Europe Food Travel

A Quick Trip to Paris – Part Two

During this last trip to Paris, I decided to use my limited free time to just walk around and visit some of my favorite haunts in the city – no, not clothing stores – dessert shops! I consumed what was likely a highly irresponsible number of sweets during my stay and I can only hope that I managed to walk off some of the calories.

My first stop, literally hours after I arrived on the Eurostar? The fantastic Michel Chaudun.

Chaudun

Michel Chaudun

Michel Chaudun is my favorite destination for pure chocolate in Paris. Macarons, or cakes, or caramels, I might go somewhere else – but for chocolate, Chaudun in my opinion is king. He has his own shop – a small space on Rue Université, in the 7th.

Inside, were many lovely treats – including two chocolate handbags (yes that’s a Kelly in the back, complete with Hermes ribbon!).

Michel Chaudun bags

Rows and rows of chocolates and truffles…

MC chocolates

…and also some chocolate sausages! I’ve seen these in the store for years and always am tempted to bring one home, but am afraid of customs!

MC sausages

The number one item I recommend at Michel Chaudun are their chocolate “pave” boxes. These are incredible little morsels of chocolate that just melt in your mouth. Words really can’t describe them – they need to be eaten for one to fully understand the experience. I took home a very small box and ate it within a day. You can see the delicate size of the paves below (compare them with the toothpick).

Michel Chaudun Pave

However, I will say that the paves in my experience go bad quickly. I once bought a ~28 euro box and opened it two weeks later to find them covered in mold. So you should consume them within a week max of opening, and they should be kept in the fridge.

Luckily, Chaudun’s other offerings are a bit more hardy, so I bought a few bags of snacks to enjoy over the week, and a bag of almonds for Mr. Feather!

Michel Chaudun

One of my favorite treats in the world are orangettes – chocolate covered orange peels. I buy them wherever I find them, and I’m happy to report that Michel Chadun’s were excellent (as were his chocolate covered almonds).

Chaudun treats

The next sweets stop for was a new destination for me – Sadaharu Aoki, located in the 6th in St. Germain.

Sadaharu Aoki

I was excited to try out Sadaharu Aoki because I love it when French pastries have a strong Asian influence – whether it’s in the fillings, or in the level of sweetness (usually less). Inside the shop were rows of rainbow colored pastries, with fillings ranging from traditional chocolate/vanilla, to plum, yuzu, and matcha.

sataharu 2

I brought a few of the colored pastries above, and ate them on the way back to my hotel, in front of the Ecole Militaire, as a very pleasant end to a sandwich supper. This is one of my favorite spots to spend a sunny afternoon with some food, by the way – I love gardens and landscaping!

Invalides

Of course I ate too fast and didn’t take photos, but here are some treats I picked up to take home. I could recommend all of these, but I could particularly recommend their matcha chocolate, and any of their packaged cakes. I was pleasantly surprised by how good their little cakes were when I finally ate them several days later – I had a fruit cake and a green tea financier, and they were both delicious.

Sataharu Aoki

The next day was my only free one in Paris, and I decided to take advantage by wandering around the city. In the early afternoon, I walked along the water and enjoyed the sun.

Walk Back Sun

Walk Back

Of course, I did eventually find myself at the mothership – Hermes!

FSH

This trip I really wasn’t planning on purchasing anything large (unless one of my super wish list items magically appeared). Luckily for my wallet and my luggage, none did. I enjoyed just taking some time to explore the store and catch up on the new windows. Some of my favorite displays, starting with a delicate crocodile Plume and Dogon wallet.

H Window Croc Plume

This gorgeous fabric Bolide! What a stunner.

H Window Bolide

I adore toile and usually I can find a version in the Hermes windows – this season was no exception.

Hermes Window

And finally, my favorite from all the windows – this wonderful saddle. What a showpiece.

H Window Saddle

After some time spent drooling over the windows, I made my way over to my still number one favorite sweets stop in Paris – Pierre Herme. I was hoping that there would be a new seasons of macarons since the last time I was there, and I was rewarded with a wonderful selection of new flavors.

pierre herme

Usually if I’m feeling really bad (aka good) at Pierre Herme, I’ll get a large box and fill it half with my old favorites (Mogador, Lemon and Praline) and half with new choices. During my visit, I did exactly that, and was very happy with the outcome! All the new flavors for spring had some sort of fruit component. My final box, below.

Pierre Herme macarons

I definitely had a smaller supper that evening!

Even though most people think of macarons for Pierre Herme, there are so many other wonderful goodies in the shop. I like almost everything I’ve tried – there’s a subtlety in my opinion, and the flavors are never too sweet or cloying.

If you have some money to spend, I would also recommend picking up some chocolate dipped fruit and ginger – Pierre Herme has some of the best! But, they are expensive.

Pierre Herme boxes

Pierre Herme chocolate fruits

A much cheaper option that I’d recommend to everyone? These little “waffles”, usually found sold by the register. Mr. Feather’s favorite is the Ispahan, but mine is the praline (it’s like a yummier Nutella inside!).

Pierre Herme waffle

On this trip, I decided to try something new that had just been released – “Infinitement Citron” discs that the very nice worker helping me assured was “Pierre’s new favorite”. Once hearing that, I could only obey the call of my leader.

Pierre Herme citron discs

And of course…they didn’t disappoint. These thin little wafer discs were filled with a luscious lemon cream (actually lemon is the top ingredient of these!). Highly recommended for Pierre Herme lovers.

Once I had my fill of Pierre Herme macarons and desserts (on the spot, I have no self control), I picked out a small selection to take home to nosh on as snacks later. This is very important for you to do – otherwise you’ll find yourself regretting it.

I went back to the Opera/Concorde area one more time during my trip – this time with a colleague, since we had meetings in the area. She requested that we eat at Laduree – another famous macaron stop, of course.

My favorite items at Laduree however are not the macarons but rather the sandwiches and desserts! Since many of Laduree locations have a tea salon, why not sit down and enjoy some food and sweets? My go to items? The salmon club (with the large cut fries, and they always have Tabasco and ketchup on hand so don’t be shy to ask), and the amazing Ispahan dessert. Laduree has my favorite iteration of this classic. The fruit is always perfect, the macaron the perfect amount of stiff + chewy, and the filling luscious.

laduree

The best way to walk off Laduree or Pierre Herme? With a long walk along the river. Each day I enjoyed walking home and taking in the sights…especially with the assurances of some sweet treats waiting to be eaten, in my bag for later. One of my favorite activities to do in Paris, and one that I would recommend to anybody visiting the city.

Seine

That about does it for my very quick trip to Paris! I hope you enjoyed, and thank you for reading. 

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  • TC
    March 24, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Have you tried Jacques Genin?

    • Katherine
      March 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      No! I read it on David Lebowitz’s blog but the last time I was in the area in November, it was closed. Do you recommend? What should I get? 🙂

  • AD
    March 24, 2014 at 10:44 am

    This makes me regret only trying macaroons from Laudree! I will have to stop at Pierre Herme next time! Always love your travel posts.

    • Katherine
      March 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      You must go! Enjoy!

  • katherine
    March 24, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Beautiful pictures! May I ask what camera you are using? Thank you for the tips, I love your travel series.

    • Katherine
      March 24, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      A very simple and small camera – Sony RX-100. Highly recommended!

  • V
    March 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Random question, but do you speak French? The language barrier is making me a little hesitant about making a trip to Paris.

  • Ammu
    March 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Delicious! Have you tried Eric Kayser’s bakeries – they sell some lovely breads.

    • Katherine
      March 25, 2014 at 10:48 am

      YES! Love ! I am trying to find a hotel near one of his locations for my next trip, would be perfect for breakfast 🙂

  • J
    March 24, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    Great posts on London and Paris. I travel frequently to both cities for work and have added some of your recommendations to my list. Have you thought about staying at chain (e.g Marriott, Westin) hotels for work travel? I have some favorites in both cities (e.g. Renaissance Vendome and Marrriot Grosvenor Place) that are usually acceptable within corporate travel guidelines.

    By the way, have you tried Henri Le Roux for their salted caramels?

    • Katherine
      March 25, 2014 at 10:50 am

      I do sometimes stay at chains but I have to admit that I’m not very disciplined about building loyalty, etc. I would love both of the locations you list but my corporate travel lodging guidelines are lackluster for those two cities…! Unfortunate!

      No but I LOVE salted caramels. Adding to my list now, thank you!

  • Stacey
    March 25, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Love your travel posts!! I’m staying in an apartment in the 7th in May so I appreciate your recommendations.

    • Katherine
      March 25, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Have a fantastic trip 🙂

  • Helena
    March 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

    LOVE your travel posts. Going to Paris next week so will try some of your recommendations.

    • Katherine
      March 25, 2014 at 10:54 am

      Enjoy!

  • Sher
    March 25, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    funny enough, i went to sadaharu aoki and pierre herme and blogged about it too- today actually! what a coincidence 🙂

    the desserts at both were sooo good. i especially loved the matcha stuff at sadaharu aoki!

    -Sher
    http://www.shershegoes.com

    • Katherine
      March 26, 2014 at 7:39 am

      What a funny coincidence! The matcha was to die for 🙂

  • bisbee
    March 26, 2014 at 5:27 am

    Thanks – I am printing this post! My trip to Paris is just about a month away – and as we are staying in the 7th, I hope to go to more than one of your recommended shops!

    • Katherine
      March 26, 2014 at 7:39 am

      I really hope you enjoy your trip! I love the 7th and it is one of the best areas to stay in my opinion!

  • Lesley
    March 26, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Thanks for the post!! (Quickly writing everything down). Random question, our flight plans have changed and we are now flying out of Venice at 630am! What have your experiences with VAT? I’m a bit confused and am worries that I will miss it completely due to inexperience (I.e. Customs is open 24 hours to provide stamping of documents..?) any advice would be appreciated.

    • Katherine
      March 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Check online about customs for the individual airport. Typically, VAT refund occurs at your last EU stop before flying to the US.

  • Shirling Vanessatime
    March 27, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Wordenful post Kat! Can’t wait to try when I’m back there :)) and love all the pictures..Paris is always beautiful in every corner 🙂

    • Katherine
      March 27, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Please enjoy and have a lovely time!

  • Jean
    March 28, 2014 at 6:31 am

    Loved this post so much (and I’m not even a dessert fan) as with all your travel entries

    • Katherine
      March 28, 2014 at 9:34 am

      I didn’t know you weren’t a dessert fan! You are definitely a dim sum fan I know that 🙂 Thank you my friend!

  • Diva In Me
    April 6, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Gosh…all those sweet stuff are making me really hungry now =D
    Those colorful pastries are so pretty. I would find it hard to take a bite of it =)

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