Easter is upon us, which means one thing – chocolate! And Jesus raising from the dead – the world’s first zombie perhaps?
Back to the chocolate…
Nobody takes food more seriously than Parisians; stand in the way of a man in his suave grey suit eyeing the perfect patisserie or a mademoiselle in understated noir chic with designs on hand made chocolates, you only have yourself to blame if you get hurt.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but they do take the culinary arts very seriously.
Jump on a train through the Channel Tunnel and in just over two hours you’ll be stepping off in Paris ready for your indulgent chocolate Easter break.
In Paris you can’t walk a single block without passing at least one chocolaterie, so how do you choose from so many? Lenôtre is one of the most famous chocolate and patisserie chains in France with at least one in every district of Paris. Everything is laid out perfectly like art, and you’ll almost feel guilty for disrupting it to satisfy your sweet tooth.
However, what you should do is aim for is something a little less common. Several companies offer Chocolate Walks around the city centre, taking you to places that look like they should be in a children’s book. These unique tours which last from 2-3 hours and can cost anywhere from 25-90 euros, and will show the best Paris has to offer.
One such walk will take you along the Left Bank of the Seine to the ultra-swanky district of Saint-Germain-de-Pres. This district was the centre of art, jazz and existential thinking – all of which I’m sure you can find in the masterfully created sweet treats.
The total distance of the walk is less than two miles but you will have the pleasure of being tempted by some of the most famous chocolate shops and patisserie in the Paris.
You could also save the money on the tour (leaving you more to spend on sweets) and pick a few special destinations. Here are some of the must-try chocolate shops:
Pierre Hermé, 72 rue Bonaparte – He is known as the Picasso of Pastry, with two shops in the city centre you will definitely have to queue, but it’s totally worth the wait.
Pierre Marcolini, 89 rue de Seine – As a Belgian in Paris he had to prove, and has done very successfully with some of the most spectacular chocolates you’ll ever taste, even his experiments with unusual flavours such as sandalwood and oak are local favourites.
Debauve & Gallais, 30 rue des Saints-Pères – This is the oldest chocolate shop in Paris, occupying the same spot since 1818 when it was founded by two chemists with a love for chocolate.
Jean-Charles Rochoux, 16 rue d’Assas – Opening to critical acclaim in 2004, his spice infused sweets and delicate chocolate sculptures is a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
La Maison du Chocolat, 225 rue du Faubourg – Established in 1977 by Master Chocolatier Robert Linxe, there are now seven branches of this highly revered chain.
So there’s just a few of the best chocolate shops in Paris, and the best thing about them is they’re all just a short distance from each other. The gentle walk between each will build up you appetite for the next delight you’ll pop into your mouth.
Is there a Parisian chocolate shop that has a ganache that makes you giddy, or another delightful treat that makes you tingle? Tell us what we’re missing in the comments below. Or if you, check out our Pinterest of some of the most unusual chocolate Easter eggs out there.