1. Discover the legendary pâtisseries
There’s little doubt that Paris’ world class pâtisseries seduce the eye long before their delicacies touch the palate. And if you are a fan of macarons, consider a tour of the city’s top pâtisseries. From Ladurée on the Champs Élysées (and elsewhere) to Pierre Hermé, known as the king of innovative flavours, in his store at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Fauchon, Angelina (also famous for its Mont Blanc and molten dark chocolat chaud) and many more. From Hermé’s legendary caramel beurre salé (salted caramel) and vanilla with olive oil to Ladurée’s signature rose, and Café Pouchkine’s creamy raspberry macarons – there is heaven in a single bite. Also, try French classics including the religieuses, millefeuilles and savarins. Quite ooh la la. Macarons from ¤3 per piece. Angelina: www.angelina-paris.fr; Pierre Hermé: www.pierreherme.com; Ladurée: www.laduree.com; Fauchon: www.fauchon.com
2. Fall in love with wine
Paris is dotted with wine caves or cellars where you can wander in, soak up some atmosphere, and get a few tips from wine pros. Take for instance De Vinus Illustribus, a tiny 16th century cellar-shop on a quiet street in Paris’ 5th arrondissement owned by Lionel and Dominique Michelin. Michelin is a storehouse of information on wine in France, and specialises in sourcing vintage first growths and other rare collectable wines from around France, but also has a carefully curated selection of affordable boutique specials from €15-50. Sit in his cellar, surrounded by beautiful wines, golden Sauternes and ports, and go through a specially tailored tutored wine tasting — from exploring France’s wine regions to exclusive tastings of vintage Champagnes, to Bordeaux first growth wines. His wife Dominique puts together unusual food to pair with the wine. O Chateau is another famous wine bar and wine tasting school that conducts everything from private tasting sessions to WSET qualification courses in wine.
De Vinis Illustribus Tastings/meal by appointment only. From ¤50 – ¤290. www.devinis.fr.
O Chateau: Prices from ¤30- ¤150 for sessions.