Blé Sucré: A must-try pastry shop in Paris.

Blé Sucré: A must-try pastry shop in Paris.

The first thing that amazed me when I walked in Blé Sucré in Paris was the beautiful pastries. The second thing was how cheap everything was. After having worked at luxury hotels such as Le Bristol and the Plaza Athénée in Paris, or the Hotel Martinez in Cannes, Fabrice Le Bourdat opened his own bakery/pastry shop in Paris and named it Blé Sucré (sweet wheat). Blé Sucré is a high end pastry shop with very sweet prices—a first in Paris. The morning pastries at Blé Sucré are a must—the pain au chocolat (chocolat croissant) has been voted the best one in Paris. I have to say that their chausson aux pommes (apple turnover) and pain aux raisins (raisin roll) are as good as they can get. Those are the morning pastries you want to experience when you come to France, the kind that will never taste as good anywhere else. Blé Sucré has a few tables outside where you can eat your pastries or have lunch: the 6.60€ menu offers a sandwich, mini pizza or quiche, with a drink and a dessert (count 6€ for the food to go.) Or you can eat their sweets in the lovely square Trousseau just across the street from them.
The café-restaurant Le Square Trousseau, located a few doors down, serves their croissants and pain au chocolats for breakfast.

And while you are at Blé Sucré buying a morning pastry thinking about all the other things you could try in the bakery, please do ask for one more thing: a bag of madeleines and/or a bag of financiers. Trust me, if there’s a place where you should buy some madeleines and financiers in Paris it’s definitely there. One more thing: do not leave without trying their Raboliot bread—a decadently tender bread made with hazelnut flour, halzelnuts and raisins. It is so good that you will eat it like a pastry—you won’t leave any for later!

Blé Sucré
Square Trousseau
7 Rue Antoine Vollon
75012 Paris
Metro: Ledru-Rollin

Tu-Sat: 7am-7.30pm
Sun: 7am-1.30pm
Closed on Monday and in August.

Stéphane Vandermeersch in Paris: A disciple of master pastry chef Pierre Hermé in the 12th arrondissement.

Stéphane Vandermeersch in Paris: A disciple of master pastry chef Pierre Hermé in the 12th arrondissement.

Stéphane Vandermeersch, who worked five years for Pierre Hermé, bakes breads and pastries that make his shop one of the most visited in the 12th arrondissement, and draws crowds from all corners of Paris. While his morning pastries and breads will make people line up at his bakery on the weekend, he is most famous for his Galette des Rois (the Twelfth Night cake that celebrates the Epiphany), he sells about 4000 of them each year, and if that wasn’t enough he has also been crowned the master of Kouglof, and his Millefeuille (an unpretentious delectable classic French pastry) has been voted number one in Paris! Now go, run, race to Vandermeersch!

Stéphane Vandermeersch
278 Avenue Daumesnil
75012 Paris
Metro: Porte Dorée

W-Sun: 7am-8pm
Closed on Monday and Tuesday.

L’Autre Boulange: voted #1 in Paris for its flan.

L’Autre Boulange: voted #1 in Paris for its flan.

L’Autre Boulange opened over 25 years ago, it is owned by a jovial man with a handlebar moustache who has always baked with organic flour and a traditional wood oven. The man loves his job and his flan has been voted number one in Paris. His pastries are reminiscent of your grandmother’s—the one who bakes with talent using basic ingredients and simple recipes. At L’Autre Boulange the pastries are consistently good—I think often of the Tarte Tatin there—and are very comforting. L’Autre Boulange also makes good sandwiches for under 5€; the rosbif (that is French for roast beef), pickled dill and mayo sandwich on corn bread is delicious. For 7,10€ you can get a sandwich+drink+dessert, a perfect lunch to eat in the Jardin de la Cité Prost right around the corner.

L’Autre Boulange
43 Rue de Montreuil
75011 Paris
Metro: Faidherbe-Chaligny

Tues-Fri: 7.30am-1.30pm / 3.30pm-7.30pm
Sat: 7.30am-1pm
Closed on Sunday, Monday and in August

Le Pain de Sucre: Gorgeous marshmallows and fancy French patries.

Le Pain de Sucre: Gorgeous marshmallows and fancy French patries.

Paris is such a tease!
I happened to stroll by a very pretty pastry shop, Le Pain de Sucre in Paris, with its perfect looking pastries and jewelry-like glittering marshmallow cubes on sticks. It felt like a very sophisticated and tiny factory where macarons are made for visual delight as much as for gustative bliss. Imagine a sour cherry/pistachio macaron: two deep lip-smacking red round meringue-like domes tenderly squeezing a mouthwatering dark green layer of pistachio. If you want to be lured into a world of ambrosial pastries and luscious color combinations, all you have to do is walk down rue Rambuteau. You don’t need the address, as you pass by the Le Pain de Sucre something will instinctively attract you, pull you in, whisper to you until you push open the front door and step in. The tarts are what I like best at Le Pain de Sucre.

Pain de Sucre
14 Rue Rambuteau
75003 Paris
Metro: Rambuteau

Th-M: 10am-8pm
Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.