Bonjour, Yssingeaux!

Pronounced "ee-san-jo", Yssingeaux is a small town located in the Auvergne/Haute-Loire region of south-central France. A twenty minute drive from the nearest train station and a two-hour train ride from Lyon, Yssingeaux has a population of just over 6,000 people. Last October, my sister relocated to this small town to work at the P. Liotier Patisserie through a semester abroad with her baking school in Toronto. After two months of learning how to create the perfect petit four, it was time for her to return home - but not without a visit from her sister.

Although I was in Yssingeaux this past summer, I did not get a chance to fully explore the town's city centre. Once in in Yssingeaux, my sister led me on a tour of her daily life in France. We went to her favourite boulangerie for afternoon croissants and brioche, the local bar for espresso, and to her patisserie to show me the bûche de Noël she had made the day before. After a wonderful evening drinking wine and indulging in the aforementioned bûche with her French family, we woke up the next morning to the first snowfall of the season. All of Yssingeaux was covered in a blanket of snow. It was absolutely breathtaking.