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…