AUX MERVEILLEUX DE FRED
Lille isn't exactly known for its sunny skies, which is perhaps why these Merveilleux look like such perfect fluffy clouds of goodness to compensate. Aux Merveilleux de Fred opened its first shop in the old cobble stoned district of Lille and is often found teeming with customers who are lured by the smell of fresh cream and meringue. Its illustrious interior with an impressive crystal chandelier is just one of the many things to marvel at as you walk into the shop.
The creator, Frédéric Vaucamps, grew up in the north of France and was drawn to the art of pâtisserie from a young age. Before the doors to Aux Merveilleux de Fred opened, Vaucamps was running his own boulangerie business at just 19 years old and although it didn’t work out, he used these experiences as a learning curve to his future success and didn’t quit experimenting and doing what he loves most - creating a vrai délice and sharing it with the public.
The merveilleux, a cake originating from Belgium and also very popular in northern France, consists of two flat meringues sandwiched together by whipped cream. They are then covered again in whipped cream (please, don’t stop with the cream) and then rolled in chocolate shavings. This cake has existed for centuries, but the merveilleux from Fred’s shop are lighter in texture and are just super duper fresh and delicious. The shop focuses on making one thing extremely well and with the utmost attention to detail. Although it’s clear that the merveilleux are the true stars of the show here, you can also indulge on a delicious “cramique” which is a beautiful brioche bread that comes filled with raisins, chocolate chips or sugar crystals.
You will find six different flavours in store and will certainly have a hard time deciding between: le merveilleux (chocolate), l’impensable (coffee), l’excentrique (cherry), le magnifique (praline), le sans-culotte (caramel) and finally l’incroyable (speculoos and our favourite)! They are all made on site and you can even watch the staff preparing them right in front of your eyes behind the large, open windows.
Fred's merveilleux has crossed oceans, opening in London and New York as well as various cities around France, Belgium and Switzerland. The merveilleux also come in various sizes where you can purchase one large enough for an event or just nip away with a mini version packed in an adorable little package (as pictured above)!
Aux Merveilleux de Fred
67 Rue de la Monnaie, Lille
Tuesday-Sunday: 7:30am - 7:45pm