When it comes to French pastries, chocolate and macarons, Australian food lover Jane Paech knows her stuff.
In her travel guide Delicious Days in Paris, Jane Paech takes readers on an amble to the city’s most mouth-watering attractions.
We catch up with her to find out about her top 10 favourite sweet spots in Paris:
It would be a mistake to pass without sampling one of Poilane’s rustic apple tartlets – a splendid arrangement of golden pastry and juicy slices of apple.
Come early in the morning to sink your teeth into one while they are still warm, or to indulge in a seriously good pain au chocolat – an unforgettable breakfast that hides a large bar of quality dark chocolate in delicious light, buttery pastry.
LA PATISSERIE DES REVES
Each creation is as precious and irresistible as the next in the ‘pastry shop of dreams’.
Celebrated pastry chef Philippe Conticini adapts the classics and presents his stunning works of art under glass bell domes.
You will moan over his lemon meringue pies, Paris-Brests and innovative eclairs slid into sleeping bags of chocolate.
UN DIMANCHE A PARIS
This elegant temple to chocolate is an essential destination for chocoholics – one that will leave your heart pounding.
Under one roof you can purchase, sip, savour and cook with chocolate, as well as watch it being made.
The hot chocolate is a speciality of the house, served in a porcelain pitcher. Perfect to pair with a decadent gourmandise selection, a dessert plate with a line-up of four mini delights.
At the bottom of Rue Cambon you will find the Dior of desserts. Pierre Herme is a genius of pastry and most famous for his macarons.
He compares his ever-popular Ispahan – a combination of rose macaron, rose-petal cream flavoured with lychees, and fresh raspberries – to the classic Chanel suit, and like a fashion designer, he releases themed seasonal collections.
PAIN DE SUCRE
This dreamy little patisserie near the Centre George Pompidou is the creation of talented couple Nathalie Robert and Didier Mathray, who met when they worked as pastry chefs for Pierre Gagnaire.
Try the glistening baba au rhum. Each drunken cake is stabbed through the heart with an extra little pipette of rum, allowing tasters to choose their own strength of booze.
Push open the door to this sleek boutique on the Left Bank and swoon over the mosaic of extravagant chocolates with intoxicating scents.
Roger sees himself as a chocolate artist and sculptor of flavours, and strives for innovation and perfection. No compromise is made with the source of his ingredients and he even grows his own herbs.
Bite into a Delhi, with the essence of lemon and basil, and be seduced.
It’s worth the trek to Eastern Paris just to sample a pastry crafted by Fabrice le Bourdat, former pastry chef at Hotel Le Bristol’s three-Michelin-star restaurant.
Be sure to snaffle a fragrant sack of orange sugar-glazed madeleines for the road.
A LA MERE DE FAMILLE
This enchanting corner store with its bottle-green facade, antique cabinets and star-patterned tiled floor is the oldest confectionery store in Paris, and a veritable museum piece.
Mirrored shelves and marble counters display old-fashioned sweets, handmade chocolates and caramels from all over France.
Fancy a crepe drizzled with home-made salted-butter caramel sauce? You can dither over whether you want it pure and natural or with variations such as cream and a scoop of ginger ice cream, or perhaps with apples and vanilla ice-cream.
These authentic Breton pancakes are made with top-notch, organic ingredients and are a sweet pick-me-up at any time of the day.
This master chocolatier-patissier’s name seems to be on everyone’s lips, not just for his famous caramels and exquisite chocolates but also for his perfect pastries.
In his elegant tearoom in the Upper Marais opt for a divine mille-feuille assembled ‘on the spot’, washed down with a pot of tea. A delicate creation, it is at once crunchy, creamy and melt-in-your-mouth.
Delicious Days in Paris by Jane Paech is published by Lantern, RRP $35