A winner of a writing place…

January 25, 2011 § 17 Comments

Bissinger’s is a chocolatier, in the business of luxe sweet treats since the 1600s but it wasn’t ’til the 1800s that the family came stateside.
St Louis has two stores, the newest one having opened in 2007 which I refer to as “the bistro,”   a sweet little location. 

It sounds all haute and unapproachable but – not true! The Central West End embues it even more with charm and allure.

You can sit and sip and socialize. There is plenty of room yet it’s cool-cozy. It’s modern but no hard edges.

It’s warm despite its front being nothing but glass – the better for people watching.  Yes you can sit and look out. Or, look in.
Whatever you like.
And there are things to buy if you want to take home something Bissinger-y.

And we went in, not intending to have anything really, other than the comfort of a lovely hot chocolate…

OK, not a great picture but look at the size of that hot chocolate compared to the “normal” size water glass! Oh, yum.  This is the stuff of comfort food in the dead of winter whether the sun is shining or not.

And, there are things to buy if you are so inclined.

And then, because the place is new to you and you are “exploring” and checking it out as a future “writing place,” your date (HM himself) might order a little something, just to see what the “fare” is all about. Egads – yum. A blue cheese and spinach quiche…and a double chocolate scone.  With butter. So British.

So, a writing place – really? Oh, yes. In the middle of an afternoon, with a little urban-ness and a discreet wait staff and the rich hush of a library gone sweet on chocolate, it’s the perfect place to write. Even if the only thing you have is your planner and a Bic stick pen.

Can chocolate replace coffee? Replace it? No. Complement it? Yes.
Thanks, I’ll take both.
They fuel the pen-to-paper activity.

You can order from Bissinger’s, too, and then just stay home and snack on the stuff.
But for a chocolate adventure, you have to go see…and sip…and sup a little.

Get out of the house, get out of your usual skin to sit down and do some serious writing. Changing venue/location changes everything about how you see the (same old) things on your page.

CHOCOLAT, of course!  We saw Joanne Harris two years ago when she stopped in St. Louis and as she started out on her evening “lecture,” I thought ohgeezshedoesn’twanttobehereandthiswillbeboring.
Oh, how wrong I was. As she warmed up (shy), the anecdotes poured forth and she drew us into so many stories we lost track of truth and ficiton. And she spoke of the sequel at that time to CHOCOLAT. If you loved the CHOCOLATE world, the sequel will be a bit of an adjustment. Titled  THE GIRL WITH NO SHADOW in the U.S.  (and THE LOLLIPOP SHOES in the UK), it takes place in Paris, following the story of the Vianne and her daughters.  (sorry, Johnny Depp, the river pirate, is not in the story.)

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§ 17 Responses to A winner of a writing place…

  • Arti says:

    This is such a classy place… I’ll take both the chocolate and the Latte, thank you. And oh, what a treat to hear Joanne Harris talk. Chocolat is such an original film… Juliette Binoche, as always, is just beautiful. Thanks for a lovely post.

  • aubrey says:

    No such place exists near me – how I envy you!

    Chocolate has no serious appeal for me but that quiche…devastatingly delectable. Really, it makes my head spin.

    • oh says:

      ARti – I just remembered: I need to write and tell you about the “lightbox” used to shoot the book picture in a prior post. I should get to it tonight!

      Aubrey – yes, Bissingers is a wonderful place but could you please please teach me how to unlove chocolate? In fact, I just routed out a solid chocolate Santa, still freshly wrapped and waiting, a holiday leftover. And it would be rude, wouldn’t it, not to enjoy it, or at least share it?

  • litlove says:

    What a delightful bistro! And I love Joanne Harris’s books. I’ve read a couple, although not Chocolat or its sequel. I’m sort of saving them up because she is so dependably good.

  • Oh my gosh, that place looks awesome! I think Nora might be planning to take me here this weekend as she mentioned something about a to-die-for hot chocolate! 🙂

    See you on Saturday!!!!! 🙂

    • oh says:

      Litlove – what a wonderful way to describe J Harris’ books! you’re right. And I have 2 of hers stashed as well.

      Lisa – Finally, finally, I’m back to Blog land and way behind in comments – but having you here totally outweighs and writing here – it was so great, such a treat and so natural having you here! I’ll hope you’ll revisit. I promise not to cough or wheeze! I am very (tho’ probably seemed quietly) excited about your trip to Paris. i will have a million questions once you there. I have to source a cooking store I know of there and will send it to you when I find it – if it’s still there! As you are our own Julia, you might be interested in a kitchen trinket or two!

  • Bree says:

    Your writing lesson is so true. I’m trying desperately to get myself to follow this idea with no success. Almost everyday this month, I’ve been telling myself to go to the coffeeshop or book store or diner to write my research paper but it’s just so comfortable to stay home and piddle around the house. Non-productive for the writing though. Nothing written yet. Urgh.

    • oh says:

      Bree – actually, “urgh” is one of my favorite words. It says so much AND it makes me laugh. Oh, the comfort of being home and in a place you love and that loves you back. Yikes- the prospect of a research paper, tho’ I suspect that once you begin, you’ll fall in love with doing it – there’s so much “cool” about the doing of something once you get to it.
      And by now, you’ve either get it well begun OR finished…I’ve been offline for a few days. Hope it’s going well!

  • jeanie says:

    I just bought Chocolat at a yard sale — it is currently in the pile. That pile is getting bigger every day — I told book club I wanted a month off from the reading so I could read down my pile!

    This place — divine. Does that fragrance of coffee and all help you write better? I can almost smell it! And the spinach/blue cheese — yum. Honestly, I must visit your neck of the woods. I don’t know that we’d get any writing done, but what a fine time we’d have talking about it over a super-sized hot cocoa!

    • oh says:

      Jeanie – you’re right -we likely won’t get any writing done, at least not in the first hour we get together – we’ll be jabbering away and anything less than a library would throw us out!
      Oh, where is June, not that I’m in a rush or anything but this weather goes from dank and cold to possibly blizzard-ishis.
      I have had the opportunity to work on the TBR stack these past few days (with cold/flu) and finished 3 books. The pile doesn’t look smaller but perhaps I can convince myself to not add to it, either? ahahahaha.

  • shoreacres says:

    How wonderful that you have such a lovely place to go to. I’ve ordered Bissinger’s from their catalogue a time or two, and though they aren’t my absolute favorite (Moonstruck holds pride of place) I never would turn down a thing from their shop.

    And just to go, for the chocolate and conversation? Absolutely. But to go to such a place to write? It wouldn’t work for me. There are too many distractions. When it’s writing time, it’s put the rear end in the chair time and block everything else out. How could I block out such a wonderful place?

  • Bella Rum says:

    That quiche looks wonderful. I love blue cheese, and the double chocolate scone? Oh, my goodness. It looks like a lovely place to spend some time.

    • oh says:

      Dear Shore – Well, I didn’t get any writing done there. Not a lick! But I shall make another attempt as soon as there is an open couple of hours! (cuz I have to get there – a 25 min drive from the house whereas B&N is only 5.)

      Bella Rum – At first glance I thought – who needs a double chocolate scone? And with butter? and then I tasted it and HM said, “see? see?” and then I added butter. Egads. except for the lack of protein, one could live on these.

  • Heather says:

    This place looks awesome. We need to make a new city (called St. Denver?) where we can combined the best of both worlds! Oh, and it need to be close to an ocean. 🙂

  • Becca says:

    I envy you a place like this to go, sit, sip, and write. I need to search out such a place near me, and get myself there posthaste!

    That blue cheese quiche looks scrumptious!

  • Kathleen says:

    Sounds and looks like a wonderful place to write!

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