Friday 9 May | 2014
Despite barely speaking a word of French, my optimistic ‘bonjour’ and manicured index finger were all the tools I needed to map out the best éclairs in Paris (La Maison Stohrer on Rue du Montorgueil), the best croissants in Paris (Chez Manon at Rue de Bretagne) and the best bread in Paris (the baguette traditionelle from a nameless bakery at 71 Rue des Archives, then hit that with the most expensive French unsalted butter you can find).
I’m not sure what is more obscene: that we would casually gather up this mountain of luxurious calories every weekend, or that we were both remarkably skinny during this time!
Alas, today we are no longer in the capital of France, but in the former capital of Germany – Bonn.
In the city centre is a wonderful little bakery chain known as Epi, also located in Bad Godesberg, Cologne and Münster, with a new store opening soon in lucky Düsseldorf.
Epi is a sweet little retreat from the masses of belegtes brötchen and family sized schneke outside. From the paint on the walls and tables, to the racks of assorted breads and exquisite pastries, everything is a rich buttery shade of pale gold.
The orange juice is refreshingly fresh squeezed, with lots of texture and just enough sweetness. The croissants are really authentic too, ticking the boxes for lightness, flakiness, butteryness and general deliciousness.
The quiche is very moreish, with a low filling to pastry ratio which the rich pastry only just gets away with. Meanwhile the savoury and sweet bread selection is diverse, with cheese lovers well catered for too.
Of course if you’re not into the pleasures of indulgently rich quiche, light as air croissants and crusty yet soft baguettes you could always make do with the crème brûlée and lemon meringue tarts, or a simple slice of rich layered chocolate cake.
Today nobody is going anywhere without a seriously indulgent chocolate éclair to takeaway. Or will it be that divine little chocolate stuffed brioche… or the glazed apple shortcake? Hopefully you can be more decisive than us.
A luxurious little escape from reality.
Check out Epi’s menu here: