It certainly is hard on the feet pounding the pavement in search of tasty treats in Paris, but it’s easy on the eyes and on the stomach! What a great time!
Here are my top Paris picks from this trip:
Best Chocolate: Patrick Roger on 108 boulevard St-Germain. This shop is irresistible from the scent of chocolate upon walking in to the huge circular display of treats. Truffles get top marks as does everything we tried. The fact that the chocolatier himself was inside made it that much more special.
Best Pastries: Pierre Herme 72 rue Bonaparte. His chocolates are wonderful, but his pastries are even better. The staff is pleasant and professional, and I could hardly wait to rip that pretty bag to pieces the moment I could (out of sight of more restrained eyes) to get at the goodies! (By the way, his ice cream, at 24 euro a tub makes mine seem an utter bargain!)
Best Breads: Erik Kayser 14 rue Monge - This is an organic branch just a few shops down from his flagship shop. Fabulous!
Best Hot Chocolate: La Charlotte de l'isle 4 rue St.-Louis en l'ile - Don't be shy - march into the back room of this little shop, sit at one of the little tables and indulge in the silkiest, thickest chocolate in the city accompanied by a crystal carafe of water. It's only open Thurs - Sun, but well worth the trip if you need a chocolate high!
Most Pretension - Marcolini 89 rue de Seine - The staff wouldn't even look at us in this stuffy shop, and you are taken in the back room to pay (assuming you're up to their high standards). I've never had such a hard time trying to buy chocolate. Ridiculous!
Most Interesting - Sadaharu Aoki 35 rue de Vaugirard - Japanese pastry chef meets Paris. Lots of interesting flavours and fun combinations. Don't go if you're astonished by 12 euro bars of chocolate!
Most Garish Foodie Place - Fauchon place de la Madeleine - They are celebrating their 120th anniversary, and the banners and posters are about the tackiest thing I saw in the city of lights...
Best Ice Cream - Has to be Berthillon 31 rue St.-Louis-en-l'ile - Even though they are closed until January, there is no shortage of places to sample their wares. Truly top onÂ fruit flavours and sorbets...
Best Meal - Casa Olympe 48 rue Saint-Georges - Dominique (Olympe) Versini was the first female French chef to receive a Michelin star. We had a delightful dinner in her tiny bistro near Pigalle. And the value was exceptional!