Last week, Herman was in Paris and London for business (rough, right?). The girl and I were originally supposed to tag along, but seeing as we made a recent rather large purchase, we had to live out our Paris and London dreams through Herman. He sent us videos every day, took lots of photos, and brought us back some amazing goodies.
Bernachon Kalouga Bars. Last year, when we were planning our trip to London and Paris, Herman and I spent a lot of time reading David Lebovitz's blog for food tips. One thing he talks a lot about is the Bernachon Kalouga bar that you can only get in one shop outside of Lyon: A l'Etoile d'Or in Paris. He RAVES about this salty caramel chocolate bar and being a salty caramel chocolate lover...I needed to get my hands on one. So we made the trek up to the store (in the northern part of Paris) only to find that David Lebovitz himself had been in just the day before with a group of tourists and cleaned out their entire supply! Talk about disappointing!
Herman was only in Paris for two nights, but he still made the trek up to A l'Etoile d'Or and came home with a stack of Kalouga bars for me. It's taken a lot of self control, but I haven't torn into one yet. This is special chocolate that I've waited over a year for, so I'm waiting for the right moment. I don't want to be too full or too hungry. I want to be in the right mood. I want to enjoy it 100%. I know it'll be amazing.
Monmouth Coffee. When we still thought Emilia and I were going with Herman, I found this great book called The London Coffee Guide. Part of the plan for us (while Herman was in meetings) was to go to a different coffee shop each day while we were out exploring the city. So I picked out a few of the best sounding ones, made a coffee map for Herman, and he came home with 2 bags of beans from Monmouth Coffee. They've built relationships with different coffee growers around the world and know exactly where the beans are from and how they are grown. The roasts that Herman brought home were suggested because they cold brew well, which is my favorite way to drink coffee. I'm currently sipping the Organic Finca Las Lajas from Costa Rica and it's yummy!
Crabbie's Ginger Beer. When we were in London last year, we went to a great little pub for dinner, and while the fish and chips were great, it was the Crabbie's that I fell in love with. Unfortunately, you can't find it in the states, but Herman did manage to bring home 3 bottles for me. It's SO good. You have no idea.
Smythson of Bond Street. I have a great love of pretty notebooks. Herman surprised me with this beautiful little one from Smythson of Bond Street. Now I know how the Queen feels (seriously. They are the Royal Stationers)!
Orla Kiely. Naturally. Herman FaceTimed with me while in front of her gorgeous store. I want to live in there. Or at least in a house surrounded by her beautiful patterns! The mug and notebook are a perfect start.
London Graphic Centre. My husband knows me so well. He found this art supply store (I could easily spend hours in here) while walking around Covent Garden and grabbed me yet another beautiful notebook. A pantone one for my geeky graphic designer self.
And of course he didn't forget the girl. He brought her back a number of lovely little things (Paddington Bear!), but by far her favorite is this snow globe from Paris. And it's blue! That's her favorite color you know (as she tells us every time she hears the word "blue"). Dexter didn't get anything. He's just happy to oversee the gift giving and have everyone home together.