Sweet Memories…. Tales from a Parisian Pâtisserie by Wanderlrust Tours owner, Shawnie Kelley Foy La douceur de vivre... the sweet life… This is among the first pictures I took in Paris using my very first digital camera with a whopping one megapixel resolution. Late 90s. My hotel was next to this amazing bakery (which I later learned has been around since the early 50s). Each day, there was no choice but to walk past this pâtisserie en route to the closest metro station. Pressing my nose against the boutique window, I admired the glossy pastries and towers of macaroons; wondering how on earth a person can choose just one. Moderation is not in my DNA.
Finally giving in, I promised myself to have only ONE. After a good 30 minutes of studying the edible artwork, I committed to a Charlotte and snapped a picture in celebration of self-control. Little did I know photos were not permitted at Lenôtre– for fear of industrial espionage. After being accosted by a flurry of sales associates, I assured the Pastry Patrol of my baking incompetency and that I pose no threat to the national security of their tartlets. Thankfully, secret service wasn’t sent to shatter my camera, but I was verbally chastised and nearly tossed from the place. When all was said and done, I sat quietly and enjoyed the most fabulous pastry ever- up till that point in life.
The next day, putting on a brave face I entered the shop, making it clear I was sans l’appareil photo. In fact, in the course of the next week, I became rather friendly with the prim and proper ‘keepers of the sweets.” And while I got at least one of them to crack a smile, I did not joke about taking pictures. Don’t. Go. There. When all was said and done, (at least) one of each dessert in this picture was consumed, including a fancy Eiffel Tower-shaped sticky bun, of which I resisted snapping a shot. Not to say, I wasn’t tempted… But I suppose that’s what Lenôtre is all about- total temptation.
A sweet memory,indeed.
Here is a short list of a few blogs, apps, books, and Websites we use to sniff out pastry boutiques throughout Paris:
Paris By Mouth – a Food-focused Website with a seriously awesome section on bakeries. Meg at PBM is beyond diligent in her plight to share the best of the best. We even featured PBM in a previous FunStuff Friday. Follow Paris by Mouth on Facebook and Twitter.
Food Lovers Guide to Paris – My culinary hero(ine), Patricia Wells is a most reliable source on all things food in France. This app and book is loaded with eating options, including plenty to indulge your sweet tooth.
David Leibovitz’s Paris Pastry App is tres magnifique! It includes 300 pastry and bread shops around the city, is well-organized, easy to search, and chock full of enticing pictures.
Paris Pâtisserie – a Website with amazing dessert pictures, reviews, and a funny tagline: “because someone had to eat all the pastry and chocolate.”