When I visited Aux Merveileux de Fred in Paris, I remember liking it. I enjoyed their mouthwatering Merveileux as well as their a la minute cakes freshly prepared in front of guests in an open kitchen. Walking the streets of London, I was surprised to see the same logo, yet this one is more of a pastry shop with a crystal chandelier pending from the ceiling and a mirror that makes the place look bigger.
Everything looks so appetizing, the Merveileux, the mini cakes, the croissants and meringues, which are all, lined up on all the walls. A sight for the eyes… while classic music plays in the background, Emily, who’s very nice, is ready to help you.
Under the Directory regime (1796 – 1799) high society life picked up again. Famous women such as Madame Tallien and Madame Récamier opened salons which served as the meeting point for the nouvelle élégance: the Merveilleuses and the Incroyables. The Incroyables were young people with effeminate manners whose sole concern was the pursuit of pleasure. Meanwhile, the Merveilleuses had a total disregard for modesty and dressed in Antique-style clothes: loose tunics which were sometimes worn damp in order to be more figure-hugging. Concert halls, tearooms and theatres all attracted the same succession of see-through dresses and béguin hats. Patrons would dance the rigaudon and purchase ice creams at the Garchy and Velloni parlours. The Hannover pavilion was all the rage: in this part of Richelieu’s former mansion, perfumed goddesses coiffed with roses, in their Athenian robes, would glance furtively at the Incroyables, waving their fans, coming, going, laughing, teasing, all high and mighty and with a cheeky look in their eye. Frédéric Vaucamps identified himself to such a degree in the fantasy of the Incroyables and the Merveilleuses that the brand name soon took hold, in its masculine form.
But I can't say the same about the taste. The waffles are too thin, chewy, buttery and sweet; the Merveileux is okay, it's what they do best and their croissant has nothing to do with the real croissant – it’s not flaky and feels more like bread and the brioche is way too bready with not much chocolate in it.
The packaging is interesting and their coffee is tasty.
I'm writing the review just because I ate there not because I liked it. The food is deceiving.