Call me shallow, but good bread was one of things that attracted us to France. So having one of France’s best boulangeries a few short minutes from our front door is one of the pluses of living here.
It also explains why we have ben glued to the M6 series La meilleure boulangerie de France.
Chez Mathieu was crowned the best boulangerie in our region, Hauts-de-France, in September. The bakery is in rue Molinel, which runs between Lille Flandres station and Place de la République.
The boulangeries taking part in the competition have all been nominated by customers.
In the series, they are judged against several criteria. These include their appearance, their house speciality and even a bread they have to create to go with a meal nominated by the judges.
The show is hosted by Bruno Cormerais and Norbert Tarayre. The former won the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2004 and is an Ambassador of Bread (now that’s what I call a job title). The latter rose to fame in TV’s Top Chef contest in 2010.
Personally, I find it hard to like either of them much, so I do my utmost to ignore them in favour of the bread itself.
“We’ve been going there since we arrived in Lille. We knew it was good when people were queueing out the door”
We were delighted to see Chez Mathieu win the regional final. We’ve been going there since we arrived in Lille. It was recommended to us by the receptionist at the apartment hotel that Damon was put up in during his first month here.
We knew it was good when we got there and people were queueing out the door.
For a couple of months now, we’ve been waiting to see how Mathieu would fare nationally. The final took place this week.
Sadly, he didn’t win – he finished 8th. The challenge that saw him leave was to revisit a galette des rois, which is more a dish of a pâtissier than a boulanger. So I reckon that he can still hold his head high.
We watched the programme via M6’s online service, 6Play. There, we found the previous 4 series of La meilleure boulangerie de France.
It turns out, that 2 years ago, Maison Doucet, a bakery a few minutes’ walk from us in the other direction, was also the regional winner.
What can I say? We’ve landed in bread heaven.