Happy Monday! This time last week I was knee deep in macarons and dining at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Take me back? So it’s business as usual back in Nashville, but I’ve had a lot of questions about my favorite Paris places (especially for sweet treats + entertaining finds) so I’m doing a little Paris recap post today. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Paris – GO! It’s such a gorgeous city full of history, art, architecture, and of course – wine, cheese, and pastries! By no means is this recap an all-encompassing guide (I was only there a short week), but you might find it helpful to tuck away if you have plans to visit! Forgive the picture quality, I didn’t want to lug around my nice camera most days so these are quick phone snaps!
Let’s start with macarons, shall we? I knew I had to try Laduree (we’ve even featured a Laduree themed party) so my Mom and I made our way to the Champs-Élysées and after a little stop into Longchamp, we hopped over to their gorgeous storefront in gold and mint.
And this darling tea cart! I wanted to steal it and roll it all the way back to my hotel and figure out customs later. Plus, their storefront was just total eye candy with bold stripes and bright summer colors. We quickly hopped inside where I was afraid we’d be met with a line (I’d been warned) but none! My advice is to go early (before lunch) to beat the crowds of tourists. My Mom and I picked up a couple of books; Laduree Entertaining and Laduree Macarons. Then I oohed and aahed at the gorgeous packaging forever. I really want to enjoy a meal there the next time I’m in Paris!
On to the Macarons, we got an assortment and I LOVED them. My favorite was caramel (they said it’s their best seller). Vanilla was a close second. I also loved the Marie Antoinette Tea, the color (the blue) is so gorgeous!
Many friends told me about Pierre Hermé so I was thrilled to see a shop located inside Lafayette Maison (I’ll go into detail about this fabulous place down below). The lines were long but worth it! The girl in front of me told me that the Passionfruit with Milk Chocolate was her absolute favorite so I grabbed that one along with Rose, Caramel with Salted Butter, Yogurt Banana, Yogurt with Rose, Lychee and Raspberry. The flavors were super strong (especially passionfruit). Several of them were almost tart in flavor but not in a bad way. They just seemed to have bolder flavors than Laduree.
When my Mom and I landed, it was 8:30am Paris time (1:30am Nashville time) so we were exhausted. Our hotel room wasn’t ready for check-in yet so we checked our luggage and walked up the street to the Galleries Lafayette. It is gorgeous, massive, and perfect! They have a separate building devoted to home and food items. We popped in and weren’t exactly sure what we’d find. It was HEAVEN. The bottom floor is fresh foods, produce, and a huge selection of gourmet foods. I bought several items for family and friends including coffee, chocolates, olive oil, and cognac. There were shelves and shelves of the neatest pastel tins of treats. I bought a few just for the sake of reusing the tins.
As you walk into Lafayette Maison, you’re instantly transformed into counters of French pastries. It was so nice to have so many options in one place (Pierre Hermé, Laura Todd Cookies, L’Éclair de Génie
This is especially helpful if you have only a couple of hours and gallivanting all over the city to various hotspots is not an option. Here are just a few of the pictures of the Lafayette Maison treats.
This amazing pink gilded eclair? From L’Éclair de Génie within Lafayette Maison. Perhaps the most gorgeous eclairs I had ever seen in my entire life. I’m completely inspired to create some eclair recipes for you soon so get excited! And that gold leaf? I about died. Don’t worry, a whole jar came home with me.
Forgive this horrible shadowed phone picture, but how gorgeous is this amazing work of art? This is from Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki. Sadaharu Aoki is a Japanese pastry chef who is known for infusing Japanese flavors into his French pastries. I didn’t try it (I know, I know, but I was SO full) so clearly a return trip is needed. I basically stood there with my jaw on the floor at the gorgeous creations, however, and I highly recommend anyone working in food styling or recipe development to take a little browse through Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki.
Later that day, we headed to the Paris Flea Market (Les Puces de Saint-Ouen) at the recommendation of several friends as well as this very helpful location post from Oh Happy Day. From gold mirrors that I only dreamed about bringing back to Nashville to gorgeous china stacked feet high, we were in antique heaven. Many items were quite pricey, but there is a large range so it wasn’t difficult to find a few things to bring home. I picked up a gold antique picture frame and several copper pots.
We took a little 2CV tour of Paris. How adorable is this mint colored car? Though I did feel a bit “touristy”, it was totally worth it. We were able to get a feel for the city and see so many sights (and take mental notes of places we wanted to return to). Plus, our driver was so nice about letting me stop to snap a photo of gorgeous architecture. That’s our hotel in the background. We stayed at The Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel (it was fabulous and their breakfast is amazing). One afternoon, we hopped into Maison Collet and were greeted with these adorable pig eclair pastries. Doesn’t get much cuter than that!
One afternoon when we were touring the Notre Dame, we knew we didn’t want to sit down for a large meal so we opted for gelato instead. That’s when we discovered Rue de la Huchette which was tucked back one street over from the crowds. It was a cute cobblestone street full of food vendors from crepes and gyros to gelato and chocolate shops. Amorino was on my list to visit and it did not disappoint. They serve up their frozen treats in flower shapes! I couldn’t decide on a flavor which isn’t a problem there because you can pick as many as you want! I tried pistachio, vanilla bean, banana, raspberry, speculoos, and chocolate! I almost wish I had tried this earlier in the trip because we would have gone back several times. This was our last day! Next time!
We happened to be in Paris on July 14th, Bastille Day! We knew we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower but the thought of the crowds was mind-boggling! So we had a lovely dinner at Le Ciel de Paris at the top of the Montparnasse Tower complete with caviar, champagne, and even a champagne granita! The views were outstanding, and I highly recommend it while you’re in town. We also had a lunch there that was equally as delicious.
Another favorite of the trip was a champagne tour down the Seine River! We actually did this our first morning which was great because we were able to get a view of the city from the riverway. Plus, we sipped three amazing champagnes. I highly recommend doing this! Even if it’s not a champagne tour, just be sure to do it! The views are fabulous. Plus, the entrance was right beside the Eiffel Tower so it was nice to do both these things back to back.
One afternoon, we took a little Parisian market tour and go to make our own fancy little French dessert. Below is my creation complete with edible gold leaf and rose petals. It was Bastille Day so we opted for a red, white, and blue theme! With a touch of gold, of course ;)
Next up was shopping at Printemps, another department store similar to Galleries Lafayette. It was actually almost next door which made it easy. I loved the kitchen and gift floor where I found the most amazing selection of Sabre Flatware I had ever seen! Look at the colors and look at this server! Oh my word!
As you can imagine, I was thrilled to shop for Miss Blakely while in Paris! Though I did have a few chances to hop to storefronts, I found Galleries Lafayette and Printemps to be so helpful because the children’s floor has little mini versions of each line (similar to US department stores) so I was able to see a lot of options all in one place. I’ve listed a few of my favorite brands below (you can find many of them within the department stores or look up their individual storefronts).
PARIS FAVES LIST
L’Éclair de Génie
Pâtisserie Sadaharu Aoki
Le Ciel de Paris
Le Café de la Paix
58 Tour Eiffel
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Paris Flea Market (Les Puces de Saint-Ouen)
Attractions & Activities
Cruise on the Seine
2CV Car Tour
(several have mini sections within the dept. stores)
Tartine et Chocolate
Monoprix (very affordable! similar to Target)
This Paris recap could have been twice as long because there is just so much to say, but I’ll leave it here. If you have specific questions, leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer! A huge thanks to Natalie Chang and Mallory Shaw for their fabulous recommendations!