Immediately upon arrival at our hotel in Paris, my husband and I set out to explore our new neighborhood- on the edge of the Jardin du Luxembourg, a stones throw from the Pantheon, in between the Latin Quarter and St. Germain des Pres in the 6th arrondissment. Home away from home.
I have been to the Jardin du Luxembourg before, but never came cross the Medici Fountain. Only in Paris will you keep coming back to the same beautiful places and discover something different every time. Built in 1630 by Marie de'Medici, widow of King Henry IV of France and regent of King Louis XIII, it was moved in 1864 from its original location to where it now rests. It's a beautiful monument of Italian mannerism and influence in the heart of the Rive Gauche.
Before our afternoon of shopping could commence, we needed an immediate stop at Pierre Herme, 72 Rue Bonaparte "the jewelry shop" boutique, to fuel up on proper sustenance: macarons and sugar.
Interestingly, Pierre Herme got his start not in Paris, but in Tokyo, where the original Pierre Herme opened at the New Otani Hotel in 1998. The first Parisian location followed in 2001 and then subsequently the brand continued to expand with a second Parisian location opening in 2004. His empire is now truly global, shipping everywhere, ever growing, as is his reputation for creating to-die-for confectioneries.
Having already sampled the macarons of Laduree a few times, I was eager to see how these compared. I went immediately for my favourite flavour, caramel, as a baseline for my taste test. What do you think the verdict was?
In my delicious research, I found the Herme macarons to be larger, slightly more substantial, a bit more enterprising and bold with flavour- the clear winner in my humble opinion. Don't get me wrong, I would not turn my noes up at a Laduree macaron, but I think I prefer Pierre Herme of the two. They are like mini-hamburgers of sugar and delight (is it sacrilege to describe them that way?). Have you had both? I am eager to hear some additional feedback on this sugary debate!
Most important, where should I go next on my macaron tours?
Husband sided with me in the macaron taste test. Though he was not amused at the price for such a petit box of macarons: 25 euros (about $37 dollars)! In my mind, money well spent and a scrumptious way to kick off our stay in Paris, no?
Tel : +33 (1) 43 54 47 77
Open Monday to Sunday, 10 AM to 7 PM
Saturday, open to 7:30 PM