A while back I wrote about my cycling trip to Brittany, France. All week I hadn’t had a chance to find any chocolates along the pretty country lanes or small villages we cycled through, but on the last day on our way back to the ferry port in St.Malo I found some, not only in the delightful old town of Dinan – these were called La Fée Cabosse – but also in the old town of St.Malo too. I don’t know, you wait all week for a chocolate shop and two come along at once. We had some time to kill so sat outside Cafe Le Charly’s enjoying the October sunshine.
My husband Geoff and I decided to go for a wander and came across a small shop called Philippe Bouvier not far away from the cafe. We went past this shop three times and eventually
I pestered my husband so much I went in to see what they had. The lady in the shop was very friendly and helpful and I bought a lovely box of 20 different chocolates. The shop is also known for their macarons – of which there are 22 different flavours – but I feared they would be crushed by the time I arrived home as I had nowhere safe to put them except in my saddle bag and besides, chocolates would last longer than macarons and I adore chocolates.
When I arrived home I had a flick through the little booklet which the kind lady in the shop gave me so I could see which chocolate was which. I had to have the help of Google translate for this. It appeared there was a selection of milk and dark chocolates, pralines, fruity ones, nutty ones, flowery ones and spicy ones. I really like unusual flavours so I was looking forward to tasting them all.
The first I chose to try was Romarin. The description for this was that it was rosemary (because that’s what it translates to). You can taste the wonderful aromatic rosemary straight away as if you’d just put a sprig of fresh rosemary into your mouth. The soft ganache centre feels ‘cold’ which is unusual, a little like the coldness you have with Coolmints. Amazingly tasty, not too overpowering but quite subtle.
Basilic citron – lemon basil – a dark smooth ganache and like the rosemary in the Romarin the basil shines through straight away with a hint of lemon in the background.
Menthe – mint. I wasn’t going to review a mint chocolate because we all know what mint taste of, right? Wrong! This was peppermint but it was like having freshly plucked mint from the garden in your mouth, just like the rosemary one again. After eating it there was none of the long lasting taste of mint in my mouth.
Passion was another favourite. This milk chocolate ganache was incredibly tangy and fruity tasting of passion fruit and mango. It was like eating something which Willy Wonka had knocked up. How could something so small have so many different flavours bursting through as soon as you take a bite?
Some of the other chocolates in the box – which was priced at a very reasonable €12 – were Margaret’s Hope flavoured with Darjeeling, Pain d’epices which was gingerbread and Bois d’inde which had exotic wood and clove flavours. They were all really remarkable and I loved them all! Philippe Bouvier started at the age of 16 as an apprentice and now has a shop and laboratory in Rennes and of course, the little shop I went to in Old St. Malo – 5 rue de la Vieille Boucherie. Yummy looking cakes and desserts were also on display along with the macarons and chocolates, which all looked simply divine. Next time I’m in St.Malo I shall definitely make a bee-line for this shop. If you’re not off to St.Malo or Rennes anytime soon then the chocolates are available via their website – at least I think they are, the website is not an easy one to navigate. Larger boxes are also available plus an option to choose your own chocolates to go into a box.
I must add that almost next door to Bouvier’s shop was a cafe called ‘Timothy’ and you should see the size of their cakes! They are humungous and of course, we had to have one, although we shared it. We travelled with Brittany Ferries and on our journey home we enjoyed a lovely meal in their silver-service restaurant which you can read about here.
Living life, loving cake…..and chocolate!
Looking at the website there is a list of all the chocolates and their descriptions all translated for me! It took me hours typing it all into Google translate. D’oh!