Delicious Encounters with French Men and Desserts

July 23, 2017
French Desserts: Delicious Encounters with French Men and Desserts

It is a beautiful day in the way only a day in Paris can be. The streets are tree-lined and perfectly coiffed, red flowers wink down from tiny balconies, and the sky is a rich, cloudless blue. Ahead of us, the Eiffel Tower beckons, looking strangely small from where we stand.

I love how the Eiffel Tower appears as if from out of nowhere, behind nondescript corners in Paris, standing cool and blasé as if it knows just how prestigious it is. And I love how every single time I see it, my heart still leaps up into my chest.

And then something even more amazing than a French man in a Dolce & Gabbana suit catches my eye.

My friend and I decide to take advantage of this beautiful day (we are British after all; every time we see the sun, we get the urge to physically be in it as much as possible, for fear it’ll disappear forever) and walk over to the Eiffel Tower. We amble slowly, leisurely, taking in every building and shop window–and French man.

I develop a new and sudden infatuation with French men, as they glide past me in their sunglasses and polished suits. I try not to stare, but I do anyway. They don’t seem to mind. They seem almost used to it, and some even stare back. I fall in and out of love about a hundred times on the same street.

And then something even more amazing than a French man in a Dolce & Gabbana suit catches my eye. “Stop!” I cry to my friend, skidding to a halt. I pull my eyes away from the Eiffel Tower and hoards of businessmen, and head to a bakery window. Cakes in all kinds of shapes and colors call to me with sugared smiles, lined up in perfect fashion. Macarons, éclairs, apple cakes…they all clamor for my attention, each one better than the last.

Delicious Encounters with French Men and Desserts

But my heart only calls to one: a strawberry tart. The strawberries sit, juicy and plump, on top of a perfectly round, crisp-looking pastry. The strawberries are so red, they are almost glowing. A dusting of sugar makes them gleam. It is not just a cake. It is a masterpiece.

I turn around and inform my friend that I need a coffee break. “Again?” she sighs, gazing pointedly over at the Eiffel Tower. I don’t think my friend realizes how often I need coffee and cake breaks – especially in Paris, capital of the coffee and cake break. I smile pleadingly at her, and, as she nods, dive into the bar. That cake is mine.

I speak about ten words of French but they seem to be all I need to manage successfully to order two coffees in French. “Et une tarte aux framboises,” I add smugly in a thick British accent, clearly looking ever-so-Parisian, I’m sure. The waitress reaches out to the strawberry tart, and bypasses it over to the raspberry. I panic. How can one of the ten words of French I remember be raspberry?!?! Of all the fruits! “No!” I cry, and she stops. My mind goes blank.

“Ermmmm…ermmmm,” I gabble at her, staring blankly. What the hell is the word for strawberry? What the hell is any word?

Any man who helps me get dessert is a winner.

Fraise!” A voice booms from the back of the room. I turn, never so grateful before in my life. A tall, dark, handsome stranger smiles back at me. “Fraise,” he repeats, as our eyes lock across the queue. My heart skips again. The waitress and queues alike huff at my slug-like ordering, clearly not caring about this romantic moment. She grabs the strawberry tart and hands it to me. I beam at him, and fall in love again. Any man who helps me get dessert is a winner.

I sit languidly with my coffee and cake, the man already half-forgotten, marveling over every perfect, sugar-coated bite whilst wondering what I’ll eat next, and watch the world go by. In these moments, I learn that Parisians really do like fresh baguettes for lunch, are beautifully dressed, all seem to smoke, and sit far too close together for my liking. (Personal space is something unheard of in Paris. People will sit millimeters from you at cafés). Also, I learn that I really am fickle when it comes to men and desserts, and that the Eiffel Tower can wait for a few happy moments like these.

Some of my favorite moments while traveling are the simplest things. A delicious cake, a spark with another person, and being able to spend a luxurious moment just sitting and watching a city go about its day.

And the Eiffel Tower was still there waiting, once I’d paid the bill.

Delicious Encounters with French Men and Desserts
Alex in Paris

French Desserts: Delicious Encounters with French Men and Desserts

Related Reading

A Would-be Local’s Guide to Paris
8 Unusual Things to Do Around Paris
Loving and Living in Paris
A Girl’s Guide to Blending in in Paris

Have you traveled to Paris, France? Email us at [email protected] to share your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

French Desserts: Delicious Encounters with French Men and Desserts photo credits by Unsplash and Alex Pendelton.

About Alex Pendleton

Alex Pendleton loves writing, exploring, baking and strong coffee. She has a permanent case of wanderlust, and is currently back in the UK planning her next adventure. She has traveled extensively, studied in the Czech Republic and worked in Germany and Italy.

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