There were only three Pâtisseries in Lyon that I would bother with:
LE PAIN BOULANGER
128 Rue Bugeaud, Lyon 6th
The first pâtisserie is tucked away in the back streets of a Lyonnaise neighbourhood. The cabinets and the delicacies are pared back - only five eclairs are on show, only a few small coconut treats under a glass dome on the counter. Each pastry looks as if it was lovingly prepared with gold tweezers, by the same people that put tiny ships inside glass bottles.
Taffin does not serve up any of that sugary-sweet gel, dense and flavourless shortcrust shit. No, here the flavours are delicate but true - lemon is lemon.
42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, Lyon 6th
The second pâtisserie is more of a well-rounded bakery: selling everything from quenelles with their accompanying lobster sauce, to large cakes, to bite sized bits of chocolate. And oh my lord, the chocolate!
Bernachon makes their own chocolate, from scratch - meaning they source the very best beans and bring them all the way to their realisation in a ganache-filled, heaven-sent form. As great as that sounds, the pastries are every bit as wonderful. The cabinets are full of them, stacked in wooden display boxes end to end to end, a salivation enducing dream. A tarte aux framboises, with raw raspberries peeking through the dollop of glaze, sits next to a tall carré pistache, enrobed in chocolate, which itself sits next to an éclair café with pastry so light that it might take up and fly away.
LE PAIN BOULANGER
12 Boulevard Émile Zola, Oullins
The Bread Bakery - where the residents of Oullins would trip down to buy their daily baguettes. The pastries at Le Pain Boulanger were nothing to call home about, nothing fancy. Yet I would stop here whenever it was open for a few good reasons.
One. It was close to home.
Two. It was good food - simple, yet good. A loaf of bread here tastes like yeast and the smell of rising dough. A muffin framboise was like a succulent and dense banana bread, minus the banana.
Three, and the most important reason of all. I liked the shop owner and she liked me. Having had the shared experience of living in New Zealand, we would chat about this and that, and then she would slip a free croissant or two into the white paper bag along with my tarte tatin. I loved this place simply because it felt homely.