I once lived in Lyon for one year and gained ten kilos. Eclairs au chocolat, croissants aux amandes, tartelettes. It was all just too seductive to handle. In Amsterdam I feel the same urge to score at Le Fournil de Sébastien. Not surprisingly, considering the French roots of this bread and pastry heaven. Sébastien, the owner, was born and raised in the Vendée region. He fell in love with Susan, a Dutch blonde. They got married and decided to start a real French bakery in Amsterdam (2007). It was an instant hit and it still is; especially on Saturday mornings the line of hungry worshippers seems to end in Paris. The secret of their success? Wonderful organic and artisan products, happy vibes and modest prices. In summer it’s a sin NOT to buy the tartelettesaux fraises and au citron. The strawberry tart is juicy and sugar sweet, the lime tart creamy and ultra fresh. Opposites attract. Combine them for the ultimate oh là là effect.
Le Fournil de Sébastien
Summer tartelettes (strawberries, lime), one, €2.30
Olympiaplein 119, South
+31 (0) 20 672 42 11
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 7am-7pm
Lyon, Résidence Universitaire André Allix. At that place I ate my first éclair. My Brasilian friend Fabiano gave it to me: ‘Trish, close your eyes and have a bite.’ I did what I was told. The lightest, airiest pastry I had ever tasted, an icing of pure chocolate, custard-like cream with vanilla. Hallelujah! Who created this? Years later the éclairs of Betty Blue made me scream the H-word again. In this mini-museum, patisserie and coffee spot in one you’ll find two lovely bakers: Yvette and Clara. Yvette has been baking for the last six years at her coffee place T Eten en Drinken. Clara is an enthusiastic baker too. These ladies sure know how to make éclairs. This dough of these babies consists of butter, water, eggs and flour and is supposed to puff up in the oven until it’s eventually set by the heat. What you’ll find inside depends on your mood. When you’re feeling blue you just want your fillings to be fresh and fruity, don’t you? These three are an excellent choice: passion fruit with lime, coconut with mango and rosewater with mint. Guess Betty Blue would like them too. This name refers to Clara’s favourite film. It shows the mental decline of a beautiful and vibrant woman, played by Béatrice Dalle. It’s a superb, intense French movie. One to watch.
Fruity éclairs, €3.10 (1), €14.00 (5), €25.00 (10)
Snoekjessteeg 1-3, City Centre
+31 (0) 6 1677 03 75
Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 8am-6pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 10am-7pm