These days in Paris go by too fast. It’s impossible to do all I wish—to do all the creative work I desire—but it’s even more impossible to partake of all my beloved foods. A morning at the Bastille marché brought tears to the eyes because I wanted to taste it all. Instead, I chose carefully: a whole roasted rabbit (I love le lapin), a few red bell peppers (that tasted actually peppery!), a gorgeous hunk of flan, and a round of bread. At home was already two favorite cheeses: Brillat-Savarain aux truffles and a chèvre called Figou (with fig in the center). At home, too, was a big box of Jacques Genin chocolates, a jar of riclettes du canard, and a much decimated block of Breton butter. And this might be what carried me through the week. Yes, one must choose wisely one’s pleasures when in Paris.
One of the things I’ve discovered since becoming single and living alone is the importance of making the dining experience special. When cooking and feeding only one’s self, it is easy to rush through it even to the point of ignoring the experience of it. Maybe that is just me. That’s when I discovered the importance of porcelain. By using a special piece of porcelain for my meal, I raise the moment. I give the food and the time consideration, even if the meal itself seems insignificant. The same goes for tea. Using the proper teapot for Sencha and using the Asian Gawain to drink, I attend to the ritual.
These are the reasons I’ve fallen under the spell of Hermès porcelain, especially the elaborately decorated Cheval d’Orient. When coming to Paris, I knew I would acquire a piece or two for the table, and I expected to choose something celadon from the new Dallet line. Maybe that will happen someday, but my heart continued to flip-flopped over Cheval d’Orient. To match the aesthetic of my sushi plate, I chose this exquisite bread plate. Don’t let the designation fool you. For me, it is more than large enough to hold a course or the entire meal itself. A couple of square plates are calling my name as well, but they might have to wait for summer when my suitcase is bigger.
How do you add pleasure to your table?