Bonjour! It’s our first week since we landed in Paris, and we are settling in. One of my goals this year is to visit at least 2 patisseries a week, and as I tend to forget what happened 20 minutes prior to any event, I’m documenting all those patisseries right here, in this section.
We’ve walked what seems like 20,000km this week (small legs, big exaggerations) to visit some pretty average patisseries. I JOKE. They all blew my brain away with their wizardry. First write up ever below.
Des Gateaux et du Pain
Oh me oh my. The name translates to cakes and bread, so you immediately know that you have entered a happy place. We visited both locations, rue de Bac and boulevard de Pasteur. At the rue de Bac location we had a Mont-Blanc Blackcurrant. I don’t have a photo because it got a bit mangled in the box on the way home, and it was not pretty and photographable. So instead I ate it while I sat in bed in my pyjamas quite happily, thank you very much. This, however, is what it looked like (image via their website). So just really ugly and unappealing. What can you do.
It consisted of layers of shortcrust pastry, blackcurrant, chestnuts, crispy meringue, chantilly cream and chestnut paste. The shortcrust was perfectly crispy. Often the flavours in desserts can be overwhelming, especially so when you throw in all the things together. In this case, as there were only 2 major flavours used, they worked well and you could taste the different layers and components.
At the boulevard de Bac store we bought a chocolate croissant and a wholemeal baguette. Baguette was still warm and I just about sat down cross legged on the floor and started ripping it up and snarling at anyone that dared to stop me. Instead I was très civilisée and ate half the bloody thing on my own at home. Then there was the chocolate croissant. I regretted buying just one. I regretted sharing it with Ed. I regretted wasting time on things in my life that took me away from this chocolate croissant. This was nek level. It must have been there for long enough for it to cool through completely, yet it was still crispy. The layers flaked in various directions out of my mouth as I bit it, and delicately sprayed into my hair and into the wind, towards the lucky people behind me. The chocolate situation was generous. I could go on but I think I’ve said more than enough about a single chocolate croissant. This is me with my new boyfriend.
Taste is the most important thing for me which is why I started with that, but the very first thing you notice in both stores is the interior design. Black everywhere, spotless glass cabinets, clean, minimalist displays. Patisserie is revered in France, and that is immediately apparent as you walk through the doors of any high-end patisserie. You’re made to feel like it’s an experience first and foremost, and a transaction second. We visited both Des Gateaux et du Pain locations and they were both consistent in providing that service/experience. The best way I can think of describing it is as though you’re walking into a fancy pants store, and that’s reflected in the fit out, the colour scheme, the uniform of the staff and the way they interact with you. More on this in the next post. I guess you are walking into said fancy pants store and splurging, because you’re shelling out just under $10 for a dessert. Mon dieu, it can be hard to justify.
I KNOW how incomparably wanky this all sounds, but believe me you walk away feeling the good vibes.
I need to go eat a Nutella crêpe now and lie down after thinking about that croissant. Did I mention it tasted ok?