Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE

Location: Paris

When we visit Paris we always pack our mostly comfortable shoes because we have lots of places to go and lots of things to do. We must keep walking and looking up and drinking chocolate milk at sidewalk cafes, just like Mademoiselle Cerise. She always comes with us to Pareeeh —that’s French for Paris.


Mademoiselle Cerise via


We also must do enormously important things like making chocolate cookies at École Ritz Escoffier. We absolutely don’t mind to become chefs. We would taste all of our own recipes and decide to never eat Brussels sprouts. Our manny George told us that we can count on him for the pastry tasting part. We said, “D’accord,” which is O.K.  


Frederick’s favorite French words are petit and déjeuner because when you say them together it means breakfast, and breakfast in Paris means croissants. Frederick is a croissant connoisseur. He says that this means that he knows everything about croissants, and he really does. His favorite croissant is from Stohrer, the oldest patisserie in Paris. Monsieur Nicolas Stohrer was the pastry chef of King Louis XV which is pretty grande.


Did you know that Vienna and not Paris is the birthplace of the croissant? Legend has it that one night in 1638, Viennese bakery workers heard Ottoman soldiers walking through a tunnel beneath their bakery. The Ottomans wanted to invade the city, but the bakery workers alerted the city’s defenders who then could defeat the Ottoman army. To celebrate the city’s victory, the bakery workers created a pastry that symbolized the crescent moon which was a symbol on the Ottoman flag. They called it kipferl which means crescent. In 1838, an Austrian entrepreneur named August Zang, opened the first Viennese bakery, Boulangerie Viennoise, at 92 Rue Richelieu in Paris. Parisians went to his bakery to taste his moon shaped kipferl. After Mr. Zang left Paris, Parisian pastry chefs made their own kipferl and called it croissant. This means crescent in French.


Viennese pastry chefs are famous for their breakfast pastries. That’s why we call croissants, brioches, pains au chocolat, and other breakfast treats “viennoiseries!”


Paris is the world of fashion. Coco Chanel is our favorite designer because she knew that when you are different this simply means that you are irreplaceable. I think she would have liked the jewels we created at L’École des Arts Joailliers.


Our favorite place in Paris is the Jardin des Tuileries. When we go there we leave our name on the frosty mirror in the lobby, say a bientôt to the doorman, and cross the street. We always take Wally with us because he likes to look at the pigeons. He also likes to look at Mr. Cédric Grolet’s pretty pastries.


Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE


Our manny, George, also comes with us to the Tuilleries because he can use the exercise. George speaks several languages, and he has a valid passport. When we take George with us, he keeps saying, “Regardez, regardez!” which means “Look, look!” We think that George gets too excited about Paris and raspberry tartes sometimes. 


When we are in the park we jump on the trampolines while George sits on a bench and talks to his newspaper. Wally lays at his feet and snores. He does that a lot. We also must go on the Jardin’s carrousel. We like to sit in a train. George likes to sit on a horse and sing “À Paris sur mon petit cheval gris! A galop, a galop!” George is very loud and tres agréable like that. 


In the evening we dress Tippi, our ballet mouse, in her favorite tutu, and we visit the ballerinas at the Opéra. Ballet mouse shouts, “Encore, encore,” which means absolutely darling.


Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE


At the end of the day we go back to our suite, and we call room service. We say “Pardonnez- Moi, it’s us, Frederick and Sophie! Can you please bring us beaucoup fries, some gateaux, two chocolate milks on the rocks, three dog cookies, and one very strong café no lait, for George, sil vous plaît?” 


Here’s what we are after a day in Paris. Absolutely fatigué. 


When George tells us to put on our pajamas, we tell Lila Boubou, ballet mouse, Cerise, and Mrs. Fairy to put on their pajamas too. They say, “Oui, oui!” And we say, “Bonne nuît!”


Frederick & Sophie

Illustration: Maya E Shakur for FREDERICK & SOPHIE / Illustration Styling: Priscilla Obermeier


  • Rita Spillane



    20. April 2022