I went to Paris for a long weekend and my first desire was to find as many macarons as possible and eat them all. I telepathically emitted a warning to all macarons: “Macarons of Paris, I am coming to eat you, all of you. I will start with the salted caramel, move on to the rose, then perhaps pistachio. I will work my way through the colours of the rainbow and end with dark chocolate. If you want to live, hide now!”. I’m not sure they received my message but I didn’t succeed in finding as many as possible anyway. I failed! I got roped into going to the Louvre (again!) which, of course, is so enormous and you get swept up in a treadmill style experience sandwiched between others shuffling you along who just want to see the “Mona Lisa” (we overheard some tired sour faced girls asking each other “Where the f*** is the Mona Lisa?”) which is then like a squishy concert experience; cameras flashing, elbows jabbing ribs, me groaning. Ooof, after that I went to meet friends at Chez Prune along Quai Valmy for a cafe creme which meant that I missed the opening hours of the most of the shops. Macarons! I want you!
So I only had Sunday left for macaron hunting which meant that the choice was limited since most shops are closed on Sundays as all the French go to church, I presume. I asked French friends which macarons they felt were the best and they said Ladurée and Pierre Hermé, which are both also in London. Ah ha. But the shops in Paris have a wider range especially of the pastries and chocolates. Ladurée has teamed up with Hello Kitty and has incorporated her cutie pie face into their packaging. The Ladurée shops in Paris are even more Rococo kitsch than the ones in London which I wasn’t sure was possible. I went to the Pierre Hermé shop on Rue Bonaparte which has a beautiful window display of suspended ribboned donut shapes suggesting it could be a jewellery shop. Inside the chocolates and desserts are so delicate and ornate that they are as visually enticing as jewellery and even more satisfying because you can eat them. One of my macarons even had a pearlised surface. I enjoyed the Plénitude (chocolate and caramel); peach, apricot and saffron; Mogador (milk chocolate and passion fruit); Americano Pamplemousse (orange, campari and grapefruit confit) and some macarons are only available at certain times of the year, dictated by seasonal flavours, so I have to wait until June to try the Médélice (a curious combination of lemon and praline).
So, I didn’t find any macarons better than the ones that are in London (which is good news actually!) and on my way back on the Eurostar there was a little macaron in my trio of desserts. Macaron Monster was very happy indeed!