|4 lbs Artisan loaves of bread at Poilaine|
|So much bread!|
Our first stop was La Maison du Chocolat, who has locations all around Paris (including in the Louvre), London and worldwide. This little store on rue de Sevres by the department store, Le Bon Marche Rive Gauche, sells a plethora of chocolate creations. They have decadent filled chocolates, chocolate sauce, macarons, cakes, tarts, hot chocolate and the best chocolate eclair you have ever tasted!
|Pierre Herme = Macaron Heaven!|
|Chocolate bee hive at Patrick Roger|
Our next stop was life altering! To the point that I don't remember much detail of the places we visited after this stop. The macaron, a pastry that is just becoming popular in North America. An item with which I am now completely and utterly obsessed with. Most tourists to Paris have only heard of the macaron being associated with Laduree, an extremely famous cake and pastry store in Paris and now worldwide. The macaron consists of 2 very delicate almond and egg white biscuits, sandwiching some sort of filling. However, the pastry chef at the time who created the modern day macaron that has made Laduree so famous is Pierre Herme, who has since left to start up his own macaron store.
|Chocolate bee at Patrick Roger|
With innovative flavours such as Mogador (passion fruit and chocolate) and Olive Oil and Vanilla, it's no wonder that there are line ups out the door of Pierre Herme. Some of our favorite flavours included Infiniment Chocolat, Creme Brulee, Mogadar, Olive Oil and Vanilla, and Infiniment Caramel. For a list of flavours, check out their UK brochure. Once this discovery was made, many trips by ourselves and our friends were made here prior to our departure to London. Imagine our excitement when we found out a new Pierre Herme boutique was just opened in London! We visited it every other day, then purchased an extremely large box prior to our departure from Europe. If you manage to resist the urge to devour all the macarons at once, don't leave them too long as they do go stale. Also, if traveling with them they will get crushed if not treated as precious cargo.
Next we hit Pierre Marcolini, a cholatier from Brussels who only does pure origin chocolates. Although he also does luxary chocolates of the filled variety, it is his tablets and bars of chocolate that shine here. These consists of tablets of single origin chocolates, or trays containing a square of a variety of single origin chocolates. We relished the taste of these chocolates and bought plenty as gifts for friends (as well as a few for ourselves).
We also visited Weiss, whose product unfortunately, was incredibly unmemorable.
Lastly, Patrick Roger, a well known chocolate artist whose store front attracts every passerby! His store front window constantly changes, displaying his latest creation. The flavor of the moment was honey, with a massive chocolate sculpture shaped into a bee hive, complete with bees featured in the window! The elegant bars of chocolate were displayed on store shelves like Tiffany boxes. His filled chocolates creations consist of many unique but delightfully surprising flavors such as honey chocolate, basil chocolate and a lime chocolate. With a constantly changing line up of chocolates and window displays, one could never get bored visiting this store.
I highly recommend this tour for those with a few days in Paris set aside for non touristy stuff, as well as those who have been before. As well as chocolate and macaron fanatics, this tour is not to be missed and flies by in a wink of an eye!
Sorry for the lack of photos, but many stores do not allow you to take photos within the store itself. More photos on Photobucket.
Chocolate and Pastry Tour
Length: 3 hours
When: Daily at 2pm, Saturdays at 1pm, no tours on Sunday
Cost: Approximately $126/person (includes all tastings)