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Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and let them cook for 3 minutes. Add the bay leaves, pepper, and wine to the pot and bring the wine to a boil.
Add the mussels and cover the pot. After three minutes, take the lid off and gently stir the mussels. Try to push any shells that are unopened to the bottom of the pot so they are closer to the heat. After 5 minutes remove the mussels from the heat. Discard any mussels that have not opened.
Pour the cream (if using) and the lemon juice into the sauce and gently mix. Sprinkle the parsley over the top and serve right away.