Have you been to chateau Vaux le Vicomte?
Just 25 minutes out of Paris via Gare du Nord to Melun.
The fall colors are full out dans les jardins magnifiques.
Designed by landscape artiste par excellence, Andre Le Notre before he went on to create les jardins aux Versailles for Louis XIV.
Vaux le Vicomte is a more intimate chateau than the massive Versailles, more friendly.
Yesterday and today you can catch Vaux' own Palais du Chocolat.
Ahh...the smell of it! Chocolat Valrhona to boot.
Pastry students from pâtisserie Lycée Antonin Carême with assistance from le chef gastronomique, Laurent Asset will offer you chocolate tastes that change hourly.
The theme at this years Palais du Chocolat is the restoration of the toiture at the chateau, so of course a chocolate model is construted in the grand hallway and many others in the Grand Orangerie by guest pastry chefs.
You will be greeted by hosts in fancy dress.
Do practice your curtsey.
Frederic Cassel of Fontainebleu insists you try his chocolate bread. I had it this morning - a don't-miss
With a chaser of chocolat chaud/hot chocolate from MOF Jacques Bellanger
Why I resisted the unctuous caramel tartiner of Jean-Charles Rochoux to top my chocolate bread is beyond me. Do not follow my example.
Did you know candies from the red poppy/coquelicot by Des lis of Nemours are good for your throat? I did not though I gobbled down a small bag entirely back home. They did not taste a bit like medicine. Other chocolatiers present at the Palais to taste: Maison Bossier, Comptoir du Cacao, Arnaud Lahrer, Sadaharu Aoki, Mazet Confiseur and many others.
Don't miss a wander through the luxe rooms at Vaux
And look up at the carved ceilings
By artist Charles le Brun, another craftsman grabbed up by Versailles.
Conde Nicolas Fouquet is waiting for you. At least I hope this is M. Fouquet...
As are the pair of sphinx...