Yesterday, I went into Bordeaux to get my hair cut in the morning. I really had nothing else planned after the haircut. Downtown Bordeaux was bustling with the Grand Braderie downtown - or the time at the end of the big sales that all the stores put their final sale merchandise out for a sidewalk sale - and of course all street vendors from the various markets also set up in the streets. It's a huge 3 day event! But obviously well attended...who wouldn't want to find the last great item of the Winter Sales. I really had no interest in bucking the crowds for sales...but an American friend of mine suggested we check out the Bordeaux Fete le Chocolat. Now, that sounded fun!! Something sweet to fill my afternoon.
Now, this a two part event consisting of a Chocolate market and a juried chocolate sculpture contest. This sculpture event is apparently the 14th annual sponsored by la Fédération Nationale Autonome des Chefs Compagnons Pâtissiers et Boulangers de la Gironde (National Federation of Patisserie and Bread maker of the Gironde region) and has been in conjunction with Bordelais Chocolate market organized by le club bordelais du chocolat CHOCO PASSION for the past 4 years. This year these 2 events are held in different venues.
We started first at the Marche du Chocolat in l"Espace Remi. This is where different Chocolate and patisserie vendors show their delicacies and one can sample their different creations. The theme this year for both parts - was the Les Freres Grimm (The Brother's Grimm/Fairy Tales).
The vendors came from all over the region, with all kinds of chocolate and chocolate creations. As simple as chocolate bars, chocolate pieces to molded shoes, and animals. Everywhere you looked, chocolate...and more chocolate!
And don't forget about the Chocolate fountain...yes, that's melted chocolate running down the sides of that fountain. Awesome for dipping marshmallows or bananas into.....
Anyone for Chocolate shoes? Sort of like that glass slipper in Cinderella....
As we made ourselves around the market, sampling and speaking to the different vendors, it was amazing how different each chocolate could taste. One of our favorite vendors happened to be Canadian (always fun to meet a fellow English speaker!). She and her husband operate a new small pastry & chocolate shop just south of Bordeaux in La Brede - It was such fun to hear about their new adventures of opening a shop here in France and I can't wait to go check out their Patissier- Traiteur - CJ - at 15 Place Montesquieu - La Brede. After tasting her chocolate, I'm sure her pastries are excellent also! They made the chocolate castle in the following photo for the theme (Unfortunately, my photo does not do it justice!- This was a spontaneous adventure and I only had my phone with me to take photos). I also loved her presentation touch of the Rose under the glass, as reference to Beauty and the Beast!
After we had our fill of the Marche du Chocolat (and believe me, we sampled a lot!) There was even Chocolate wine to try!! We are in France after - all - the marriage of wine and chocolate had to start sometime! We walked over to the Mayor's Office - Hotel de Ville -at Place Pey Berland and looked at the chocolate sculptures that were entered into the contest. There were even chocolatiers there dipping candied orange pieces into chocolate - all for everyone to sample!
The theme was really fun...and obviously the chocolatiers delighted in being creative. These were some of my favorites but there are many more to see. We also watched many school groups do a walk through and enjoy the display. I'm sure many of them dreamed about chocolate last night! It was great to see the different representations of various fairy tales.
It's always fun to have an unplanned afternoon and this little adventure was divine. I came home last night with a few purchases to enjoy with my husband and girls - and they all drooled over the photographs.
This event is held through Saturday - and we plan on going back Saturday afternoon so the whole family can enjoy...I think there's just something about chocolate that draws people in.
Have a great weekend!