“Wouldn’t it be lovely to pamper ourselves with food and delights during our in-home retreat?” Alison, our writing teacher suggests.
Hmm. What would be a luxury for me? An almond croissant. A recommendation from a friend for the best almond croissant in Melbourne has me driving 8.5km through Melbourne’s traffic, finding a park and standing in line at a busy French bakery called Calle.
According to their website: “Callé refers to ‘street’ in Spanish and Venetian. This inspiration came to us while travelling in Europe, as we walked through narrow streets and alleyways to find many of the delicious pastries and breads we aspire to make here in Melbourne.”
“Two almond croissants to take away please,” I say. “That will be $16.” What? There’s another luxury. I’m usually reticent about spending that sort of money on food – I must get out more.
I drive past my favourite Indian takeaway café in the vicinity. Why not? “Three samosas, please.” I’ve been savouring these tantalising vegetable parcels of delight from this place for over 30 years, only occasionally. This special weekend warrants these.
Home again, kettle on, one croissant is delicately served onto a small mauve plate with little eyes on it. Sounds weird but these eyes watch me as I cut the croissant into smaller pieces. They seem like they’re smiling.
“Go, Helen,” they murmur. Sitting down with my Twinings English breakfast tea in my ‘LOVE’ mug, photos taken, I take my first bite. The flaky almonds go everywhere as the smooth custard oozes into my mouth. My eyes close as I savour the buttery, not-too-sweet taste sensation. My fingers are covered in flakes and gooey goodness and just for this moment, I’m sitting on a wicker chair in Paris facing the street, watching the parade of walkers and shoppers pass by. Just like the Calle website says, I’m transported by those memories of Paris and Europe and cakes and delights. Just for now.
I’m glad the bakery isn’t too close to my house as I would be there every day. My waistline and wallet would not be happy.
For this weekend though, I will indulge. Thanks, Alison, for the prompt.
About the author
Helen M O’Connor is a retired teacher and natural therapist who enjoys writing little snippets of her life and reading them to her friends. She is a contributor to various magazines.