As any foodie worth their sea salt will know, Pierre Hermé is a big star in the patisserie firmament. Formerly top dog at Ladurée, he ran away from their constraining rules (apparently) to found his own company, and now has several boutiques dotted around Paris, the original being located on rue Bonaparte, in the 6eme arrondissement.
The result of his great escape is probably the best macarons known to man (not to mention his other creations!). They’re the kind of sweets that deserve a Homeric opening line: ‘Sing muse, of that delectable disc of deliciousness, the Pierre Hermé macaroon’. They certainly have epic names; ‘magnifique’ (strawberry and wasabi), a ‘mogador’ (passionfruit and chocolate), and ‘chuao’ (chocolate and cassis) are a few I’ve come across.
Flavours range from the traditional – chocolate, vanilla, caramel au beurre salé (caramel with salted butter), pistachio – to more daring flavours such as green tea and white truffle, among others. On a recent visit I tasted, in addition to my enduring favourite caramel au beurre salé, a rose and quince, a ‘fragola’ (raspberry and balsamic vinegar), and another whose name escapes me. All I know was that it contained crème de marrons (chestnut paste), and was covered in edible gold dust that left your fingers shimmering afterwards……ahhhh.
Each macaron was like a little puff of heaven; crisp on the outside, soft and pillowy on the interior, they are the perfect sugary antidote to a biting cold Parisian winter’s day. They are also, I imagine, wonderful on a warm spring day, perhaps eaten in the nearby Jardins Luxembourg or as dessert after a decadent Seine-side picnic. They’re so good I once had to queue 40 minutes to get inside the shop. They’re so good they’ve even been mentioned on Gossip Girl. I rest my case!
Address: 76 Rue Bonaparte, 75006
Hours: Open Seven days per week
Website: A list of stores in Paris (and Tokyo) may be found here: