Day 2 in Slovenia, this time staying at this charming B&B surrounded by hips and hips of lavender, with butterflies dancing all around. Like a dream!
Bled, Slovenia. Absolutely beautiful.
Add: 6 Rue Duphot, 75001 Paris
Tel: 01 42 60 34 12
Hours: [tea time] 3:30pm onwards
Price: €50~70/tea set, €12/individual pastry
Visited on: Jun 2014
Stéphane Tranchet of Le Burgundy Hotel may not be on the radar for many people, but this talented pastry chef is well known in the industry. I first heard about him from my chef at Un Dimanche à Paris, then subsequently from the head pastry chef at Le Meurice, both of whom highly applauded chef Tranchet’s work. He started at Pierre Gagnaire (three Michelin star restaurant in Paris) as a commis, then worked his way up to become the head pastry chef at Pierre Gagnaire’s tokyo outpost. Upon returning to Paris, he worked as sous-chef of Christophe Michalak at Plaza Athénée, then moved over to Le Burgundy as the head pastry chef. Pedigree, check.
To sample some of chef Tranchet’s work, I went to Le Burgundy on a quiet Monday for afternoon tea in their lovely courtyard.
Tea time at Le Burgundy, just like at most other hotels, comes in two options. The first is the a la carte option, where you choose individual pastries (€12 each) from the pastry trolley. Just look at this display. Wow.
Le Fraisier, strawberry pistachio cake.
Add: 80, rue de Charonne, 75011 Paris
Tel: 01 43 72 74 53
Hours: [Wed-Fri] 7~11pm [Sat-Sun] nonstop service 12~11pm
Price: €7~20/small plate
Visited on: Jun 2014
In Paris, it can be a struggle to find a dinner venue on Sunday nights. Our original plan was to go to the 7/7 Les Cocottes, but, not realizing that its opening time has changed from 7pm to 6:30pm, we arrived at 6:55pm to find it already packed. Instead of waiting, we jumped on a taxi and zoomed over to the 11eme for Clamato, the oyster bar by Bertrand Grébaut of Septime. Septime is one of the hottest neobistros in Paris, and reserving a table there is practically impossible after it got on Pellegrino’s list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Clamato, just next door, has a no-reservation policy, and it’s chill atmosphere is just what we needed on a Sunday evening (especially after my 12-hour work day in the pastry kitchen which started at 4am…)
I’m always a fan of bar seats, though the tables all the way in the back with its green backdrop look very lovely as well.
The daily-changing menu.
Monkey 47 bottle as tap water container, I like. More on this gin later.
Add: 21 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris*
Tel: 01 44 07 64 87
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 8:30am~7:30pm [Sat] 8:30am~8:30pm [Sun] 10am~7:30pm
Price: [coffee/tea] €4~8 [pastries] €6~10
Visited on: May 2014
*Multiple locations in Paris and worldwide, check website for details.
You must have heard of Ladurée. The pastel-colored macarons from this luxury patisserie, having appeared in popular culture like Marie Antoinette and Gossip Girl, form many people’s imagination of French pastry. Sweet lovers from all over the world flock to Ladurée for a taste of these double deckers, and apparently Ladurée sells around 15,000 of them each day (though I’m not sure how up to date this number is and if it’s referring to its sales in Paris, France, or worldwide). While I prefer macarons from Pierre Hermé, I do also enjoy the ones from Ladurée – the texture and the flavor are both quite different, and it’s really a matter of personal preference. However, I have not actually tried of any of Ladurée’s pastries during my almost-2-year stay in Paris until just earlier this month. Why?
Simply put, I’ve heard negative reviews about Ladurée pastries from industry professionals. This may come as a surprise for many people, as Ladurée is often seen as the epitome of French pastry by the general public, but actually I know of many patissiers who don’t go to Ladurée anymore.
Having said that, one has got to tea at Ladurée at least once while living in Paris, no? So on a rainy afternoon, I sought refuge from the downpour at Ladurée’s salon de thé on rue Bonaparte with a few of my favorites.
The pastry display at Ladurée is generally quite attractive. This La Fraise Ladurée, for example, composed of light strawberry mousseline, strawberry confit, and coconut dacquoise, is definitely a cutie.
Add: 3 rue Monge, 75005 Paris
Tel: 01 43 29 40 78
Hours: [Tue-Thu] 11am~8pm [Fri-Sat] 11am~10pm
Price: [to go] €5~6/small cake, €18~21/medium cake, €28~32 large cake [dine in] €12/tea time set
Tasted on: May 2014
It’s been a few months since I last visited Pâtisserie Ciel, and what lured me back this time was their new cherry blossom-flavored angel cake. When I entered the shop, its tranquil atmosphere immediately reminded me of how lovely it is to spend a few moments here with a fluffy light angel cake and a pot of freshly brewed hot tea…
Here it is, the cherry blossom angel cake (€12 with tea), with bits of griotte cherries nestled inside the cream.
Add: 11 Rue du Château d’Eau, 75010 Paris
Tel: 01 40 40 20 46
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 8am~4:30pm [Sat] 9am~7pm
Price: [drinks] €2~3.5 [light bites] €2~5
Visited on: May 2014
Café Smörgås is a neat little cafe attached to the recently opened Scandinavian lifestyle boutique La Trésorerie. They serve, not surprisingly, smörgås – open faced sandwiches topped with a variety of fresh organic products like trout filets, avocado, pecorino, fennel salad…etc., and if Carin (who is Swedish by origin) approves of them, they must be authentic. Coffee is from La Brûlerie de Belleville and is filter only, which can be enjoyed alongside a cranberry cookie as recommended by the very friendly cafe staff.
Add: 104 quai de Jemmapes, 75010
Tel: 09 81 99 98 88
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 12~3pm, 7~11pm [Sun] 12~4pm (closed Sunday night and Monday)
Visited on: May 2014
Situated right along Canal St. Martin, Hai Kai is an airy space full of feminine charms. Fresh products, clean flavors, lovely service. Perfect for a light lunch.
Le Dalí at Le Meurice
Add: 228 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Tel: +33 1 44 58 10 10
Hours: [breakfast] 8~11:30am [lunch] 12:30~3pm [tea time] 3:30~6pm [dinner] 7:30~10:30pm
Price: [tea sets] €46~64 [tea] €14~18 [pastries] €16
Visited on: Apr 2014
A dear friend was visiting Paris last week with her husband and, knowing her penchant for tea and desserts in sumptuous surroundings, I decided to have our afternoon rendezvous at Le Meurice, a historical hotel re-designed by Philippe Starck in 2007 to infuse 18th century opulence with contemporary chic. Tea time here takes places at Le Dalí, a gorgeous space named after the surrealist painter Salvador Dalí, who spent at least one month per year at the hotel. Apparently Dalí once demanded that a herd of sheep be brought to his room, then shot them with his pistol (filled with blank bullets) upon their arrival. Another time, he asked the staff to capture flies for him in the Tuileries Garden, paying them five francs (around one euro) per fly. Yup.
But I digress. Back to tea time at Le Meurice, ahem. I am fortunate to have previously met Cédric Grolet, the head pastry chef at Le Meurice, and when he heard that I was coming to tea with friends, he simply said – “Choose your tea, and I will take care of the pastries.” And there, I knew we were in good hands.
Add: 72 rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 43 54 47 77
Hours: 10am~7pm (7:30pm on Thu-Fri, 8pm on Sat)
Price: €4.50~7.30/individual dessert
Visited on: Apr 2014
After going crazy during Pierre Hermé’s Fetish Ispahan, I calmed down a bit in my PH consumption for a few months. What lured me back recently was Fetish Satine, a collection of pastries featuring the trio of cream cheese, orange, and passion fruit. Voilà voilà. If this flavor combination sounds heavenly to you, read on.
And of course, Easter eggs in the boutique.
I was also very tempted to try Envie when I spotted it in the window display. It’s a pastry composed of tender almond biscuit, blackcurrant compote, and vanilla violet mascarpone cream – definitely marking this for next time.
Also noticed a series of packaging design by Kenya Hara (Japanese graphic designer and art director for MUJI) for Pierre Hermé’s Ispahan. I’ve always been a fan of MUJI and have read a few books by Kenya Hara on his design philosophy (which I quite appreciate), but to be honest I don’t think I’d buy this. In case this is of interest, you can find out more about this here.