More international offerings just outside of Atlanta, the French destination pastry and coffee spot Cafe Vendome has two locations and is filled with expats enjoying some of the best croissants, eclairs, caneles, Madeline, macarons and a French take on the petit fours in the city. Run by an engineer-turned-patisserie owner, Cafe Vendome is the product of extensive research into French bread and pastry-making and a kitchen helmed by a Brittany native. Grab a locally-famous baguette on your way out, or a selection of breakfast pastries to wake up to or just enjoy lunch and pastries in-house.
Whip up a batch of apple dumplings for a crowd-pleasing dessert. Pastry-wrapped apples nestled into a sweet caramel sauce aren’t difficult to make. They hold their own when served as dessert at an elegant dinner or cozy family supper. The secret to success is to use a pastry that contains butter and egg yolk. That blend is pliable enough to make wrapping apples a breeze. (Pastry with shortening is too short and tends to break.) Serve warm apple dumplings solo, or pair with ice cream, milk or cream. If you don’t want to gobble all the pastry calories, try your hand at making baked apples (baked whole apples with skins on). They’re decadent enough for even the sweetest tooth in your gang.
This quaint butler's pantry holds all the accessories needed to host a party, including glass dispensers, pastry stands and small plates. There's even a coffee maker to prepare your morning or afternoon coffee.
This Hamptons kitchen called for a backsplash that was luxurious but not overly ornate. Matte glass tile was the perfect choice, complementing the white in the granite countertops and offsetting the sweetness of the pastry pattern valance above.
Back in the kitchen at Magnolia Farms, Joanna tries out numerous recipes and combinations in an effort to hone the selection of cupcakes and pastries to be offered at the new bakery. Chip generously offers to assist.
Explore this city of trees with a walk or bike ride through Alpharetta's Big Creek Greenway. Tote along a gourmet picnic lunch from Wildflour Cafe and gem-like pastries from Collet French Pastry Cafe or rent an electric bike from Pedego Alpharetta, a great way to keep older and younger riders on an even keel. The beauty of an electric bike, beyond the thrill factor, is you can go further and last longer, tackle hills with ease and then reward yourself with a stop at a local brewery along the way.
Repurpose a bar or garden cart into a rolling breakfast station complete with gourmet coffees and a variety of newspapers. It's the perfect time of year to loll away the morning over the paper, sipping hot java and noshing freshly baked pastries.
The key to a successful brunch is the use of finger foods arranged into an easily accessible layout. It's important to always ensure a range in heights, keeping pastries or desserts on tiered serving platters and main dishes on low, generously sized platters complete with festive garnishes.