“My name is Graham and I’m a chocaholic.” Maybe I should have been standing in a room of other addicts to admit that. Instead, I was in the middle of the most stylish cake shop I have ever seen. I was asking for trouble.
La Pâtisserie des Rêves in Rue du Bac, in Paris’ upmarket seventh arrondissement, was the setting for this confession.
The shop is tiny but oh so beautifully formed. In its centre stands a display of cakes, presented as though they were the most precious pieces of jewellery. Each confection takes pride of place under a glass dome.
Whether they are to keep greedy hands – or salivating mouths – away from the goods remains unclear. However, they succeed in turning the cakes into theatre.
Which is precisely the idea behind the shop. Its owner, patissier Philippe Conticini, aims to revisit traditional French cakes, fold in heaps of creativity and passion and, finally, serve up something quite extraordinary.
Having admired a selection of cakes – from a Saint-Honoré to a Paris-Brest, from a tarte au citron to an éclair au café – I can assure you he has succeeded.
I opted for a Saint-Honoré. It was over too soon for me, but best of all, I hear he has opened a shop in London. When my cravings get too much, I will now be able to head for Marylebone High Street.