When a new patisserie opens in the UK it is always a matter of great interest especially when the man behind it is Philippe Conticini. Therefore I had an extra spring in my step when I went to visit La Patisserie des Reves.....The Patisserie of Dreams....in Marylebone High Street.
This is without a doubt Dr Who meets cakes ! The shop design must have been based on The Tardis! I had seen the design in photos of course. The same formula is used in Paris. It is certainly bold. However I cant help feeling the shop is a little intimidating for a lot of people. It's very 21st century and one almost expects the latest iPhone under one of the glass cloches instead of a cake.
The way it works is that you have a browse and then take your order to the counter where the super lovely assistant will help you. She then goes out of the shop to the kitchen behind and retrieves your goodies ! It's not exactly 'British' but on the other hand we could do with something out of the ordinary to wake us from our 'stuck in the mud' retail state of mind!
Many of the choices available cleverly come in two sizes, an individual piece and a grand daddy family size. Prices are on the hefty side but the patisserie here is 'grand prix' so don't expect to pop in for something cheap and mediocre ! Despite the fact that I am on a diet and hitting the gym currently at three times a week I had to choose three pieces....for research purposes only of course !!
I chose the Gran Cru Vanilla, Gran Cru Chocolate and a Paris Brest.
Rather than try to describe all three in infinite detail suffice it say that they were exceptional and nothing more than one would expect from Conticini. Light, delicate and delightful would sum up the experience perfectly. I regret now not sampling a little of his signature brioche, the shape of which is used as the logo on the candy pink boxes and carrier bags.
The only downside for me was that despite very careful carrying back to the car and subsequent unwrapping the cakes had moved around a little in the box and were damaged enough not to be photographed. It would have been a little disappointing if they had been purchased for a special occasion. Perhaps a divider inside the boxes might be prudent.
Patisserie Des Reves is a welcome addition to the already heavenly Marylebone High Street and whatever treat you choose I'm certain that no one could possibly be disappointed. Bravo!