The day before we left Paris, we went on a walking tour of some of the finest, non big-name retail chocolatier shops in the city courtesy of Paris Walks. The morning was a gloomy and rainy one, but luckily we were going to be spending most of the time indoors at various small shops tucked away on or around rue St. Honore in the 1st arrondissement.
The first stop was a small but rather famous boulangerie, which unfortunately I forget the name of at the moment. But it's located along rue Bailleul near the Louvre-Rivoli metro stop. This place has the best baguettes in all of Paris, but also some pretty damn good chocolates and pastries, too. Click on the pics for larger versions:
The shop was kind enough to make some special éclairs from gourmet chocolate and mint just for our tour group, which we all devoured like hungry savages in the bush:
Hmm, I'm not a big pastry person. I especially don't care for chocolate éclairs. But these . . . now these were good!
Our next stop on the tour was Cote de France, a premier chocolatier located in a ritzy part of Paris either along Avenue de l'Opera or rue des Pyramides. I forget the exact street name, but the shop is located very near to the Pyramides metro station. I think of all the shops we visited this morning, this had the best-tasting chocolate in my opinion. Check out their selection of both dark and milk varieties:
Cote de France, as many stores around the city were doing during our visit, also had an Easter theme going in the spirit of the season. The chocolate eggs in particular were quite appealing:
Our next stop was nearby back on rue St. Honore and just beyond the church known as Eglise St. Roch.
Michel Cluizel's is a veritable Disneyland of fine chocolates. Everything from chocolate bunnies and turtles (it's a French thang, trust me), to flowing fountains of liquid cocoa . . . this place was enough to give one diabetes just from stepping through the front door!
I bought a few chocolate bars to bring back home and give to family, but stayed away from the more elaborate items for fear of lack of luggage space. But, yeah, this place was also very good. A must see and taste for any chocolate lover out there venturing to Paris.
We went to one more location after this, but just to window shop as the store was too small to allow a tour group to enter. We did get some yummy complimentary chocolate squares to nibble on for our trouble, though, in the hopes that after the tour was over we might venture back and shop in earnest. Lisa and I did not, but others in the group did.
And, voilà! That was our Thursday morning. The rain cleared up shortly after, and the weather turned quite nice and sunny for the rest of the day. Which was too bad since we were heading to the Louvre next, which happened to be nearby. Spending a dreary afternoon in a huge museum is nice; doing so when there's bright sun and nary a cloud in the sky? Not so much. Especially considering that there were quite a few large windows in the connecting hallways of the Louvre.
But that might be a story for another entry. Or maybe not.