while researching places to go in paris, ten belles came up again and again. everyone seemed to be raving about the adorable exterior, friendly service and most of all, the great coffee. the coffee truly was worth the hype. i still don’t think it was quite on pare with intellegensia and some of my other favorite los angeles joints but it was rich and delicious and just hit the spot after wandering around all day. the cafe is tiny inside but we were lucky enough to snag a seat upstairs to people watch and enjoy the environment. after our coffee break, we took advantage of the surrounding area and explored this hip, up and coming district. the people here were probably the most stylish i saw in all of paris! i will never forget the girl i saw wearing striped ankle socks with mens pants and tank top looking oh so stylish with a cropped parisian haircut or the guy who looked straight out of the 1900s with round glasses and a baguette under his arm. if i ever get the chance to live in paris, the tenth arrondissement is definitely where you’d find me.
i have realized that as i have gotten older, most of my old sweet vices have slowly gone away. most baked goods are off limits because of my gluten allergy, ice cream because of my dairy aversion, candy seems too sweet, chocolate too rich, etc. but i will never tire of macarons. they are light and gluten free (usually) and when done right, just the perfect amount of sweetness and richness. so since paris is the macaron capital of the world, i couldn’t go without trying as many as possible. i was fortunate to go to paris with emily, a fellow macaron lover. i have a theory that people either adore macarons or detest them and we are definitely in the first camp.
one afternoon, we decided to stop by the two macaron kings in town, ladurée and pierre hermé, to test each and see which actually was the best. after spending a pretty penny (those things aren’t cheap!) and having the hardest time finding the pierre hermé shop on the champs-élysées (it was in a high end pharmacy… who’d have thought?), we finally settled in the jardin des tuileries to test our purchases. there weren’t as many flavor overlaps as we had expected but we tried a chocolate, pistachio, lemon and rose from each store, as well as many other unique flavors. overall, the pierre hermé flavors were stronger and more unique while ladurée’s were more delicate and simple. i preferred pierre hermé while emily liked ladurée but we came to a consensus that ladurée has the best rose, pierre hermé the best lemon and the chocolate were too different to even compare. my favorite flavor of the day was vanilla bean and marie antoinette from ladurée and passion fruit and pistachio from pierre hermé but honestly, almost every flavor hit it out of the park (except for licorice and salted caramel… never again). our taste test in the tuileries is definitely one of my favorite (and yummiest) memories of the trip.
coffee culture is probably my favorite place in york to hang out. the lack of internet and space make it a difficult place to do homework and the big windows and interesting customers make it impossible to attempt any kind of productivity at all but it is the perfect place to take friends, grab a coffee and chat. and one of my favorite friends to go on long coffee dates with is ingliv. she is one of my dearest friends this semester and we can chat for hours about everything from music to the bible to my fascination with norway (her homeland) and our mutual obsession with tattoos. we got to know each other because we were both placed on baking and hospitality at the church as our service this semester and the friendship has grown from there. rarely a day goes by that we don’t spend some sort of time together and i know she will be the person i miss most when i leave this place. love you, ingliv!