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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

The Eclair is King!

 In Lisbon our flat was above a cupcake bakery and the cupcakes marked the area as urbane and sophisticated. But here in Paris the humble cupcake is trounced by the glamorous and colorful macaron. However now there's a new King in town that trumps them both, l'éclair.
Yes, the old fashioned eclair is the "new sweet" treat to contend with. Re-imagined and revisited it brims with exotic possibilities and new flavors. Iranian pistachios, rose, yuzu - in the hands of pastry chef Christophe Adams the possibilities are endless. The salted butter caramel eclair (below) transported me to somewhere where it seemed completely reasonable to pay 5.50 euro for what was  three bites of perfection. Was it heaven or was it madness?

Open just over one month, Adam's L'Éclair de Génie is not a bakery it's "concept store", where the rows of extraordinary pastries beckon the throngs of Parisians who often line up outside. The concept appears to be art installation meets pastry, with elegant young women packaging up your treats to go in beautifully designed boxes. Everything is beautifully designed here. The pastries the lighting, the packaging, it's a world of perfection rolled up in dessert. It has to be seen and tasted to be believed. Indeed the only obstacle standing between myself and a strong acquaintance with the ladies at  L'Éclair de Génie are lingering concerns about my waistline and my bank account!

Highly recommended if you find yourself in the Marais. L'Éclair de Génie is at 14 Rue Pavée, just off the famous and rapidly transforming Rue Rosier only minutes from our apartment.