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10 wildly sweet treats to enjoy in Paris this Valentine’s Day

angelina paris honey eclair 10 sweet treats to enjoy in paris

Because Valentine’s Day is all about the flowers, my picks for what to treat your loved one and yourself to in Paris this February 14th lean heavily toward the floral, rounded out with a few classics.

From the moment I tried my first violet Kir Royale at a tiny restaurant in the Latin Quarter, I’ve been obsessed with florals in food. Throw rose, lavender, or violet in anything–solid or liquid–and, chances are, I’m going to love it. I hope you do, too. Happy Valentine’s Day!

1. Ispahan – Pierre Hermé

 
 
 
 
 
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There’s no greater Valentine’s Day symbol than red roses. But take rose cream, add the subtle sensuality of lychee, the tartness of raspberries and the sheer delight of a macaron shell, and behold, the legendary Ispahan.

 
 
 
 
 
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Created by Pierre Hermé during his time at Ladurée, the Ispahan wasn’t awarded the veritas PH felt it deserved. When he went out on his own in 1998, thus launching the Great Macaron War of Paris, he set about fixing that. Now, not only is the Ispahan copied worldwide, you can also buy it in croissant format—and you really should, it’s that good. But as if that weren’t enough, he’s just released a cheesecake version. Peace out, I’m done!

Pierre Hermé flagship boutique
72 rue Bonaparte, 75006
Métro: Saint-Germain des Prés

Check the website for hours and for the addresses of the 18 other outlets. Note: not all sell the croissant.

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2. Honey éclair – Angelina

 
 
 
 
 
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This seasonal treat should still be available at Valentine’s, fingers crossed. Born out of a collaboration with honey-based hair brand Gisou, the éclair is elevated beyond “just” chou pastry by the lemon tree honey (used in the cream, jelly and ganache) and caramelized almonds, topped with white chocolate honeycomb and gold leaf.

You know what else I’m going to say, right? Pair the éclair with Angelina’s signature chocolat chaud a l’ancienne and you’re really talking the language of love.

Angelina flagship salon
226, Rue de Rivoli, 75001
Métro: Tuileries

Check the website for hours and for the addresses of the 6 other salons in Paris and 2 at Versailles.

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3. Violet tea + the dessert of your choice – Mariage Frères

 
 
 
 
 
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Mariage Frères is France’s most famous tea purveyor for a reason. Their violet tea is my favorite of their 800 varieties—either the original thé noir de violette or the green tea version, Iskandar, which also makes the perfect iced tea. A little softer is Serenade, a black tea that partners violet with rose and honey.

Buy the tea from their store and take it with you, or enjoy in salon. If you’re looking for a spot to treat your love on Valentine’s Day, their brunch is one of the best in Paris. It’s not the cheapest at between €35-57, depending on which option you choose, but with tasty food and impeccable service, it’s an elegant choice.

Speaking of choice, don’t miss the chariot de pâtisseries (dessert cart). All are (deliciously) infused with teas.

There are numerous Mariage Frères stores in Paris, including four salons de thé. The Marais flagship salon is the most central and undeniably classiest, but my preference is the Etoile location, simply because it’s usually quieter.

Mariage Frères flagship salon
30 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 75003
Metro: Hotel de Ville (Line 1)

Etoile: 260 Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, 75008
Métro: Ternes (Line 2)

Rive Gauche: 13 Rue des Grands Augustins, 75005
Metro: Odeon (Lines 4 & 10) / Saint Michel (Line 4 / RER B, RER C)

Tour Eiffel:56 rue Cler, 75007
Metro: École Militaire (Line 8)

Check the website for hours.

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4. Floral preserves – La Chambre aux Confitures

 
 
 
 
 
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I came across this place by accident, and I’m very happy I did. Their preserves are some of the best I’ve ever tasted, and the service in the two stores I visited—in rue de Buci (6ème) and rue Vieille du Temple (3ème)—was friendly and helpful. I tried many but came out with three to take back to Australia–the apricot/lavender, blackcurrant/violet and raspberry/rose petal—as well as two of their cute, colorful spoons.

My favorite is the apricot/lavender, but I’d buy them all again. Of the rose petal/raspberry flavor, their website says “Very intense rose flavour, jam version of the Ispahan pastry.” What if? You went full-tilt boogie and spread it on an Ispahan croissant?! That would be taking it too far, right? Right?

As a bonus for those joining our retreats, some of these preserves will be in your goodie bags. And good news for everyone: they ship worldwide 🙂

La Chambre aux Confitures
9 rue des Petits Carreaux, 75002
Métro: Sentier (Line 3)

60 rue Vieille du Temple, 75003
Métro: St-Paul (Line 1), Rambuteau (Line 11)

20 rue de Buci, 75006
Métro: Mabillon (Line 10)

9 rue des Martyrs, 75009
Métro: Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (Line 12)

Check the website for hours.

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5. Vanilla waffle – Meert

 
 
 
 
 
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Founded in 1761, Lille-based patisserie Meert made its reputation with delicate gaufres, (waffles) of the cookie variety – think stroopwaffles, but really, really good. You could try the the pistachio/cherry or the speculoos (!!), but sticking with the classics can pay off. In this case, that’s the Madagascar vanilla–rich, creamy, chewy, perfect.

Meert
16 rue Elzevir, 75003
Métro: St-Paul (Line 4)

3 Rue Jacques Callot, 75006
Métro: Odéon (Lines 4 & 10)

Check the website for hours.

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6. Apple and rose gateau + tea – NINA’s Marie Antoinette

 
 
 
 
 
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When Marie Antoinette was a young bride, she encountered the Diaz family, who supplied the court of Versailles with perfume and essential oils. She also fell in love with a cake created by Nina Diaz that featured rose petals and apples from the king’s kitchen garden.

After the queen’s death, the Diaz women passed the recipe down until 1986, when the company was bought by the current owners of NINA’s. These days, NINA’s offers the cake and a companion tea that still sources the petals from Versailles. This delicious afternoon tea is served up in one of the prettiest little spots in Paris by attentive wait staff determined to make your experience a true treat (which is why we’ve selected it for inclusion on our June retreat).

Take some tea home with you, along with a variety of other little luxuries.

NINA’S Paris
29 Rue Danielle Casanova, 75001
Métro: Pyramides (Lines 7 & 14), Tuileries (Line 1)

Mon – Sat: 12:00PM – 7:00PM
Sun: closed

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7 & 8. The War of the Roses – Christophe Roussel vs. Ladurée

 
 
 
 
 
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We have now officially entered the smackdown portion of today’s article: the venerable Ladurée vs. the young upstart. Except that upstart is no longer Pierre Hermé. It’s Christophe Roussel.

I’m not saying that the pâtissier-chocolatier from La Boule is gunning for Ladurée—just that he’s really, really good, and his rose macaron is every bit as luscious and crunchy as Ladurée’s, his lavender apricot macaron is a smidge better than Ladurée’s classic lavender, and his smooth, dark-chocolate-dipped caramel macaron definitely tops Laduree’s salted caramel.

 
 
 
 
 
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The only thing that’s tipping the scales in Ladurée’s direction is their Marie-Antoinette tea macaron, which perfectly replicates the rose petals, citrus and honey flavors of the tea they sell and serve in salon.

This is one you’re going to have to decide for yourselves!

Christophe Roussel
5 Rue Tardieu 75018
Métro: Abbesses (Line 12), Anvers (Line 2)

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Check the website for opening hours.

Ladurée has many stores in Paris—13 at last count, and another 13 at Roissy CDG, just to make sure you don’t miss out. My preferred outlets are on Rue Bonaparte and their new store devoted completely to the macaron. It’s got a more modern vibe, as well as some exclusive flavors and packaging.

Ladurée
21, Rue Bonaparte, 75006
Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Ladurée Paris Le Macaron
14 rue de Castiglione, 75001
Métro: Tuileries

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Check the website for opening hours.

9. Symphonie – Sadaharu AOKI

 
 
 
 
 
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Start with two perfect violet macaron shells, add violet cream and a crème brûlée flavored with Earl Grey tea, then top it all off with raspberries and you have…a violet Ispahan?

Essentially, yes. Is it as good as the original? Why yes (gasp!) Yes, it is. Once it gets its own croissant version, all bets are off.

Sadaharu AOKI
Boutiques:
56, boulevard de Port-Royal 75005
Métro: Les Gobelines (Line 7) / RER: Port-Royal (RER B)

35, rue de Vaugirard 75006
Métro: Rennes (Line 12), St-Placide (Line 4)

103, rue Saint-Dominique 75007
Métro: La Tour-Mauborg (Line 8) / RER: Pont de l’Alma (RER C)

25, rue Pérignon 75015
Métro: Cambronne (Line 6)

Stand:
Lafayette Gourmet 35, boulevard Haussmann 75009
Métro: Havre-Caumartin (Lines 3 & 9) / RER: Auber (RER A)

Check the website for opening hours.

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10. Tarte aux Figues – Carette

This last entry might be a case of wishful thinking since fig season is over, but I believe in happy endings so let’s just go along with this.

I make no secret of my love for Carette and this tart solidifies it. Plump, juicy figs sitting on a bed of honey cream atop a buttery sablé, with the surprise zing of lemon. Let’s move Valentine’s Day to October and make this the official treat!

Carette
25 Place des Vosges, 75004
Métro: St Paul (Line 1)

Mon: 7:30AM – 11PM
Tue: 7:30AM – 7:30PM
Wed – Sun: 7:30AM – 11PM

4 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016
Métro: Trocadéro (Lines 6 & 9)

Mon – Fri: 7AM – 11:30PM
Sat – Sun: 7:30AM – 11:30PM

7 Place du Tertre, 75018
Métro: Abbesses (Line 12)

Mon – Sun: 8AM – 8PM

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Thanks for reading! I hope you get to enjoy each and every treat on this list, and that you enjoy them as much as I did.

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