I find this photo extremely relaxing, mainly because of the stretching guy on the background. Taken on rue Mouffetard.
Two weeks were definitely not enough to eat our way through Paris but we did our best to fulfill this hard task.
Normally the things come about in a totally different way – I would go there for 2 months, try and taste all the things of my beforehand compiled list, examine the city – what's new and what has changed, or simply hang about, here and there, together with my sister. Then Ivan would come for the last two weeks and I would try to show him all the things I've discovered and experienced for the last month and a half. There is always a very strict list to be followed, covering favourite places, streets, shops, market places, pastry shops, coffee houses, salons de thé.
This time it was different and we had only 2 weeks. Mainly because I found cheap plain tickets with the end of March as the end possible return dates, besides Ivan couldn't take longer leave.
guy on the window at rue Cler
Every time when in Paris, we're staying at my sister's lodgings, thus through the years we've lived in 4 different neighbourhoods, which helped me greatly with knowing the city better. And it's a completely different experience from staying at a hotel. We're always making acquaintances in all the cheese shops and bakeries near the lodgings. However, this time there were not any good cheese shops in the neighbourhood except the cheese stand at the market on Sunday, but there were a lot of lovely bakeries. Besides we had an important mission to follow – the pastry shops. Not that we haven't indulged ourselves with cheese too.
This is how Frédéric welcomed us the day we arrived – neufchâtel, chaource, saint nectaire, brie and crottins de chèvre sec. Mmmmmm..... I miss it... The next day was the market day and we couldn't resist of buying further more cheese.
It's a whole miracle we didn't gain extra kilos. But 6 years ago I had a bad experience that still serves me as a warning – I was in Paris for a month and a half and it was time for Ivan to come, so I went to meet him at the airport. He said nothing when he saw me but his eyes became huge - this has something to do with the fact that I'd gained more than 10 kilos - it was a goggle one of a kind. So I've learned my lesson and I don't use the public transport any more, no matter how convenient the subway is, neither how far away we're going. We are always on foot. Of course this has it's bad sides – you have no idea how fast the shoes get worn off with all the walking, no kidding.
Dreamy time at rue Cler
But this way we could have cheese and baguette as a morning snack at home, then snag some croissants on the go, a little bit later comes the pastry time, then it's coffee or tea with pain aux raisins or more croissants, or whatever viennoiseries come to our sight - one could never get enough of croissants when in Paris, plus there are so many bakeries to try and almost everywhere the croissants are good.
Speaking of croissants and viennoiseries, here are our favourites this time:
Croissant Ispahan by Pierre Hermé – it was so hard to get our hands over this beauty especially at the boutique at rue Bonaparte, since it was always crowded, but it was worth the waiting on the queue. From the first bite we were all mmmm and nommmm and ummmmm...
Chausson cassis et violette by Des Gateaux et du Pain – although neither Ivan, nor I detected the violet here, the black currant was so vivid that we both enjoyed it a lot. Besides it was in a nice symbiosis with the deliciously buttery caramelized pâte feuilletée.
Matcha Croissant by Sadaharu Aoki – this was our favourite of the favourites. The matcha flavour is delicate but powerful giving a long lasting fresh after taste.
We went to Aoki a couple of times for a morning coffee and pastries. I must admit that I have a special sentiment for his boutique at rue Pérignon since I've lived nearby for 3 months and love the neighbourhood. We had Matcha-Adzuki(the photo above) and Zen(the photo bellow) entremets there.
I liked the Zen one better maybe because I adore sesame and the way it is complemented by the matcha tea. But I found both of the entremets a little bit more sweeter of what I've imagined. As opposite, Ivan had no such remarks.
We tried the black sesame eclairs, which were delish, but the photos appeared to be blurred, and 4 macaron flavours – matcha, yuzu, black sesame and wasabi. The matcha and the black sesame ones were ok, but nothing extraordinary, the yuzu one was enchanting, but unfortunately the wasabi one was really disappointing since the wasabi taste was extremely blind, unlike at the wasabi bonbons. Oh my, Aoki's wasabi bonbons – this is something we are totally mad about, so we were very happy that they sell them per piece at the Ségur boutique.
Maybe of all the patissereies, I loved the most the creations of Des Gateaux & du Pain. Their Tarte Mangue Vanille still evokes blissful memories in my mind – it was so mango-y and potent, but at the same time very light, the crust was done to perfection, so was every other component.
Kashmir by Des Gateaux & du Pain was another piece that we munched with great delight – it wasn't as equally powerful like the above mentioned tart but it was still a great pastry, with nicely subtle orange, saffron and date flavours.
Wow, this post has already become too long, stay tuned for the second part...