On the busy rue Esquermoise, you will see the equally busy Alex Croquet supplying some of Lille’s most delicious bread. After all, he isn’t called “fou de pain” (crazy about bread) for nothing. Croquet is so crazy about bread that he has declined requests to export it to different regions. Bread is made with love, and just like love, it does not tolerate distance with ease. You’ll just have to venture up to the North if you want to marvel in all its glory!
Some of the biggest Michelin starred chefs have come to see Croquet to discover what makes his bread so good and with that honour, it’s clear that there is absolutely no skimping on quality around here, no sirree. All breads are handmade from organic flour, fresh yeast and purified water.
As you walk into the store, the first thing you will notice is breads of all shapes and sizes stacked up neatly against the dark purple walls and instantly have a hunch that each one must have been treated with love and care in the baking process. They are rustic in look with a beautiful colour on each crust.
Glance down to the cabinet to find equally good looking patisseries. The seasonal clementine tart is pretty as can be, with thinly sliced clementines arranged in a floral pattern. Some other favourites is the flan, which is quite possibly one of the most overlooked cakes in general but when we saw the vanilla beans bursting out of the custard we had to try it. It was the best we’ve had and it has definitely re-instilled our love for flan!
The kouign amann, a type of brioche cross puff pastry cake that originates from Bretagne is also a particular favourite from this store. The sugar caramelises on the top and you are left with a decadent toffee brittle that pairs so well with the buttery pastry. We fell in love with the kouign amann after learning about and tasting them at Melbourne’s Lune Croissanterie...yum yum!
You will find Croquet’s breads just about flying off the shelves as the day progresses so get in early if you want to be able to have a range to choose from!
66 Rue Esquermoise, Lille