March 7, 2011
Adam Wayda is an American gourmand with “a bit” of a sweet tooth. Spending half of each year in Paris, he chronicles Parisian pastry and the great chefs behind it on his site, which poses the very real risk of making your computer’s monitor ooze with crème pâtissiere.
A trip to Paris without visiting a pastry shop – or 10 of them – is woefully incomplete. It’s not just the pastries that make the experience, it’s the shops themselves. From the romantic 19th century charms of Ladurée to the 23rd century design sensibilities of La Pâtisserie des Rêves , there’s never been a more varied and deliciously sucré landscape in the history of Paris. Although, if time is tight or if you’re attempting to not completely overindulge, arguably the shop not to skip is Hugo & Victor.
H&V for me, however, was the one major pâtisserie I almost missed on my last great pastry adventure. Months earlier, I’d landed at CDG with a detailed list of 20+ shops to which I’d make my rounds, bingeing daily on 3…4…5 (or more) of their goodies. As my extended vacation wound down and my pant size burgeoned 3 inches, a friend emailed me saying, “Have you checked out Hugo & Victor yet?”
Thinking I knew every pâtisserie of any significance, I barely took the time to Google them. The shocker was the photos that turned up, plus an address no more than 4 blocks from my apartment. It seems they had opened just shortly before my arrival in Paris. While I could be excused for nearly missing them, a visit was long overdue.
Walking through the sliding glass door of H&V, I felt like I’d stepped into a jewelry boutique. After all, half the pastries were individually top-lit and locked behind glass. I quickly struck up a conversation with the salesgirl and got the rundown on what makes H&V so special: