Parisian Living

My Perfect Day in Paris – With Jane Bertch of French Cooking School La Cuisine Paris

by Diana Liu
Jane Bertch, founder of La Cuisine Paris, smiles on a sunny fall morning, standing in front of one of her favorite Paris restaurants.
Diana Liu

After years of working in banking Jane Bertch moved to Paris in 2005, where she went from banker to baker. Or more precisely, the founder of La Cuisine Paris: an (English-speaking) French cooking, baking, and pâtisserie school situated along the Seine, a stone’s throw from Notre-Dame and the chic Marais neighborhood.

On left: Cheerful yellow metal chairs await the morning coffee crowd at Le Peloton, a popular coffee shop in Le Marais. On right: Jane Bertch smiles in the kitchen of La Cuisine Paris, the cooking school she founded, located on the Seine River.
Diana Liu

As the school celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, Jane reminisced about how it all began. The idea, she explained, came to her during a conversation with friends over glasses of wineShe wanted to share good French cooking with visitors and locals—and what could be better than standing around in the kitchen, chatting and preparing a delicious meal together?

And, we’ve got some good news for wannabe French bakers! From now until March 1 use code HIPParis2020 to receive a 10% discount off of all classes booked at La Cuisine Paris for dates in 2020.

A quite morning on rue Saint Croix de la Bretonnerie in Paris' 4th arrondissement.
Diana Liu

Jane welcomed HiP Paris into La Cuisine Paris’ cozy kitchen and gave us a tour of the quaint neighborhood, nestled in between the Marais and Île Saint-Louis, where she would spend her perfect day in Paris.

Aux Merveilleux de Fred, with a location in Paris' 4th arrondissement, is known for its delicate meringues. Step inside the shop to admire the pastries under the splendor of a crystal chandelier.
Diana Liu

The Early Bird Gets the Brioche

“My perfect day starts early, with a stroll from my neighborhood in the 11th arrondissement down to the Marais. Paris is a late-rising city and I love having the streets to myself. 

On left: Yellow stools wait on the sidewalk for the café goers of Le Peloton, a popular spot in Le Marais. on right: Jane Bertch, founder of La Cuisine Paris cooking school, chats with three friends in front of her favorite café, the cheery, yellow Le Peloton.
Diana Liu

First, I treat myself to something sweet: a warm brioche from Aux Merveilleux de Fred. While they’re known for their cute, colored meringues, their best-kept secret is this fabulous brioche—it’s one of the best in the city! Every day deserves a caffeine pick-me-up, so I visit either Dreamin Man on rue Amelot or Le Peloton, the local coffee spot near work —if I have a bit more time I love to sneak over to Cafe Loustic by the Pompidou center. These places make some of the best coffee in the city, always served with a big smile.

On left: cute, miniature pastries sit lined up in a shop window, each wearing a little hat of cream and dotted with a delicate morsel of fruit. On right: The popular coffee shop Le Peloton in Paris' Le Marias neighbhorhood opens its doors into the inviting, warm interior accented by the yellow furniture.
Diana Liu

Artisanal French Gems & Tunisian Crêpes

Next, I like to do a little strolling and shopping (which I consider as working off calories while supporting the economy). For this, rue Pont Louis Philippe does the trick—it’s a street filled with high-quality artisanal boutiques selling clothes, handbags, stationery, jewelery, and more. One of my favorite shops is Vent de Terre, which sells bags that are designed in France. I also love the high-quality stationary at Calligrane.

Jane Bertch, founder of La Cuisine Paris cooking school by the Seine River, smiles in the kitchen, which is flooded with light and filled with odds and ends: neatly folded tea towels; copper jars; and fun French food pictures depicting the Eiffel Tower, the herbs of Provence, and a bistro.
On left: an empty street on Île Saint Louis leads to a view of the Pantheon dome in Paris' Latin Quarter. On right: Books about Paris line a beautiful blue-trimmed store window.
Diana Liu

After all that hard work, I’ll start thinking about lunch. There are tons of options in the Marais, but my favorite place to enjoy a bite is L’Ébouillanté, tucked away on the charming rue des Barres. I particularly love their Tunisian crêpes—they use a crispy and absolutely delicious semolina-based recipe! Long lunches are the best, and if you drag them out long enough it’ll be l’heure du goûter.

On left: Empty chairs on a café terrace await diners for an apéritif in Paris. On right: Vent de Terre, on Île Saint Louis in Paris, sells handbags designed in France.
Diana Liu

A Delightful Franco-Levantine Goûter

One of my favorite stops for an afternoon goûter is Maison Aleph, a tiny yet cozy and charming pâtisserie. I love their nids, crispy nest-shaped delights made with a thin angel hair pastry (kanafeh) and topped with fruit confit and fragrant whipped creams. My favorite is their caramel au beurre salé flavor, and I’ll also be ordering my bûche de Noël from them!

On left: A plate of miniature pastries sit in a sunlit window of Maison Aleph. Called nids, they are shaped like birds' nests and topped with fruit confit and whipped cream. On right: the sky-blue facade of Maison Aleph in Paris invites people to step inside for a treat.
Diana Liu

Apéro à la Française

After enjoying a day of flânerie, there’s nothing better than melting a few hours away over a drink (or two) with a friend at my favorite wine bar, La Belle HortenseApéro hour is a sacred time in France, made for sitting with friends, enjoying a pre-dinner drink, and engaging in hearty conversation about topical matters (the French love to debate!).

On left: A peaceful, sunny day on rue du Pont Louis Philippe in Paris' 4th arrondissement. On right: The wine bar La Belle Hortense is a wine cave, bookshop, and literary ball rolled into one, and a popular spot for an apéritif.
Diana Liu

If I want a meal that’s more substantial, I’ll pop across the street to La Chaise au Plafond. I adore their confit de canard and their tarte tatin aux tomates (only available in season)!

And before I know it, it’s time to head back home. I stroll back up the same streets, enjoying Paris lit up in all her splendor!”

On left: Jane Bertch, founder of La Cuisine Paris cooking school, enjoys a sunny fall afternoon in the streets of Paris. On right: A quiet moment at rue des Barres, a small side street by the Seine in Paris' 4th arrondissement.
Diana Liu

Jane Bertch is the founder of La Cuisine Paris, an English-speaking cooking school that offers a wide range of classes in French pastry and traditional cuisine, as well as Paris food and market tours. For more information or to book a class or a tour, visit La Cuisines’s Website. In her  spare time Jane is a mentor and consultant to other small businesses.

Feeling inspired? Follow in Jane’s footsteps and live out your dream of learning to bake in Paris. From now until March 1 mention code HIPParis2020 to receive a 10% discount off of all cooking classes booked for 2020 dates.

Colorful shops on a calm Paris street wait for buyers to trickle in on a sunny fall day.
Diana Liu

Related Links

Written and shot by Diana Liu for HiP Paris. Looking to travel? Check out Haven In for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, France or Italy. Looking to rent long-term or buy in France or Italy? Ask us! We can connect you to our trusted providers for amazing service and rates.

Written By

Diana Liu

Diana Liu is a Paris-based writer and photographer who is currently completing her Master in media and creative industries at Sciences Po. She co-founded ChopChicks in Paris, a blog and community dining experience that brings people together to discover the wealth of Asian restaurants and Asian culture in Paris. She's written about food, fashion, art & culture, and French politics for Inspirelle, ChopChicks, Wheretoget Magazine, and other publications. See more of her photography on her Instagram @sheandhercat, and discover Paris' best Asian restaurants and join her for dinner at ChopChicks in Paris. View Diana Liu's Website

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