Add: 66 Rue du Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris
Tel: +33 1 42 22 32 15
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 11:30am~6pm
Price: [drinks] €2~5 [sweets] €4.5~5.5 [lunch] €10~15
Tasted on: Aug 2014
This cozy tea room near Le Bon Marché is now bigger and brighter than its former self after renovation, but it remains charming with the usual homely pastries and friendly waitstaff. A lovely spot to come back to for lunch and afternoon tea.
Following my days at Un Dimanche à Paris and Fauchon, I spent the next five months of my pastry career at Carette, a classic Parisian pâtisserie/salon de thé that has been sitting on Place du Trocadéro* since 1927. Carette pastries, as you might remark from the photos in this post, are more traditional in comparison to those from UDAP and Fauchon, and it’s a style that I very much appreciated re-learning as I haven’t done much of this since leaving pastry school. My days at Carette were truly happy ones largely thanks to the lovely people I worked with, and the five months here really flew by despite the long hours. I only just left a few days ago, and am already missing the good moments in this pastry kitchen…
* There is also a second, newer Carette boutique at Place des Vosges.
**Because I only have shots of the kitchen, I borrowed the first four photos of this post from Carin/Paris In Four Months, a dear friend of mine who also happens to be a fan of Carette. Thank you love :)
If you have read my previous pastry kitchen diaries, you know that life as a pâtissier isn’t as dreamy as how most people imagine it to be. For one thing, my days at Carette started at 4am everyday, which means that I had to wake up at 2:30am and bike to work since there is no metro at this hour, and there is no suitable night bus for my route. The journey wasn’t super long – about 20 minutes on the bike plus a few minutes walking – but it did involve going uphill (so I was often breathless when arriving at work), fickle Parisian weather (it said it wouldn’t rain this morning but of course it poured), frequent troubles with Vélib’ public bikes (flat tire, broken chain, missing paddle, or just no bike at all), and encounters with all sorts of fun characters (think drunk party goers and crazy football fans during the World Cup). Well, at least I got to burn off some calories…which I consumed right back as soon as I got to the kitchen. Freshly baked pastries for breakfast, who would say no to that?
Day 2 in Croatia, we visited the beautiful Plitvice National Park. 16 lakes arranged in cascades, with water colors ranging from azure to green, grey, or blue. Just gorgeous!
Day 1 in Croatia, 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.
A few days in the Vienna.
Le Clos Y
Add: 27 Avenue du Maine, 750015 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 49 07 35
Hours: [Tue-Sat] 10am~7pm (7:30pm on Thu-Fri, 8pm on Sat)
Price: [lunch] €25 [dinner] €40~60
Visited on: Jul 2014
Le Clos Y by Japanese chef Yoshitaka Ikeda (previously at Guilo Guilo and Taillevent) opened very discreetly near Le Tour Montparnasse last December. It is the first European outpost of Le Clos restaurants by chef Isao Kuroiwa, based in Osaka, Japan. The style is – unsurprisingly – a fusion of French and Japanese, and very beautifully done for that matter.
The space is minimalistic and sober, a conscious effort to focus attention to the food. The highlight of the space is undoubtedly the 11-meter long cherrywood counter directly imported from Japan. Behind the bar, chef Yoshitaka Ikeda is quietly at work.
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)
Visited on: Jul 2014
Some recent tastings from Pierre Hermé. I’ve been spending a fortune at this shop since moving to Paris, and I just can’t help but get sucked back in there!
Yasamine (€7.20), macaron biscuits sandwiching jasmine tea cream, fresh mangoes, and house candied grapefruit. Jasmine-flavored pastries often reminds me of bathroom refresheners since this scent is frequently used for this purpose, but phew! – Yasamine did not have this problem. The sweetness from jasmine cream, the fruitiness from fresh mangoes, and the slight bitterness from candied grapefruit combined wonderfully together, and I was pleasantly surprised by this unusual combination.
Des Gâteaux et du Pain
Add: 89 rue du Bac , 75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 45 48 30 74
Hours: [Mon-Sat] 9am~8pm [Sun] 9am~6pm
Price: [pastries] €5~6
Tasted on: Jul 2014
Some lovely recent tastings from Des Gâteaux et du Pain. Variation Citron (€6), literally a variation on the traditional lemon tart – the lemon cream has been infused with verbena (one of my favorite herbs to use in pastries!) and dotted with a few fresh raspberries. Light and refreshing.
Add: 19 Avenue Kléber, 75016, Paris
Tel: 01 58 12 28 88
The Peninsula has always been one of my favorite hotel brands, so when I heard that it’s entering the European market with a hotel in Paris, I was very excited to see the property. For those of you who don’t know The Peninsula, it’s a hotel group dating back to 1866, and currently operates in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, Tokyo, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Bangkok, and Manila. The Paris hotel will officially open on August 1st…but why wait? Here’s a sneak peek.
The hotel sits majestically on 19 Avenue Kléber, just steps away from the Arc de Triomphe. First opened as Hotel Majestic in 1908, this 19th century classic French building has been meticulously restored and discreetly modernized with 21st century convenience. The process – from design to finishing – employed some of France’s finest artisans and took 6 years to complete. From the building facade to the interior fine marble and gold leaf finishing, the restoration process is really very stunning, and you can see a video of this on their website.
For us, the introduction began at the garden-like Kléber Terrace.