

    The flavourings added to the chantilly ??

    And Voila

    I’m sorry if I am just repeating, but I’m trying to get it into my head.
    I wouldn’t mind trying these.
    They wouldn’t be as great as the ones in Paris….but I’m in Canada and won’t know the difference. ;<)

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      You’ve got it, Charlie. Sounds good, eh? My favourite was the one with cinnamon/speculoos bits added to the Chantilly. In any case if you can’t get to Paris, give this a go and you won’t be disappointed.

  14. Lisa @
    Lisa @ says:

    Jill – I just adore stopping by your blog and seeing what is going on in Paris, dentist appointments and all. You have a warm and appealing way of writing. I feel like I’m there with you and your Italian friend having a coffee-croissant-chatter too! A happy new year to you and your family! I look forward to many more virtual coffee-croissant-chatters with you in 2012!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      Thank you so much, Lisa. Sometimes I wonder if anyone really reads my stuff so you’ve made my day! Cheers on that virtual coffee and chatter…

  15. Tina@flourtrader
    [email protected] says:

    Thanks for this marvelous peek into the new pastry shop. I am sure that you enjoyed this better than the baby clothing! The worst thing though would be trying to decide what to get at that shop, all those pictures look delicious. Also glad to find out that a Paris city guide blog will be starting up.
    Lastly-congrats on the lucky winners of your wonderful book. Enjoy the day!

  16. Liz
    Liz says:

    Look at all those yummy goodies!!! We’ve booked our trip to France for early June, so I’m furiously taking notes! I will be bugging you for other ideas…be warned 🙂 And I’m hoping there’s a chance you’ll be in Paris one of the days we’re visiting! Tell Marinella thanks!!!

    • Jill
      Jill says:

      I hope we can meet up, too. Can’t wait to see you! Marinella’s site will help you – especially when the English translations go up soon. I’ll try and find some ideas in the way of future blog posts, as I want to share about the outskirts, too.


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