Tulipmania is back! This time as an obsession for our Lexington Avenue patisserie, La Tulipe Desserts. Chef Steen-man's near-horticulturist's touch makes chocolate thrive (see his roses), cakes flourish (how they tower!), and cream unfurl (these angel clouds will have you thinking you've died and gone to heaven).
Nowhere else are desserts so divine.
I confess that I think about La Tulipe all the time. (Rhyme intentional.)
On February 13, I volunteered at Twigs boutique, then traipsed next door.
The snow shimmered, the wind whistled, yet I could not be deterred. The best of the best I had to have for my guests, Priscilla Partridge and Sybille Sparrow, set to arrive for an intimate tea.
"Birds of a feather flock together" is our favorite expression and it is true that what I do, they do, and what I say, they repeat. All a-twitter we are about La Tulipe!
(Another intentional rhyme.)
After much deliberation, even dithering, I selected three pastries (the dreamy Ispahan, riotous Raspberry Mousse, and Valentine's Vanilla Eclair). Once I returned home to my salon, I displayed all on a platter next to the linen napkins I had purchased a month earlier at Twigs boutique.
A vase of roses, my smart silver, and two candles completed the vignette. Even now, I swoon with the memory of this Valentine's tea.
Priscilla Partridge loved the attention to detail. Sybille Sparrow appreciated how flattering the light. And I revelled in company that appreciated my efforts.
Once we drained our teacups, Sybille read the wistful and wondrous twists of our tea leaves. Per the prescience inferred by her name, she saw great things. . .
I could expound on the singing career she predicts for Priscilla. Yet for me, Sybille envisions a glittering era as an entertainer. Masked balls, birthday banquets, and printanier picnics are but the start.
Of course, all this will require more visits to La Tulipe Desserts. My Tulipmania seizes me as it did the "Golden Age" Dutch, who squandered small fortunes on the potted bulb flower. Historians write that some varieties of tulip commanded the price of a house!
So although I won't be breaking the bank for my sweets addiction, my love glows (as incandescent as my candles!) for the beauty that La Tulipe brings to any table. As I dream of European pastries and the table settings that highlight these iced, sugared, and creamy dollops of heaven, I sense the genius of a previous era pressing near. . . From the 17th century to 2017, we may as well peer into our cups and read the tea leaves. There is no better way to entertain than through La Tulipe Desserts.