Paris: Patisseries and Planning

The home of patisseries and minimalist wardrobes galore, Paris is truly one of my favourite places to visit.
My favourite memories of Paris are cool of crisp days with clear sunny skies, flitting between arrondismonts trying to cram in as many patisseries and chocolateries as I can in just a few days. It’s not for everyone, but it is my idea of heaven and it has been too long since I last indulged my hobby.

I tend to visit Paris in winter or spring, not because there’s anything wrong with Paris in the summer but because my hoard of delicate pastries melt as I’m carting them round Paris. It takes a special kind of person to panic at the sight of perfectly burnished meringue sliding off of a lemon tart. Most people would just eat it, but I have to dissect it, take pictures and then finally savour every last bite. This is not a casual affair to me, this is a lifelong love affair and I really relish the pre-trip research, planning where to visit, what to eat, where to eat it and what to wear while I do it all.

Like everything else in my life up until now I have felt the need to holiday at 100% and try to squeeze far too much into too little time, something always slips from the itinerary and I forever lament the one that got away ( a cake not a person, or a fish ). This time I am trying to be much more intentional with my planning. I will only have a single day in Paris, less than 12 hours in fact, and while I want to “make the most of it” I also want to have the best experience I can have and my hectic schedule has me running around to the point where I cannot stop to appreciate where I am and truly savour it.
The first step to a more intentional itinerary was to sit for a moment and really think, why are you going? If you could only go to one place and eat one thing, what would it be? I wanted my intuition to guide me, and it guided me straight to the black sesame éclair at Sadaharu Aoki. I have had one of these eclairs in my whole life. They don’t sell it at all of the locations every day so I have missed it on subsequent trips, I even visited 3 Aoki kiosks in Tokyo, but because it was Hanami, the seasonal sakura éclair was there in its place. I dream of this éclair, its crisp choux pastry is filled with a light and sweet filling, savoury with roasted black sesame flavour and topped with a slick of fondant icing embedded with crunchy sesame seeds. It is one of the most incredible things I have ever eaten.

In the perfect vision of my day in Paris it would be a clear crisp day and I would head to the Jardin Du Luxembourg, grab a bench or a dry patch of grass, and munch my eclair while reading a book. So that is what I am going to do, and I am going to build the rest of my trip around it, limiting myself to the area around the Jardin (5e, 6e) and making time to soak up some ambience. It will also leave me time to do something I have never managed, go to a proper Parisian market and buy my lunch, turning my éclair into a picnic in the park.

As part of my meticulous planning I also plan a full Paris capsule wardrobe, but as I am only going for one day it would be a Paris outfit. Often this has resulted in buying all of the items I take with me, even down to footwear and a coat, a thought that horrifies me now. Paris has better weather than Scotland on the whole, but it is not vastly different in terms of season and temperature. If I can survive a day out in Glasgow I can survive in Paris, it’s not like I need a bikini or arctic gear now is it? This time I have promised myself I won’t buy anything specific for the Paris trip, if its not in my wardrobe already or on my minimalist wardrobe shopping list then it is not coming to Paris with me. My minimalist wardrobe goal is heavily influenced by Parisian style so this should be a good test of its suitability and highlight any clear gaps.

So far my patisserie hit list looks like this:

  • Sadaharu Aoki – Black sesame éclair(s)on Rue de Vaugirard
  • Chocolate Chapon – A chocolate mousse bar!!! on Rue De Bac
  • La Patisserie Des Reves – Paris Brest – Rue De Bac
  • Hugo et Victor – Pistachio St Honore – Boulevard Raspail
  • Carl Marletti – Lily Valley – Rue Censier
  •  A trip to Raspail market for lunch supplies

My outfit choice looks like this

  • Black ankle boots
  • Skinny jeans
  • White/black vest top
  • Leather biker jacket*/coral Topshop coat
  • Black leather tote bag
  • scarf

*items marked are on the shopping list but not yet purchased. 

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