I was so eager to go discover the newly opened Fauchon in Beirut and see what was hiding behind the pink glass facades at the entrance of Gemmayze street. I've been waiting for this moment for so long, exactly the same way I waited for La Duree and the same way am hoping to see Hediard and Pierre Herme opening soon as well.
Close your eyes, and you're in Paris... But I was somehow disappointed with the whole experience. I was expecting the whole luxurious treatment as I walked into Fauchon, the same treatment I get when I'm at their outlet in Paris. But sadly, it was not the case in their Beirut spot.
The History of FAUCHON, known the world over for its Tea and Gastronomy begins with its founder Auguste FAUCHON in 1886. Auguste, a young man from Normandy, arrived in Paris in 1881. He had an idea to begin selling the best fruits and vegetables from around the country on the Place de la Madeleine from a street cart. Thanks to Auguste FAUCHON, the Place de la Madeleine became the “place to be” with its exclusive stores, Gourmet Food and Restaurant. Auguste FAUCHON only hired and worked with the best chefs and pastry chefs in Paris for this venture in the Grand Salon de The, opened in 1898, he introduced the “French Afternoon Tea", inspired by the famous “Five O'clock Tea” tradition. It became an institution in Paris since then. FAUCHON's Fame has expanded to countries all around the world and stands for the ultimate in contemporary French luxury food.
FAUCHON Paris already present in the Middle-East opened in Beirut on August 2012, with its first location being in Saifi Village as a Boutique and Restaurant.
Boutique products include exceptional gifts, gourmet selection Boxes variety of chocolates and sweets, preserves, cookies, salty & sweet biscuits, groceries and confectionaries, as well as the finest selection teas and coffees offered from the world's leading estates, blended to the perfect balance, and touched with exquisite scents to produce its fruity & flower flavored teas.
Many. Fauchon is like Sephora in the way it is merchandised- crackers and cookies are organized into the most seductive little packages and chocolates look like CD cases. The minute I walked in I wanted to buy a million things… Whom ever merchandised Fauchon is a genius. You will walk in spending more money than you want to.
- Walls shining and covered in gold.
- A relaxing carpet in the cafe area.
- Pink glass facades that are better looking from the outside than from the inside as your eyes see everything in blue (Look at the images).
- Appealing bread presentation on the entrance facing wall as well as a long cake display that makes you want to eat them all.
- Wonderful golden rest rooms.
- A nicely finished interior with black and white chairs and individual round and square tables.
We ordered from the dessert list:
- Eclair au Chocolat FAUCHON (Crème et fondant chocolat, décoré de pépites dorées et croustillantes)
- Carré Gianduja - Praliné
- Millefeuille à la vanille Bourbon
- 2 Nescafe
- We ordered two Nescafe that were served in a cup full of milk covered on top by the Nescafe mix. The waiter should have asked if we like our coffee with milk or not, and we would like skimmed milk or not. We couldn't drink them.
- Most of the items on the menu were not available, so the waiter asked me to go check the display and choose accordingly.
- Waiters are so unprofessional, slow, lazy and not smiling: They make you feel unwelcome like if we should be honored to be in their establishment.
- While at the display a woman showed up without even saying hello or introducing herself, and asked me not to take pictures! Come on Lebanese! Fauchon's pictures are all over the net and even available for download. Will we finish with this "no pictures" thing in our retarded country?
- The place was hot and the air conditioning was not working efficiently.
- The bill took the "So called waiter" more than 15 minutes.
- Desserts are not as tasty as they are in Paris. Too expensive. An eclair for LL10,000, which was not worth it. Maybe we are paying for the presentation and decoration of each piece which might justify the price, but surely not for the creamy taste. Other Lebanese brands have tastier creations and are sold cheaper.