There is not much to be seen when you look through the windows. The shop is very much inconspicuous, there is no name sign and the location does not help either; lots of other flashy stores are much more welcoming at first sight. The place blends in with the housing facade and before you know it, you have easily passed by one of the best bakery´s in town, Le Salonard, located on Maastricht´s Rechtstraat, the one close to Café Zondag nearby the station.
Your sight may be hindered by pompous and flour-brushed bread, filled with hearty oats and nuts or fruity raisings and figs. They are piled on wooden blanks next to light sourdough bread rolls and heavy buttery croissants. Inside, depending on the time of the day, there is candlelight that gives the whole place a romantic touch. From button to top this place makes you want to fill a picnic basket: a little bit of lemon curd and fig marmalade, some truffle salami with whole-wheat bread, some local wine and then there is cheese, and I think I just lost myself in Monet's Luncheon of the Boat Party. Independently of the time of the day, there is a smell of freshly baked bread in the air.
The big chunks of cheese and wine let my imaginary culinary French heart beat a little faster and if you think this might be it, wait for the sweet compilation of pastries. For any sweet tooth, a feast can begin. Everyone whom is not really a fan of sweet stuff might change his mind after the chocolate brownie or the little diamond-shaped almond cakes, my personal favourite.
After a blue Sunday and Coldplay's “Yellow” on repeat this is the place I am looking forward to at the beginning of the week, only to be reminded that Monday is a day most bakeries are closed in town. A local regulation that goes against every human´s need on the first working day of the week: something little from the bakery and a strong coffee. Once you made it on Tuesday a little wait may be necessary as the place is popular amongst tourists, who actually take the time to read-up a little about the beautiful town we live in.
After a visit, your #foodporn Instagram presence will clearly improve, you friends back home will be impressed but more than gaining a couple of likes, you might also learn a little about local food and thus Dutch culture. The friendly Dutch women working in the shop will most likely give you a cheese recommendation and the place is full of local produce. After living in Maastricht for three years, I think everyone's taste buds should have tasted a little more than plain Gouda or remarkably smelly Limburger cheese. And if you think Dutch bread is always soft, plain and simply boring, this place might just change your mind about that too.
There are two Salonard bakeries in town, one is on the Rechtstraat and another one close to the library on Heidenstraat AND after 6 p.m. you can get a student discount.