‘Ludwik Rembieliński is in Warsaw – Chopin wrote in a letter to Tytus Woyciechowski dated 4 September 1830 – I saw him at Lourse’s, where I got into a dispute with Ernemann about The Turk and Agnese, about the Italian and the Pole. Soliva continues to direct the operas in which his young ladies appeared, gradually you will see that he is saddling Kurpiński, he already has one foot in the stirrup, and a courageous, moustachioed cavalryman is helping him up. He also has Osiński on his side.’
‘At Lourse’s’ meant to be at one of Warsaw’s best known patisseries, founded at what is now ul. Miodowa 12 by the Swiss Wawrzyniec (Laurent) Lourse in 1821. The dispute referred to in the letter cited above between Chopin and Maurycy Ernemann concerned Carlo Soliva and Karol Kurpiński and the operas Il Turco in Italia by Rossini and Agnese by Ferdinando Paer. The Osiński referred to in the last sentence was Ludwik Osiński of the Junosza coat of arms. In 1814, Osiński had replaced his father-in-law, Wojciech Bogusławski, as director of the National Theatre. The position was later shared with others, including Ludwik Dmuszewski and – of all people – General Aleksander Rożniecki, who had commanded the secret services under Grand Duke Constantine a few years earlier, and whom Chopin dubbed ‘the moustachioed cavalryman' in his letter.
Lourse’s was famous for its gourmet ice cream and chocolate desserts. It was popular not only with Fryderyk, but also with Mikołaj Chopin, who loved to read the French newspapers available there. By all accounts, this modern and luxurious place was especially highly regarded by women. That was because the first gas lighting in Warsaw was installed here, subtly enhancing female beauty.