For some people, going to Paris is all about the sights, the history, the arts. For me, it’s the food.
Or, if we’re being specific, the cakes.
Parisian patisserie is number one in the world. Yes there are strong contenders both in Australia (how?? In the last five years Australia have risen SO HIGH in the food world) and Japan, but sorry guys, it’s still Paris leading the way.
Home to the likes of MY OWN PERSONAL GOD Pierre Herme as well as other incredibly talented pastry chefs, Paris houses a number of great pastry geniuses like no other.
And so, with my darling boyfriend in tow, we arrived in the most romantic city in Europe at midday and decided to hit the town (with a thirty kilo rucksack which would turn out to be THE DEVIL as the day wore on).
Obviously when you go to Paris first things first, you know, for all that novelty photo goodness. And as a mere, weak, mortal I am no exception. Butter me up with sunscreen and let me slap on a fanny pack; yes I’m a tourist dammit. I’m standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and loving it.
After the fiftieth photo, courtesy of my boyfriend who I managed to bribe into playing photographer for the day by also letting him play Pokemon Go around the city: we hit our first pastry stop.
Cutie little store, just down the road from Sadaharu Aoki and a Pierre Herme, so in pretty good company, am I right?
We chose L’Equinox purely for aesthetics. It was mauve, guys, mauve. And, for five euros, it turned out to be a pretty snappy bargain.
A light, creamy white chocolate and vanilla mousse with a thick caramel core, all above a caramel soaked sponge.
There are worst ways to start the day tbh.
Next we crossed over the river and headed over towards L’Arc de Triomphe. This is me, posing like the sweet angel I am.
If you’re wondering, that expression I’m pulling is barely concealed disappointment because at this point I really need to pee and the last two patisseries on my list happened to be closed for summer renovation work so I’m also super hungry.
My boyfriend had booked us a boat trip on a classically Parisian Bateau Mouche next, so we headed down to the river and aside from THE GOD AWFUL TOILET CONDITIONS ON THAT BOAT WHICH I’M NOT GOING TO MENTION BUT HOLY FUDGE THE HORROR LIKE DAMN it was a lovely way to see the city.
I should probably mention that when I’m hungry I’m a grumpy pants. So by this time, it was mid afternoon and I’d had one cake; I was in Paris, city of cakes.
It wasn’t good enough.
We made our way towards Fauchon; which, if you don’t know it, is the fabled land of all things delicious and glorious. I had such high hopes.
WHICH WERE DASHED.
In short, we arrived, I felt super grotty and under dressed (although adorable) and there were four cakes left in the display counter. Genuinely, I felt like I’d let my boyfriend down more than anything BECAUSE I HAD BEEN HYPING PARIS UP SO MUCH FOR THE CAKES. Fortunately he was having fun Poke hunting so, you know, blessings.
In a desperate Google search, I’d located another Pierre Herme nearby, this was the third of the day and so my hopes were pretty much dead now. The first had been shut, the second had been a counter in a store and therefore pretty limited; would this third be my saving grace?
Well, it turned out; yes and no.
It was another DAMN COUNTER as opposed to an actual shop WITH THE FULL RANGE WHICH I HAD SPENT A YEAR DREAMING ABOUT BUT WHATEVER, but it happened to be within a huge, grand, food hall alongside all the top names in patisserie. So, I couldn’t really complain because I ended up stocking up on serious cake goods.
Thank you Galeries Lafayette.
First up, L’eclair de Genie, created by top chef Christophe Adams and selling, you guessed it, eclairs. Delicious eclairs, ranging 4.50 – 6 euros per piece. Worth it though.
My partner chose this yuzu citrus beauty and it was filled with the zestiest, creamiest, curd and topped with little cubes of shortbread and meringue drops.
So, so good.
We also picked up a few other bits and bobs but the only one I want to talk about is this.
Salted. Caramel. Matcha.
All things cuttlefish; look, here’s the deal. I’ve had Sadaharu Aoki before and it was beautiful, but honestly? Style over substance. This tart though. I didn’t think the matcha and caramel would work; but THEY WORK INSANELY WELL TOGETHER. The organic, clean matcha with the incredibly sweet caramel. I would swear but my mum reads these posts and she doesn’t like it when I swear. But damn.
Golden sweet pastry case, thick, throat itchingly sweet caramel, and light, incredibly airy, matcha mousse. Incredible. Go to Paris FOR this.
And so, eight hours and about 14kms of walking later, we reached our Eurostar for the final leg home.
When we finally got back, past midnight, with a desperately happy cat snuggled with us, you can bet we slept well.