France’s most infamous bike race, the Tour De France, takes place this month. We can’t help it, but all this talk about touring has got us devising our own route through the city where the race ends on 24 July – Paris. Can you imagine pounding the streets of the Champs-Élysées, wind in your hair, tell-tale cardboard box in your hand? That’s right, we’re not talking about a cycling tour here, but rather a route through some of the best macaron stores in the City of Love.
Salon de Thé Acide Macaron
Our tour begins on the Rue des Moines at one of Paris’ quirkier patisseries. Acide is all about the unusual flavor combinations and Instagram-worthy vibrantly coloured macarons. Chef Jonathan Blot, the man behind the salon and inventor of flavours like the ever-popular Earl Grey and yuzu, recently had a stint on French TV. His fame means the shop is now more popular than ever – but avoid visiting on a Monday when it closes to give him a well-deserved day off.
Our next shop is a leisurely half an hour stroll away, although if you’d prefer not to walk, or the weather is not on your side, then a taxi will get you from Acide to the Printemps centre in around 15 minutes.
To continue with the walk, leave Acide and head south-west along Rue des Moines until you reach Place Charles Fillion. There you’ll see the Church Sainte-Marie des Batignolles on your right, which features a famous canvas of St Michael slaying the dragon – stop and take a quick look if you have time.
Now turn left onto Rue Boursalt and carry on along the street until you reach Boulevard des Batignolles, where you bear right onto Rue de Rome. You’ll see the Lycée Chaptal directly in front of you. This famous secondary school was attended by the likes of Nicholas Sarkozy, Alfred Dreyfus and André Breton.
Now walk along the street until you reach Boulevard Haussman. Our next destination, Ladurée will be on your left.
Ladurée’s macarons are perhaps the most famous in the world. The brand even has stores in locations as far-flung as Panama and Azerbaijan. However, there’s nothing quite like tucking into one of their delicious confections in the place the brand first started – way back in 1862. Even excluding the airports, there are no less than nine stores dotted throughout Paris, but it is this one, Printemps, that is said to be the most lavish. It also has the added advantage of having a far shorter queue than the popular Champs-Élysées location. As well as macarons, be sure to check out Ladurée’s range of candles and fragrances to give your home a distinctly French feel.
Our next two brands are situated in Galeries Lafayette. Hey, you can’t go to Paris and not go shopping, right? It’s impossible to miss Galeries Lafayette as it’s located just next door to Printemps!
Chef Sadaharu Aoki has given a decidedly Japanese twist to the French macaron, and his approach is all about maintaining simplicity. The matcha and black sesame flavour that he creates is so popular it was requested by airline ANA for all their business class flights leaving from Paris.
French Vogue dubbed Pierre ‘the Picasso of Pastry’ and it’s a title that has stuck. His combinations, which may at first sound unusual, work really well together – olive oil and vanilla, and liquorice and violet, to name but two. Keep your eye out for flavours from his fetish collection, which come out completely at random and not at seasonal intervals. The Ishipan macaron, that first appeared in this collection, now has such a cult following that visitors to his shop can buy jam, tea, croissants, sorbet and pâte des fruits in the iconic lychee, rose and raspberry flavour.
Do you want to visit Paris’ best Macaron shops? Book a break to Paris today.