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Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Yilan – Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋Just across Ji Mi Park in Yilan is Chalet Gelato, a cute little cafe serving gelato made from the season’s freshest produce.

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋It’s also a great rest stop especially on a hot day to enjoy a well-deserved dessert.

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋How does a lemonade topped with freshly plucked peppermint leaves or matcha freeze made with tea leaves from Shizuoka prefecture sound? :)

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋The floor to ceiling glass lets you take in the greenery surrounding the little cafe while staying cool.

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋Really helpful to have the popular combinations of gelato flavours listed out on the board, and look out for the seasonal flavours. What’s your favourite?

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋All the flavours look just as tantalizing. The flavours are usually determined by what fruits or nuts are in season, and kept as natural as possible. When in season, they have an interesting dragonfruit flavour.

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Nothing artificial is added when making the gelato, just lots passion and hard work. Can you imagine squeezing a whole bucket of oranges by hand?!

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋I chose a lychee rose and matcha flavour combination.

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋Time to enjoy. The texture was smooth and not overly sweet, with nature’s taste filling your palate.

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋Time seems to move slowly in Yilan, as you automatically slow down to take in sights of its mountainous naturescape.

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋I enjoyed the refreshing peppermint lemonade.

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋And an affogato makes the day even better. Coffee, anyone?

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋

Chalet Gelato 夏蕾義式冰淇淋
Address: 宜蘭縣宜蘭市和睦路鐵道一巷27號(宜興路與民權路交叉路口)
No. 27 Hemu Railway Road, Lane 1, Yilan, Taiwan
Tel: +886 3 933 3030
Opening Hours: 9:30AM – 6:00PM daily
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/chalet.gelato

Read more of my travels in Taiwan

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Au Chocolat – Old World French Chocolate Wonderland

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Au Chocolat – The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

I love adventures. And I can never resist chocolate. Au Chocolat naturally caught my attention when I was at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands. I was drawn to the store like a moth to a candlelight. Covering almost 4,700 square feet (4 shop units), Au Chocolate is a locally-conceptualised French inspired Bistro and a Confiserie (confectionary) offering hand-made gelato, chocolates, cakes and lots more to get you on a sugar-high.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Marrying old-world elegance and the nostalgic charm of Paris, Au Chocolat’s prominent façade of French fixtures instils a sense of nostalgia of French antiquated streets, and a perfect photo opportunity. A lot of thought was put into the shop décor – look out for a molten chocolate roof and a miniature vintage train set running across the ceiling, as well as staff dressed in aprons and straw boaters. I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s factory, awed by all the candy I wanted to stuff into my mouth.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

That’s OO the French bulldog (pronounced “oh oh”)

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

From left: Yufa, OO, Danielle,  Au Chocolat’s in-house characters

Opened by the folks behind Ku De Ta Singapore and Spanish restaurant Catalunya, a unique part of its marketing lies in its three cartoon characters, eight-year-old Danielle and her two cheeky dogs Yufa and OO (pronounced “oh oh”) as they wander around the fictional Au Chocolat Town. Created as a way to humanise the brand and make it more endearing to children, the characters will also front the range of store merchandise. The characters are based on Au Chocolat’s chief executive officers’ daughter, pug and French bulldog. There will be an on-going plot revolving around the three cartoon characters where kids can join them in their adventures in-store.  There are plans to produce children-friendly merchandise, a potential online club and even an Au Chocolat Theme Park.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Au Chocolat has quite an amazing range of cheesecakes – NY Style, white choc raspberry, matcha with oreo base, mango ginger and Dutch apple. Maybe chicken rice flavour in the future?

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Cupcakes & brownies

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Pretty!

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

The retail section, which occupies about two-thirds of the entire space, will stock everything from cheesecakes and gelato in more than 20 flavours to truffles made on the spot.

Au Chocolat Confiserie
Patrons can enjoy the ultimate retail experience at the Au Chocolat Confiserie with its own master chocolatier at work in the chocolate atelier creating delectable works of art on site. The Au Chocolat Confiserie also hosts a pâtisserie with a great variety of mouth-watering desserts such as cakes, pies and pastries. There’s also a children’s menu to keep the young ones happy.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Hand-made chocolates

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Gift ideas

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Watch as Au Chocolat’s in-house master chocolatier and patisserie Tai Chien Lin, formerly from the Raffles Hotel, prepare mouth-watering desserts at the chocolate atelier.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Great chocolate gift set

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

I felt like putting my mouth at a spout and gobbling all those jelly beans…

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Old-fashioned candy in a spectrum of rainbow colours.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Sweets rainbow in a bucket

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

The team behind all those delectable sweets and chocolate

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Elegant packaging

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Merchandise based on the three in-house cartoon characters, or join its membership club

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

I can’t agree more

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

This is my favourite retail product.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Au Chocolat Bistro
The bistro will provide an all-day dining menu of traditional French flavours and international cuisine such as an all-day breakfast menu, salads, pastas, roasted meats, and hand-made savoury and sweet crepes. Expect a chocolaty twist on the dishes, such as a hollandaise dressing made with chocolate and wine reduction or a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette. Prices range from S$11 for starters to S$28 for meat-based dishes. The only bummer? You have to pay S$2 to eat the cake you bought at the confiserie at the bistro. Duh.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Since it was a hot, sunny day, I decided to pamper myself with a gelato…

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

How to resist?!?

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

And that’s my calorie indulgence for the day – Sandwich ice cream in chocolate sorbet flavour. Pure cocoa decadence.

Au Chocolat - The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Come by soon, woof!

I am definitely impressed with the thought put in to create such a multi-dimensional brand consisting of so many different product offerings, and am excited to see how Au Chocolat develops. I believe it will become one of Singapore’s tourist attractions and will have no problem attracting a crowd amongst the locals too. While prices are slightly on the high side (it’s at Marina Bay Sands afterall), the overall in-store experience is special and friendly wait staff are always on hand to explain the products to you. I will be back to try more stuff. Damn that expanding waistline.

Au Chocolat
Bay Level L1-03 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands
2 Bayfront Avenue, Singapore 800000
Tel: +65 6688 7227 (bistro); +65 6688 7557 (confiserie)
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/auchocolatsg
Website: www.auchocolat.com

Open: 11:00AM to midnight daily