I have a voracious sweet tooth and in the years that I traveled frequently to Paris (yes, I know, lucky old me) I targeted as many of the city's truly sensational patisseries (Fauchon, La Patisserie des Reves, Angelina) as could possibly be squeezed into otherwise furiously packed days.
But I never tasted a merveileux - possibly because, as I have discovered, it is a north of France specialty and the 5 (yes 5) Aux Merveilleux de Fred shops scattered throughout the best arrondissements in Paris were off my hectic work track.
But now there are 2 (yes 2) shops for this amazing delicacy in London, one opened last spring in South Kensington (how could I have missed it?) and a second just weeks ago in Battersea.
The merveilleux story goes like this: meringues coated in whipped cream, they are a traditional recipe of the north of France and Flanders. Sometimes forgotten, they have been brought back to their former glory by Frederick (aka Fred) Vaucamps. He opened the first Aux Merveilleux de Fred shop in Lille in 1997, perfecting his own recipe - a melt-in-the-mouth meringue, like eating a cloud.
An airy brioche is the second key item to buy here - along with foil wrapped packets of thin waffles filled with pastry cream - again, like nothing I have tasted.
Definitely a destination.