Every good teacher deserves..Tarte Tatin

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Hmm, working in Friedrichstrasse can certainly be dangerous. For one thing, you're rather too conveniently situated between the double temptations of Galeries Lafayette and Dussmann. Lessons this morning left me feeling a trifle peckish and before I knew it, I was heading down the escalator of the former to the sous-sol or simply the food department. For the uninitaited, it's a food section where goumets like me have the impression we're in heaven. Sourdough Pain Poliâne, crunchy yet squidgy macaroons in all colours, heartstoppingly expensive teas, an épicerie where you can buy orange juice from clementines pressées and Bonne Maman chestnut jam, a cheese section with an odour which might poleaxe an elephant, but my how fabulous they all taste, knives by Laguiole and, last but not least, the cake section. Naturally, I have a weakness for the Tarte Emilie but the Tarte Tatin proved irresistable this afternoon. Combined with a cup of exquisite jasmin tea by Mariage Frères, it erased all the anger and frustrations of last week and most of all, it was one of those precious moments of pure egoistical pleasure.


Feeling suitably refreshed, I drifted along to the French bookshop. Though small, it's never full and apart from myself, the only other people there today were an elegantly dressed dark haired woman who rearranged books into tidy piles on the tables yet insisted she didn't work there and a mother with a young boy who complained he simply couldn't make up his mind what to buy. I certainly know the feeling. Reading about Normandy last night left me yearning to read the wonderful prose of Marguerite Duras so I opted for Emily L. , L'Eté 80 and on my way to the till, the new Mondiano caught my attention. It's pure luxury as libraries are so good in Berlin but there's something about the gleaming cover of a new book and the sensation of knowing you're the very first person to turn the pages. Spring might be just around the corner but I hope the chilly evenings continue a little longer so I can curl up on the settee with my book while the darkness creeps in until my eyes become heavy with sleep.

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