Inside La Pâtisserie des Rêves
La Pâtisserie des Rêves is, true to its name, the pastry shop of dreams. I mean . . . who doesn’t love the fantasy of 23rd century design aesthetics? Refridgered pieces of slate, cradling futurisitc pastries, beneath counter-weighted bell jars, arranged about a steel and blonde wood console of sweetness; it’s as much a delight for the eyes as its goodies are a delight for the palate.
Yet some have criticized LPdR for creating something “contrived” and “cold”. Were those haters in front of me right now, I’d have only one thing to say, “Go **** yourselves.” The design is fun. It is fanciful. It is creative. And, together with Hugo & Victor and ACIDE, LPdR has ushered-in a renaissance for Parisian patisseries. They are the conceptual patisseries – shops with an ethos that extends beyond crème and gateau. They are an experience unto themselves. As much as Ladurée is the classic, these patisseries are the future. So, with that said, let’s take a look around the first in that trinity, La Pâtisserie des Rêves. And, remember, you can click on any of the photos to make them extra huge . . .
The above wall of viennoiserie is not to be missed. From financiers to chaussons aux pommes, there’s always a delicious breakfast treat just waiting to be gobbled down. But my absolute favorite, without question, is their brioche. Produced in the below single-serving size or the €10 giant version, there might be none better in Paris. It is . . . .scrumtrulensent, particularly when slathered in apricot confiture. Yum.
The wall of viennoiseries also holds a few of their finer pastries, like the famous tarte tatin. Monsieur Conticini is a pastry design genius…
On the opposite side of the store, you’ll find a fine assortment of teas, nuts, small gifts, Monsieur Conticini’s “Sensations” recipe book, and gift box options. But, really, who care about tea, when the pastries and those crazy bells jars are right behind us?!
It almost looks as if the circular platforms are suspended mid-air by the jars and their cords, doesn’t it? Too cool. The best part of these jars is that you can stick your face right up to them. Try doing that in the Ladurée pastry case and you’re likely to get slapped and chased out of the store. Here though, it’s encouraged. Absorb your pastries almost as a 360° experience.
Behold the magnificence of it all…
You might be wondering how heavy those jars are and if the weights are perfectly balanced against them? The secret is that the jars are actually a high quality plastic and are relatively light, so the weights are mostly for design effect. It does little to diminish my love of them. And the cords that run to the jars are actually electrical cords, which illuminate the little bulb inside the top of each jar. LPdR is so crafty!
Ok, I know you want to see the pastries in their natural habitat, so here we go. This little guy is the Entre Deux, one of the greatest chocolate pastries on Earth. They usually have it in baby size, but only the king-size was in the house the day of the shoot. A mere €33 or around $42 American for 5 people.
And here we have the [grand] Calisson and Cylan – both of which I’ve covered in past reviews.
The Grand Cru is a marvel of chocolate. Second only to Hugo & Victor’s Hugo Chocolat, this is a can’t-miss chocolate experience. Stay tuned for a review on it early next year. You’ll be licking the screen.
One of my absolute favorites – Alliance. In fact, it was #5 on my Top 17 list of the Best Pastries in Paris. The magnificence of its taste and texture is inversely proportional to the humbleness of its form. It will be the first thing I buy when I get back there; it is a work of genius . . .
Tucked in the back of the shop is a trio of LPdR’s most renowned works: the inside-out éclair, the six/eight-sided Paris-Brest, and the Saint-Honoré that makes all others look ridiculously simple by comparison. It would be hard not to love any of these.
I thought the below was a pretty fun shot. On the left is some flan, on the right is a dot-it-yourself baba au rhum kit. Together, they frame a little viennoiserie display. Wouldn’t you just love to live in the middle of it all?
I said it earlier in the exposé, but I must say it again . . . behold the magnificence of it all!
So, I like to take about 10 trillion photos when I do a shoot. Somewhere around the 8 trillion mark, I was able to capture my favorite salesgirl in the universe, Morgane, in action. Julie Savage of Strawberry Milk Events in DC had come in to scout the best sweets for brides who were interested in having their weddings in Paris, and Morgane was there to answer all her questions with a smile. Did yours truly chime in with a ton of unsolicited information on LPdR and the awesomeness of their work? Yes, of course!
Since Morgane is so super rad’, she was happy to detail the various Conticini/Musa creations for Julie. Here, she’s explaining the Calisson and why it is so super cool.
Julie did a little exploring of her own, too!
You might be wondering, “Geez, PP, you seem to be awfully into Morgane. Are you totally in love with her or something?” The answer is . . . no, but . . . of course, she’s lovely. The reason I mention her in posts and wanted to feature her here is that she is genuinely super sweet and makes the LPdR experience 10x as wonderful as it already would be on its own. And I actually think most Parisian salespeople are really nice to begin with, so it says something that I think she’s the sweetest of the bunch. Next time you’re in Rêves, makes sure to tell her she’s as cool in real life as I’ve made her out to be here. It’ll make her smile like this . . .
I only wish I could visit every day What’s not to love about this pastry shop of dreams?
So there you have it. Short of inhaling everything in the shop, as I have, now you can understand a bit better why I adore La Pâtisserie des Rêves. Tucked a few blocks off the Boulevard Saint Germain, it’s a short walk from a lot of places you’re already likely to be on your next romp around Paris, so definitely make sure to swing by. Until then, here’s how to stalk them . . .
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