The main high street of South Kensington is one I used to frequent when I worked nearby. Now I only visit occasionally when meeting a friend for brunch or passing through. The area is busy with boutique cafes and quaint restaurants, but last week I spied a newcomer on the scene that piqued my excitement.
Maître Choux is a shop of colourful choux jewels, it is impossible not to stop and stare. When I was waiting patiently inside for my sweet delights I noticed a little girl’s face pressed up hopefully at the shop front window. This specialist choux patisserie bakes the finest and freshest Eclairs, Choux and Chouquettes every day, available to buy in a variety of tempting flavours.
The creative kitchen is led by Joakim Prat who has previously worked in a host of Michelin restaurants including a long stint for Joel Robuchon, where he really honed his skill. If you enjoy a bit of amateur baking you will know that choux pastry is a notoriously difficult to perfect.
At Maître Choux the handcrafted treats are light and airy but with a crisp shell. Joakim elevates the basic éclair to a luxurious, beautiful and ornate work of art. The iced fingers lie side by side neatly, each flavour has its own personality… the salted caramel is topped with a tiny gold dusted square of fudge, the pink raspberry is decorated with raspberries, multi-coloured hundreds and thousands and a wisp of gold leaf. I loved the alluring green pistachio éclair, and adored the nutty hazelnut variety. They are almost too immaculate to eat. Patisserie artistry comes at a price, and one éclair from Maître Choux will set you back around £5.
Maître Choux will also offer seating for a handful of customers. Here guests can accompany their pastry with a cup of the finest quality teas and coffee, as well as a thick hot chocolate made from a legendary Basque recipe provided by Joakim’s grandmother.
Maître Choux has found a happy home in South Kensington, the French district of London. They sell out every day so I recommend getting there early to taste a mouthful of choux heaven.
More information on Maitre Choux here.