Today we seem to live at the speed of light, hooked to little electronic gadgets that nag us – with our permission, thank you – throughout every waking moment. That’s all the more reason to appreciate Meert.
Nothing happens in France overnight, least of all a blossoming friendship or a thriving patisserie. No, the maturation of either requires patience, tender care, growing trust and a touch of vision. And so it is with Meert. Over 250 years ago – in 1761, to be precise – a sweets and chocolate shop was born at 27 rue Esquermoise in Lille. Some ten years later, the addition of Meert’s famous ice cream inspired the reverence of the Count of Lille and transformed the establishment into one of Lille’s most fashionable sites, proving once again that the touch of royalty ‘gilds the lilly’.
Flash forward to 1839, when the decision was made to renovate the establishment. The creative team included the architect César Benvignat – the official architect of Old Lille, painter Stalars and sculptor Huidiez; who combined their brilliance to create the impressive, ornate oriental style you find at Meert today. Ten years later, Meert became the official supplier of King Leopold I and concocted one of the stellar products of the store – the famous vanilla-filled waffle.
Along the way, the house added a first-in-class restaurant poised along a sun-bathed interior courtyard with a 19th century glass roof. Now, the distinguished clientèle enjoys the multi-faceted historic boutique, traditional tearoom and gastronomic restaurant all presented in the extravagant and tasteful surroundings of Maison Meert. A second restaurant at Lille Printemps has been added, as well as two Paris locations in the Marais and Saint-Germain, in Bruxelles and Roubaix.
Now, about that infamous waffle….
Ten years ago, the EphéMeert waffle appeared beside the traditional vanilla waffle that is particularly known for its’ flavorful Vanille de Madagascar. Flavors range from praline and puffed rice, pistachio and morello cherry to blackcurrant and violet flavors. You can be certain that the enticing combinations are tucked away quite carefully in the little tattered notebook that guards the Meert’s cherished secrets!
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