Sunday, 1 March 2009

The fabulous boutiques of Paris

On my penultimate Saturday in Paris, I meant business. I had a long list of delights to savour - and discover - and I set off early in order to do just that.

First stop of the day was to the Maison du Chocolat, one of my favourite chocolate shops, for some raspberry infused ganache. Yum!

Then onto Pierre Herme for the most delectable macaroons imaginable. They were not around for long enough for me to photograph, but just imagine a dark chocolate and passionfruit macaroon... I have never tasted anything better. He is just so creative, he even has a foie gras macaroon. That was a step too far even for me! Pierre Herme is my favourite patissier without a doubt. Mine and so many others'.....

I then walked around one of my favourite areas and my old home: Saint Germain des Pres, an area filled with little boutiques and wonders. Here is a picture of my walk and of my old street! I treated myself to lunch in a restaurant and felt like a real 'Parisienne' eating lunch with only the company of a book and notepad.

Next onto the foodie area of Paris: Les Halles. Here I went to Dehillerin, a renowned shop in which to buy professional cooking equipment. It is a veritable Aladdin's cave of goodies. The 'service' is curt and swift - these people are busy serving professionals and don't have the time to talk to you... which all adds to the no-fuss attitude. This is where you go for the cake tin you couldn't find, the cannelle mould... the list of products is interminable and there were so many items I had never seen before, like a croissant cutter. Fascinating!

Next onto G Detout! A pun - it looks like someone's name but sounds like 'I have everything'. And indeed it does, if you are looking for professional baking supplies and the like. Random ingredient you can't find? They'll have it. Like the long strips of dark chocolate they put in pain au chocolat. Amazing.

My next stop was Mora (aka cake decorating heaven). My American readers may not be so impressed but may I just say that all this stuff is just unattainable in Europe. I had been looking for something like this for months and months. I could hardly be made to leave...

These are all chocolate moulds in a myriad of shapes... incredible.

I came home with all of this! Crazy, I know! But I was just so excited!

Then I went to a 'mercerie' to buy some ribbon to customise some jumpers that are boring me... look at the choice and at the colours! Could you bring yourself to choose?

The lovely day ended with dinner at dear Mathilde's house. I think I've written about her before: one of the loveliest, most humble people I have met. It was so lovely of her to invite us over, and I made some heart-shaped cupcakes using my new moulds and decorations. It was a wonderful evening full of fun conversation and laughter! The perfect ending to the perfect day!

PS: If you're going to Paris and want any addresses, please get in touch!


Pearl said...

beautiful vanessa - what lovely pictures and descriptions you shared! oh my goodness - i would've never been able to choose among those brightly colored ribbons in that shop... i think i would've been overwhelmed by the selection.

and those heart shaped cupcakes are adorable! how sweet of you to bring baked goods to your friend - you're an incredible guest :)

Esme said...

Vanessa-is seems that you had a great day-the type that can only be enjoyed in Paris. Your cupcakes are beautiful. I wish you were here in the US to enjoy a cup of tea with.

Vanessa said...

Thank you so much both of you! I wish that we could have tea and freshly baked scones together too! It would be an enormous treat! Thanks so so much xx

jesse said...

Pretty lil cupcakes made by pretty ladies! What more can anyone ask for?

Cate said...

not sure which i'm more in love with the macaroons or the copper pots. lucky lucky girl! what a beautiful trip it looks like you're having.

Miriam said...

Ooh, I want nice things to decorate cakes with to make them all pretty!