Cocotte by Hexagone
France is just around the corner. But really.
Do you remember December 2010? I do. I got my heart broken and my sister-friend V., towed me into her family car, together with her husband and their baby girl of nearly six months. Off to France we went. Baby Phía and myself in the backseat, Christmas songs on the radio and enough food to get us through a week, let alone the ten-hour car drive to a place called Biollet in the Auvergne region of France. And of course that trip turned out to be all I needed to lift my (Christmas)spirit. It was my first encounter with France as an adult and I think I loved it.
That road trip to France has been in the back of my mind ever since. A silent sweet memory. Until last September, when again my sister-friend V. and I went to Paris for some city tripping. And boy did we trip. Over stores, terraces, macarons, eclairs and crêpes, wine and of course bread.
I wouldn’t describe myself as a Francophile, but I do have to admit I hold a soft spot in myheart for France. Must be the ‘je ne sais quoi’ or this romantic and proud neighbor. Being European I take pride in the fact that ‘France is just around the corner’. It’s what I tell my overseas relatives. And though it actually isn’t, I always figured to them it is. Being used to car drives that last over hours.
O how I remember those rides, hours and hours through the desert to get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. We would be stoked. Like, literally. Cars were firstly filled up with food, old Dutch Indonesian uncles and aunts (hence the food), music and last but not least, us kids.
For years now I’ve been trying to repeat trips like that with them in Europe, but we haven’t gotten to it. Yet. We never seem to have enough time to actually drive up to France. Or take the train or a plane for that matter. You can just imagine how lit I am now that there is an easier and faster way to get to France!
Bienvenue a Cocotte, a pure piece of Brittany in Amsterdam
In September Cocotte opened its doors on the Spuistraat in Amsterdam. Whether you’re a true Francophile, a French expat or tourist missing home, or just mad crazy about French sweets, be sure to visit this pure piece of Brittany in Amsterdam.
When you open its doors, you’ll find yourself in Brittany. It’s the region of France that is most known for the Breton stripes we all know and love, salted caramel and tarte tartin, for which goes the same.
On the menu you’ll find the specials that Brittany has to offer: galettes , crêpes, Kouing amans, Tarte Tatin and more. All made with pure and authentic ingredients the same way it is done ‘back home’. Because in a way Cocotte is home to the two born and raised French owners Nathalie and Sebastien. Which is probably why it has such a homely vibe about it.
That and of course the hot chocolate they serve. Not only do they use the best pure chocolate nibs, they serve it aside a cup of hot milk and a can of condensed milk. ‘My great grandmother used to make hot chocolate for me like that. You put the nibs in the milk and stir it up. When you’re finished some of the chocolate always gets stuck at the bottom. That’s when the condensed milk comes in. You poor it in there and use your “finger” to get the last pieces of chocolate out’, Nathalie shares.
Visit Cocotte you’ll find that everything connects ‘au naturel’, it just adds up. From the staff dressed in Breton stripes and the plates, cups and cutlery to the interior with the little Cocotte inside. The blue stripes together form a Hexagon. Again not a coincidence. France, because of its form, is called l’Hexagon.
Does that mean that Cocotte will get a brother or sister somewhere else in the city? ‘Yes, we’re thinking of expanding. But we’ll focus on another region of France. Dordogne, maybe, Nathalie says. But first Cocotte!
Cocotte by Hexagone
Images courtesey of Cocotte by Hexagone