Rua dos Clérigos 64, Porto, Portugal
Continuing our trip around Portugal, Mrs Snot Block & Roll and I stopped next at Porto, home of port wine and, from 1990-1993, J. K. Rowling. While walking around and admiring the scenic sights of this lovely city, we passed a number of pastelerias, and saw in the window of one what looked like the most amazing vanilla slices. They were large cubical blocks, with about 98% filling in between two thin layers of pastry. But having eaten recently, I wasn’t up for trying one at the time.
But then late in the day we visited the Clérigos Church and tower. This is situated near the top of one of Porto’s many hills, so the tall bell tower is visible from all over the city. After checking it out, we had dinner nearby and the were walking down the road back to our hotel when we spotted the pasteleria O Forno dos Clérigos (“the oven of Clérigos”), with an amazing array of luscious looking sweets in the window and the display cases inside.
Continue reading O Forno dos Clérigos, Porto
Shop 2, 130 Hampden Rd, Artarmon, New South Wales
I’ve walked past this place several times on exercise-driven peregrinations, and often been tempted by the luscious looking cakes and pastries on display, but had never been in the right state of hunger to pop in and try something. But on a long Sunday walk I arrived here around lunch time, and decided that now was the time. The cakes looked great, but obviously I had to sample the sausage roll and vanilla slice first.
It was a hot day, with the sun beating down hard outside, so I chose one of the two small inside tables and grabbed some cool water from the jug on the counter, while waiting for the woman behind the counter to bring out the selections. The sausage roll comes on a rectangular white plate, while the vanilla slice is served on a traditional circular one.
Continue reading Inter Desserts, Artarmon
Via Basilea 28, Lugano, Switzerland
On a driving holiday in Europe, we found ourselves checked into the Continental Parkhotel in Lugano, a lovely lakeside city in southern Switzerland. The hotel overlooks the old town, across a railway line, and consists of a grand old building, plus a newer annex where the cheaper rooms are.
Normally the breakfast buffets at hotels in this part of the world have a selection of hot food, bread, cold meats, cheeses, and fruit. Sometimes they have cakes or tarts. But as I surveyed the offerings on this fine morning, I spied, lurking between a row of doughnuts and muffins, a procession of vanilla slices! Having the luxury of taking whatever I wanted for breakfast, I first filled up on healthy things like muesli and fruit, before returning to the buffet to grab a vanilla slice.
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St Ives Shopping Village, Shop 67, 166 Mona Vale Road, St Ives, New South Wales
I made my way to the northern Sydney suburb of St Ives in search of La Petite Lorraine, a bakery which appears frequently when Googling “best vanilla slice in Sydney”. Its name jumped out of the web page so many times that I had to make the pilgrimage. Alas, when I arrived, La Petitie Lorraine was nowhere to be found, even with the help of Google Maps telling me that I was standing less than 5 metres from its location.
Assuming there was some location error, or that the place had closed, I sought refuge from the burning sunshine inside the St Ives Shopping Village – which is really just a mid-sized indoor shopping centre. There were a couple of bakeries in there, and I located one which had both sausage rolls and vanilla slices: the Bakehouse Cafe. Despite the “Cafe” in its name, it was really just a bakery counter front, with no tables or service other than two women behind the cash register selling the baked goods.
I procured the roll and slice, and then with no nearby seating available, walked the length of the shopping centre to the food court area to find a table. (Mrs Snot Block & Roll acquired a date scone, which was large and chunky, and declared it to be quite good.) Sitting down, I began examining the sausage roll, which had been packaged in a brown paper bag emblazoned with the logo of the Bakehouse Cafe.
Continue reading St Ives Bakehouse Cafe, St Ives