Easter in Paris is particularly chocolatey...like most things here. It's impossible to avoid the colorful egg displays and bright decorations adorning the chocolateries.
One sunny spring day I picked up a bag of praline eggs at Franck Kestener and enjoyed them in Square René Viviani with Notre-Dame de Paris in view. I think the bag contained 9-10 eggs and cost me about 8€.
I previously visited Kestener's shop in Saarbruecken, Germany. Kestener is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France and creates beautiful chocolates, macarons, and pastries.
The assortment included milk chocolate chestnut pralines...
...dark chocolate hazelnut...
...dark chocolate peanut butter...
...and dark chocolate vanilla ganache...
His shop was fully stocked and ready for the festivities. His chocolates are well-balanced, flavorful, and his ganaches are wonderfully emulsified. But, perhaps his packaging could use a little refining?
Each shop has whimsical chocolate displays.
I especially like the variety of displays at Michel Cluizel . Michel Cluizel is the place to find whimsy and class mixed together.
You're bound to find creative and artistic showpieces at the chocolateries around Easter, too. Patrick Roger's offerings particularly impressed me. Maybe one day I will be able to afford one of his hedgehogs. Roger does a great job of making each piece special. In other words, you get the impression that each product is one-of-a-kind.
Jacques Genin has become one of my favorite spots in Paris. Of course, it's wonderful if you have time to sit down to enjoy a cup of coffee and a handmade pastry. But even if you don't have a dollar to spend, it's enjoyable to stroll around the shop and take in the beauty. The inside was resplendent for Easter. A modern silver dish held the classic praline eggs. Unique, eye-catching eggs, chickens, rabbits, fish, and whales all made of chocolate crowded the shelves. They were busy with customers -for good reason- well in advance of Easter.
I've come to the conclusion that Easter is one of the best times to visit Paris. The weather has been lovely which makes strolling around and peeking in shop windows even more enjoyable than usual. Plus, the displays are more striking than any old time of year.
As I was strolling one day last week, I found Sebastien Degardin tucked away on a street near the Pantheon. I bought two hazelnut-praline eggs without a second thought.
It's worth mentioning that the supermarkets here sell all of the regular Easter chocolate that I'm used to finding in the United States. My boyfriend made me feel at home with the Lindt bunnies we also have back home. Here they even have a little bell attached to their bows.
This post will end with the information of the shops mentioned. But, before I sign off, I'll just mention my beautiful Easter bunny from my host-mom. This little gal was from La Maison du Chocolat. She was made of delicious Valrhona chocolate and filled with praline eggs and solid dark chocolate fish. The perfect Easter treat. American chocolatiers: take note.
Chocolatier and patissierie with two locations in Germany and one in Paris.
7 Rue Gay Lussac
French chocolate bean-to-bar and bonbon producer with locations all over the world. Including 4 in the Paris Area.
The most impressive chocolate show-pieces in Paris and exquisite bonbons and tasty treats with eight shops in France.
Perfect bonbons, refined tea room, and perfect ambiance.
133 Rue de Turenne
27 Rue de Varenne
Metro: Varenne or Rue du Bac
A boutique full of cakes, pastries and chocolates. It's a pleasant surprise in a neighborhood full of students. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
200 Rue Saint-Jacques
La Maison du Chocolat
Perhaps the most well-known chocolatier in the world, this place has never disappointed me. They manage to keep the quality high and they have customer service like no one else. The establishment has been around for 40 years and has locations all over the world, including eight in Paris.