Some patisserie in my ears at The Jazz Workshop

I dashed away from breakfast on Saturday to arrive early for my first ever guitar lesson at The Jazz Workshop.

Sitting in the waiting room,  it felt like I was steaming in a sauna of music.  High notes, low notes, fast and slow notes were coming from every direction: they were seeping through keyholes, swishing through the gaps of scuffed wooden doors and tumbling down the staircase from the practise rooms upstairs. 

I could hardly believe where I was, after years of driving past the building wondering at the magic that was happening inside of it.  And then, quite suddenly there was a new sound in the room and it was coming from the lady on the other side of a tall pile of magazines: the sound of… French!

And so it was that I met Marie, a fellow music student who just happens to be a lover of patisserie too (but, of course!).  I asked her how Cape Town’s pastries compare to what she’s used to in France:

Maire: It is difficult to explain!  The pastries here, well, they are HEAVY.  That is how we would say it in France – there is a heaviness  (and she gesticulated a weighted motion with her hands).  But I have discovered some places that are very good here.

Me:  Like where?

Maire:  Patrick Moreau’s Casis is the best for patisserie.  The chocolate  ‘Opera’ is a particularly excellent pastry…

Me: Yes, I was so inspired by what I saw at Casis that I ended up spending a day at the factory.  What do you think of their bread – it’s made by a French baker that Patrick brought over…

Maire:  It is good, yes, but I buy my bread from Knead

Me: Really? And what about macaroons?

Maire:  Casis makes great macaroons but I’ve just discovered a new place at The Waterfront, next to the hotel entrance upstairs, expensive, but well worth it, especially for their macaroons.  Unfortunately  I don’t remember the name.  You must go there!

And then it was au revoir and off to stretch fingers and learn some blues… starting with: how to hold your guitar.

I’ll be exploring Casis, Knead and this mysterious & marvelous macaroon place in future posts…