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American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

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Calendar of Paris Events

November 7-15
The 40th annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine: produce, meats, cheeses, artisan oils, wines, essential oils, herbs, teas, cosmetics, beauty products, household cleaning products, clothing, shoes, accessories, home decor, books, gardening supplies, as well as stands for environmental tourism, different green activist groups such as Greenpeace, etc.

November 12 - Seattle
Heather will be at Seattle's Paris Eastside cooking school and French boutique for the November Sip & Meet event with copies of Naughty Paris for a special price of just $27 (cover price $39). From 6-8pm, wine and nibbles, €5/person. Come say hello if you're in the area!

November 18-22
Shopping for some supplies for your creative projects? Head down to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles for the annual Création & Savoir Faire show. Scrapboooking, knitting, gardening, baking, sewing, crafts, and decorating ideas for the holidays. Entrance €13-15, €22 for the two-day pass, open 9:30am-6:30pm (until 9:30pm Friday).  

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Entries in pastries (9)


Best Artisanal Pastry Shops in Paris

"artisanal (adjective): Food made fresh daily, by hand, in small batches that requires skills from a maker/master with a combination of science and art derived from experience" (from Artisanal Defined)
There are many "Top Ten" style lists of Paris pastry shops, but there are also several hundred to choose from (there are over 350 selected by author and pastry chef David Lebovitz in the Paris Pastry Guide). Although mosts lists are completely subjective, this one only includes pastry shops that fit the following strict criteria for inclusion:
  • "Only in Paris": These pastry shops can only be found in Paris, with a maximum of three locations within the city. No international chains allowed, no matter how good their pastries might taste! 
  • "Artisanal Pastries": Because it's not regulated, anyone can slap the word "Artisanal" on their products. But these shops make their pastries fresh on-site each day by hand by professional pastry chefs. No industrial production in factories or freezing allowed!
  • "Quality Ingredients": High-end pastries don't just look pretty, they're made with the highest quality of carefully sourced, seasonal ingredients. These not only means they taste superior to pastries made with processed or artificial ingredients and preservatives found in average pâtisseries, it also justifies a higher price tag.   
  • "A Certain Je ne Sais Quoi": Being able to faithfully produce the classics is important, but the best pastry chefs also know how to wow us with daring flavor combinations, surprising textures and creative flair that turns each pastry into a work of art almost too beautiful to eat! (almost)
After thoroughly researching about two dozen contenders, the following baker's dozen of 13 pastry shops made the cut. All things being equal between them in terms of standards, ranking them within this list would depend on personal tastes and preferences, so I've simply ordered them alphabetically:
Pastry chef Arnaud Larher has two contemporary pastry shops on the west end of Montmartre and one in St-Germain. He's known for his macarons as well as his award-winning chocolates.
- 53 rue Caulaincourt, 18th (closed Sun afternoon and Monday)
- 57 rue Damrémont, 18th (closed Sun afternoo, Monday, and Tuesday)
- 93 rue de Seine, 6th (closed Tuesday morning and Monday)

Pastry chef Fabrice Le Bourdat's little boutique near the Marché Aligre has won awards for his madeleines. A musician neighbor made this tribute video to Blé Sucré (and the ungodly working hours of artisanal pastry chefs everywhere).
- 7 rue Antoine Vollon, 12th (closed Monday)

Pastry chef Carl Marletti has an elegant little boutique at the bottom of the Marché Mouffetard. He's known for his millefeuilles and prize-winning strawberry fraisier
- 51 rue Censier, 5th (closed Sunday afternoon and Monday)

Pastry chef for the Plaza Athénée palace hotel, Christophe Michalak has a pastry school and shop in the 10th and another boutique in the Marais. He's known for his contemporary pastry creations and his rock star personality (his face, rather than his pastries, graces the covers of his many books).
- 60 rue du Faubourg Poissonière, 10th (closed mornings, Sunday, Monday)
- 16 rue de la Verrerie, 4th (closed Monday and Tuesday)

Pastry chef Gérard Mulot's first boutique opened in St-Germain in 1975. There's now a separate tearoom nearby, and a second boutique in the charming Butte aux Cailles district. His macarons are my personal favorite.  
- 76 rue de Seine, 6th (closed Wednesday)
- 12 rue des Quatre Vents, 6th (tearoom; closed Sunday and Monday)
- 93 rue de la Glacière, 13th (closed Monday)

Pastry chef Claire Damon teamed up with bread maker David Granger to open two luxurious, almost theatrical boutiques on the Left Bank. She's famous for her saffron-infused Kashmir pastry. 
- 63 boulevard Pasteur, 15th (closed Tuesday)
- 89 rue du Bac, 7th (closed Tuesday)

Pastry chef Ludovic Chaussard's pretty little pastry shop across from Jean-François Piège's famous Thoumieux restaurant is known for its best-selling chou-chou (a cream puff within a cream puff), but the lemon tart is also delicious.
- 58 rue St-Dominique, 7th (open daily)
Pastry chef Jacques Genin is actually more famous for his caramels and chocolates, but his lemon tart and millefeuille -- currently only served in the North Marais tearoom or by special order -- have diehard fans. 
- 133 rue de Turenne, 3rd (tearoom, closed Monday)
- 27 rue de Varenne, 7th (closed Sunday and Monday)

Pastry chef duo Nathalie Robert and Didier Mathray have two boutiques (the smaller one has deli food) side-by-side on a market street just behind the Pompidou Centre. They're famous for their Rosemary pastry made with rhubarb, raspberry, and a rosemary-infused cookie base. 

- 14 rue de Rambuteau, 3rd (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)

Pastry chef Sébastien Dégardin and his wife Sandrine took over this pretty-as-a-postcard Art Deco pastry shop with the historically listed interior in 2013, just around the corner from the Panthéon and Luxembourg Gardens. Try their Passiflore, made with coconut, passion fruit and mango.
- 200 rue St-Jaques, 5th (closed Monday and Tuesday) 

Pastry chef Sébastien Guadard has an old-fashioned Parisian boutique in South Pigalle and a tearoom overlooking the Tuileries Gardens by the Louvre. Focused on the classics, he makes one of the best Mont Blanc pastries in Paris. 
- 22 rue des Martyrs, 9th (closed Monday)
- 1 rue des Pyramides, 1st (tearoom, closed Monday)

 12. Stohrer
Pastry chef Jeffrey Cagnes maintains the ancient traditions of the oldest pastry shop in Paris. Dating back to 1730 (the listed decor is from 1830), this is the boutique where Louis XV's pastry chef Nicolas Stohrer created the famous Baba au Rhum, a rum-soaked brioche with whipped cream adored by Louis's father-in-law, King Stanislas of Poland.

- 51 rue Montorgueil, 2nd (open daily)

Pastry chef Nicolas Bacheyre is quietly making magic at one of the most underrated pastry shops in Paris. Located in a hidden 18th-century passage near Odéon, Un Dimanche à Paris is a chocolate concept store created by Pierre Cluizel (son of the famous chocolate-maker Michel Cluizel) and Sylvie Valette, with an open kitchen, tearoom, restaurant and cooking school. This is my favorite shop on the list, not just because the pastries are delicate in their design and daring in their flavor combinations (this month's special is a pear, coffee, and green anise tartelette), but also because each pastry's main ingredients are helpfully listed in French and English (some are even gluten free). I love to pop in for a shot of their wonderfully creamy, lightly spiced hot chocolate for just €2.20 (you can also enjoy a whole pot of it in their tearoom). 

- 4 cours du Commerce St-André, 6th (open daily)

That's a Wrap!

It’s possible I've missed a shop, but before you leave any indignant comments below, note that many of the usual suspects didn’t make the list, including Angelina, Ladurée, Pierre Hermé, LeNôtre, Pâtisserie des Rêves, Jean-Paul Hévin and Hugo & Victor, because they didn’t meet the four criteria clearly outlined above. The reasoning behind my choice of criteria can be found in the article I wrote for Medium: “Why Ladurée’s macarons are so hard to swallow, and other problems with globalization”

Newsletter #145: August 16, 2014

In this Issue:

* End of Summer Events
* Solidarity, Diversity, Gastronomy
* Municipal Class Registration Aug 25th
* Patisserie Ciel
* Paris Pastry Guide
* Love without Locks
* Taxi News & Apps
* Plus-Sized Clothes in Paris
* Marks & Spencer Food
* Paris by Twizy
* Find a Paris Bookshop
* Naughty Paris at Abbey Bookshop
* Heather’s Looking for an Apartment

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Paris for Lovers

There are plenty of articles telling you what to do, where to go, and what to buy for Valentine’s Day in Paris. But do you really need help finding something romantic to do in the City of Love? If you’re really in love with each other, then all you need is a good setting for strolling hand-in-hand, a decent bed for the night, and tasty food and wine to keep you fueled in between.  

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Liberté, Egalité, Cupcakes

Had you followed the damp queue through the mysterious door on the Quai de Jemmapes last Saturday, you would have been rewarded with a glorious sight. On every surface were perched bright, colourful, scrumptious treats - cupcakes everywhere, as far as the eye can see. This can only mean one thing: the third edition of Cupcake Camp Paris was in full swing at the trendy Comptoir Général.

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Newsletter #113: December 19, 2011

In This Issue:

Christmas in Paris
Holiday Dining Options in Paris
More Francophile Gift Ideas
RIP George Whitman
Charities Need Your Talent
Merry Paris Blog
The Census is Coming
La Poste Goes Mobile
Affordable Pilates Classes
100 Things Parisians Should Do
The Muslims of France
David Lebovitz's Paris Pastry App

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Penguin Pastries Chilling Out in Paris 

Nothing like a pair of adorable pastry penguins to make the muggy Parisian heat just a bit more tolerable.

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