During the month of December I ran my own pop-up pâtisserie at a luxury beauty spa in my home city of Ely. This was a HUGE undertaking for me as I had never done anything on this scale before, and it was the first proper introduction of Fiona Pâtissière to the public. The pressure to hit those sugary heights and make a great impression felt immense.
For five days over three weekends in the run-up to Christmas I, along with my husband (yes, he was dragged into it too), set up shop at Spa ely and tempted the good people of the city with a colourful and flavourful array of macarons (16 different flavours in all – from rose, orange blossom & ginger to blackcurrant & mint, and truffle olive oil & hazelnut to pistachio & raspberry), salted caramel shortbread, moist chocolate and raspberry genoise, and chocolate truffles made using award-winning Amedei couverture chocolate (the first time I’ve used this world-class chocolate – it’s outstanding!).
The amount of work involved in this event was truly incredible; in my little Edwardian cottage every shelf, table and chair was covered in a tray of confections of some sort, and I’m still finding smudges of chocolate three weeks on. For hours upon hours I worked through the night (literally) to get the work done and caught some sleep when I could. It was the hardest I’ve ever worked but I’m so pleased with what we’ve achieved. “We” being my enormously patient husband, mum, auntie and friends that have supported me over the past few weeks and months. They have put up with some pretty awful mood swings and tears from me, and I’m hugely thankful for their support and continued belief in me.
This is a good time to also thank those that came to the pop-up and bought some of the goodies; I was amazed at the excitement and encouragement from people that I had never met before. If this experience hasn’t provided me with the strength to turn my passion into reality then nothing will. It’s great to confirm my long-standing suspicion that I’m not the only one in Cambridgeshire who hankers after a slice of Paris!