At the end of each visit to the Pierre Hermé boutique, I tell the employee "À demain" (see you tomorrow). And I mean it. Just two blocks away from the Westin, I make a quick stop there every afternoon with T. Pierre Hermé is the god of macarons and he makes the best macarons in the world. Not having a daily dose of Pierre Hermé macarons when I am in Paris and when the boutique is just two blocks away from the hotel.... unimaginable!
The macaron flavors rotate every season and on top of that, there is a special monthly flavor that changes. Our visit to Paris was between the end of August to the beginning of September so we tried the August-only and September-only flavors in addition to the seasonal summer-only flavors. The macarons here are delicate and beautiful. The inspiration, level of detail, and unique marriage of different flavors are very well thought-out according to the season. Some of the summer flavors include:
- jasmine tea and flower
- chocolat pure origine Venezuela porcena (intense chocolate flavor)
- yoghurt, rose, lychee, framboise
- coffee and pistachio
- citrus and praline
- vanilla and violet
- olive oil, mandarin, and raspberry (August only)
- olive oil, mandarin, and cucumber (September only)
Pierre Hermé is known for his macarons and what may not be as known is that he also produces top notch quality croissants that are very well regarded in Paris. While all boutiques have macarons and chocolates for sale, only 2 of them carry pastries and cakes as well. At the rue Cambon boutique near the Westin, an employee tells us that the croissants are sold at the rue Bonaparte and rue Vaugirard locations. I ask if the croissants are only available in the morning and in her words, "First come, first served", so it's best to go early in the day. The next day we head to the lovely neighborhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and arrived at a Pierre Hermé boutique on rue Bonaparte. We arrive early, just 20 minutes after the 10am opening time. There are customers earlier than us but the trays of croissants are still more than half full at that time.
We each pick up a croissant, walk down the street, head to a park, and sit on one of the benches to enjoy the morning pastries. The croissant ispahan, the most popular croissant of Pierre Hermé, is topped with dried raspberry flakes and rose water glaze. Inside the pastry is rose-flavored almond paste with raspberry and lychee compote. The flaky and buttery croissant is not too sweet but at the right level of sweetness appropriate for a breakfast pastry. Another excellent choice is the croissant infiniment café- this coffee-flavored pastry is flaky, light, and airy. There is no filling inside the croissant; there's just very good and strong coffee flavor as part of the pastry itself. We savor the croissants as we sit on the benches with the other Parisians around us at other benches. Never mind the crumbs.