Shopping at the Le Bon Marche last week, I decided to check out a new salon de the, Le Talma inside La Belle Juliette, a new boutique hotel kitty corner away from the departmental store. Named after the beautiful and accomplished Juliette Recamier, a 19th century French society leader and patroness of the arts, the hotel, while small is dressed in gorgeousness. The reception area is colored a cool gray while the dining salon is girlishly hued in pinks and purples, artfully adorned with both old and new accents. An interpretation of Madame Recamier’s salon perhaps.
The garden, while not as deliberately considered, is equally delightful. Again, it is not large, with several round patio tables and matching chairs on a gravelly courtyard, though the abundance of wild shrubbery gives an illusion of seclusion and space.
It is in the garden where I decide to rest my feet and around me, there are others who have also decided to partake of sunshine, fresh air, and of course, an afternoon repast.
The desserts displayed on the glass trolley betray a certain rusticity at odds with the sophisticated design of the salon, but work well aesthetically in the garden. A cup of good espresso is accompanied by 3 thin slices of fragrant butter pound cake, oozing with moisture but nice and crisp on the outside. The cake is doused with a sweet and slightly tangy citrus syrup, flecks of zest dotting the golden cake. It is a good combination, the acid of the sauce breaking the monotony of too much butter. Alas, these are pricey slices of cake, at 8 Euros for an admittedly DIY-able dessert. But if one factors in the calm and beautiful environs, the cheerful service, the yummy dessert and the afterglow of a successful shopping trip, this is one pretty good afternoon.
Le Talma at La Belle Juliette
92 Rue du Cherche Midi, 75006, Paris