La Renaissance is the kind of place that, even if you're in a hurry, you stop and pause to savour the sight of delicious cakes in the display. This time my friend and I weren't in a hurry so we join the rest of the eager purchasers.
Choosing a cake is extremely hard; does one go with a tried-and-true chocolate favourite like Tiramisu or a French classic like Creme Brulee or do I try their more unusual cakes. There are also eclairs, handmade chocolates, macarons (I'll be back for these!), creme caramels, palmiers and a selection of fruit tarts. Each has its own appeal but in the end I am won by the paisley shaped mousse confections in either Mango (Matisse), Berry (Larme de Gaugin or Passionfruit (Passion de Pierre). Most of the individual cakes are approximately $6 for eat in or $5 for takeaway. Larger cakes are about $29-$32 for the smaller sized ones that serve 6. Since I am a firm berry fan I choose the Berry (Larme de Gaugin $6) and a coffee ($3.50) and my friend chooses the Mango version (Matisse $6) and a pot of tea ($3). There's also a selection of hot savouries that smell incredibly enticing but we resist.
Checking the website, mine is an: "exotic tear-drop shaped cake; light creamy mixed berry mousse, encased in a decorative almond sponge
We take our pretty-as-a-picture cakes out into the gorgeously leafy private courtyard where they deliver our coffees. One forkful into my cake and I realise that I've made the right choice. It is full of a fresh berry mousse and headily fragrant of real berries. Among the mousse there is a layer of whole raspberries that gives it that tart refreshing quality. I try my friend's mousse and its nice but I am not find the mango flavour as authentic as the berry.
It really is like a quiet fragrantly leafy oasis in the middle of a bustling tourist hub. One could easily spend all afternoon there sampling the goodies and its easy to see why this cakeshop is a firm favourite with Vogue forum members. They're frightfully elegant looking but its not just style, they have substance too.
P.S. I think I've chosen my next birthday cake too!
Address: 47 Argyle Street The Rocks
Sydney NSW 2000
Opening hours: 8:30am to 6:00pm Seven days
Phone: + 61 2 9241 4878
Fax: + 61 2 9241 4811