Last week, a few friends from the expat spouses Meetup group and I joined Yannick Pucci from London Unravelled for his “Macaron and Mews” themed tour of London’s Belgravia and Knightsbridge neighborhoods. After a couple of days of gray and wet skies, we were fortunately blessed with dry weather for our outdoor tour starting at Hyde Park Corner and exploring the area’s less travelled, quiet corners and noteworthy buildings, including the haunted Grenadier Pub, before making our way to two of West London’s shopping meccas, Harrod’s and Harvey Nichols, for a few of our macaron tastings.
Our guide Yannick was a wealth of knowledge about the history and architecture of the buildings we passed and led us into some of the neighborhood’s quiet, tucked away cobblestoned streets lined with colorful, charming rows of mews houses. Mews houses were originally built behind the grand houses that lined the main roads to serve as both stables and housing for servants. In a centuries later role reversal, they are now in high real estate demand for their secluded, serene locations tucked away from the noise and activity of London’s modern day main roads. Honestly, you can veer just a block or two off the loud, congested main road and feel like you are in a different place altogether!
Along our tour we sampled a macaron each from Pierre Herme, Fauchon, William Curley, Laduree, and La Maison du Chocolat while Yannick informed us about how the macaron got its start in the French pastry world and how the popularity of the light, delectable meringue cookie has even led to the creation of world “Macaron Day” every March 20th. Now that is a tradition I can get behind!
If I had to pick a favorite from those we sampled it would hands down be the pistachio and cherry macaron from William Curley. It was amazing! I am a sucker for anything pistachio and I’ve never met a macaron I didn’t like. Except maybe the licorice flavored one offered at Laduree, not too keen on that flavor!
Thanks again to Yannick for a fun and educational afternoon outing!