From October 2013, Pierre Hermé Paris’ world-renowned treats will be available at Sofitel London St James’ The Balcon restaurant with traditional French goûter, as the two French brands collaborate to bring the best of French culture to London. Recently, Jessica and I had the pleasure to pop along to Sofitel London St James to meet the legendary Pierre Hermé and try out the new goûter for ourselves.
Traditionally composed of a slice of bread with butter and jam or a piece of chocolate, or even a pain au chocolat, the goûter nowadays has grown to include other sweet treats such as cakes, biscuits and pastries. The enjoyment of pastries and other sophisticated treats accompanied with a cup of tea or strong coffee is widespread amongst adults with time for leisure. Whilst historically a supper served in early evening, then an afternoon snack for children returning from school (“Le Quatre Heures”), the goûter has now become a refined, cultural experience to share with friends, family, colleagues or even on your own. A social moment to sweeten the end of the day and indulge in the French joie de vivre, the goûter has become part of the French culture. The British may have trademarked afternoon tea, but the French goûter is a tradition just as deeply woven into the culture.
Sweets for adult palates, Pierre Hermé’s creations are liberated from references to the past to childhood experiences, and have made their entry into the world of gastronomy. With “pleasure as his only guide”, Pierre Hermé has invented his own unique world of tastes, sensations and pleasures – a world that can now be discovered at the prestigious Balcon restaurant at the Sofitel London St James with two goûters.
Le Goûter Pierre Hermé
Chocolate has long been a key component in the traditional French goûter. The French Goûter by Pierre Hermé Paris offers the chance to enjoy some of Pierre Hermé’s most emblematic chocolaty treats. Start off with the soft “pillowy” Brioche Mousseline topped with Pierre Hermé’s indulgent Pâte à Tartiner Infiniment Praliné Noisette, a rich hazelnut praline spread with caramelised hazelnuts. Its crunchy texture, an encounter between soft creaminess and crisp praline, invades the palate with deliciousness. Like a sweet-addict’s dream, it awakens a terrific sugar craving, leading the way to that first bite into the moist chocolate moelleux and the crumbly Sablés Infiniment Chocolat. Made the traditional way with fresh butter from Charente, Pierre Hermé’s cookies are perfect as part of the goûter or at any other time of day. The whole experience is rounded off with a comforting cup of frothy hot chocolate or flavoursome tea. I must say for any true chocolate addicts out there this will satisfy any cravings!
Le Goûter Mogador
One of Pierre Hermé’s most emblematic Fetish flavours, Mogador expresses the association between milk chocolate and passion fruit, a combination in which the smoothness of the milk chocolate perfectly tempers the acidity of the passion fruit. Presented within a range of products, the fruity power of Mogador offers a brand new experience to guests. This time, the moist brioche is lathered with the tart Mogador jam. Whilst sipping on your hot chocolate, coffee or tea, you may pick at the assortment of chocolate bonbons and macarons. These sweets may only weigh a few grams, but that’s enough to leave your senses quivering with pleasure. Jessica particularly enjoyed this offering leaving little but crumbs for the waiter to take back to the kitchen!
Emmanuel Caux, Senior Vice President of Sofitel Luxury Hotels Europe commented: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with such a prestigious brand as Pierre Hermé Paris. At Sofitel we are proud of our French DNA and we aim to showcase the best of France through our hotels – this new project only reinforces that.”
Head down to Sofitel London St James and give it go-ûter yourself.
Sofitel London St James
6 Waterloo Place