We recently went on a shopping trip to Le Touquet and passed a chocolate shop called Au Chat Bleu. Now, we would have liked to go in but there was quite a queue and we were in a hurry so we had to pass up the opportunity. We did however, peep over the tops of the heads of those in the queue and it looked beautiful and we vowed to return – we figured any chocolate shop that could have a queue like that had to be worth going back to.
Well, I must tell you – it absolutely is deserving of a return visit and is worth every bit of a queue on a Saturday! The chocolate is divine and the shop is gorgeous.
Au Chat Bleu is 100 years old. It was opened in Le Touquet in 1912 by two sisters who adored cats – and in particular their Persian Blue cats who gave them the inspiration for the name of the shop “Au Chat Bleu”.
The little shop in Rue de Paris was an instant hit with its home made chocolates and in particular the Blue Cat chocolates named after the shop and in 1920 the premises moved to Rue Saint-Jean – where they still are today. The chocolate is so good that the business became very successful and now has franchises in Paris, Lille, Deauville and Quimper.
The shop in Le Touquet retains all the charm of the twenties when it was opened and when we went small children were there to choose their treat but also many old people – loyal customers since they were themselves children – still buying their treat in a shop they love.
The shop carries a wide range of chocolate and bon bons and every year they launch a new creation. Hand made in the neighbouring region of Picardy, labelled with their origins (Latin America and Africa) – there are truffles, bars, delicate little bites and caramels made with fresh butter. Gorgeous chocolates made from almond paste, kirsch and praline; pineapple covered in chocolate ganache; fondants and nuts, fruits and liqueurs, toffees and creams…
It is certainly a chocolate lover’s paradise – but the most popular chocolate as far as the happy customers are concerned is always the “Chat Bleu”.