Paris: On the Hot Chocolate Trail

Choc Coll

If you are in Paris in winter, it won’t be long before you are hit by a very strong craving for hot chocolate or le chocolat chaud. One of life’s simplest and greatest pleasures can be found in a cup as you wrap your fingers around it to ward off the winter chill and inhale the heady aroma of pure, dark chocolate. The hot chocolate in Paris bears no resemblance to the bland, instant blends you find elsewhere. It is rich and seductive and requires you to close your eyes for a brief moment to experience and acknowledge the true bliss contained in a single sip.

So where in Paris can you find that perfect cup? In one month I’ve done a fair bit of research in this matter (all for the common good, of course). While there are many places that are mediocre, it is far easier to find a cup of good hot chocolate in Paris than it is to find a decent cup of coffee. (Don’t get me started on that!) Here is a list of my favorites so far in ascending order of preference. (Winter is almost over, but with the grey skies and rainy weather, I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list soon.)

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Photo of the Day: Words to Live By

If only the world would listen.

If only the world would listen.

{Taken at the Europain Exposition 2012, the biggest exhibition dedicated to the art of bread and pastry that I have ever seen.}

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Photo of the Day: Happy Birthday!

Charlotte Coll Vint

Happy Birthday to my dear friend! I owe you a birthday cake. Your favorite again?

{Chocolate-Cappuccino Charlotte Cake}

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Photo of the Day: Brunch Bazaar

Brunch Bazaar

An event that combines what Parisians (and I) love to do best – socializing, shopping, eating, drinking…

{Taken at the Brunch Bazaar, Feb 2012, Paris}

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Photo of the Day: Notre Dame

Notre Dame 1

A winter’s day view of the Notre Dame.

{Taken at the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris}

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Back to School

School Uni

The last time I had a “first day at school”, the year was 2001, Apple had just released the iPod, Wikipedia had just gone online, the first Harry Potter movie had just been released and I sat surrounded by other Math/Science geeks as we took in our first engineering class. A lot has changed since then and if someone had told me on that day that 11 years later, I would be in Paris sitting in a classroom excited to begin a new phase in the world of pastry, I would have probably thought they were crazy. But life has it’s own strange ways to set you on the right path and here I am now.

The first day of school dawned bright and clear. I was up before the alarm went off, too excited to sleep. I left the house with a spring in my step and five minutes later, I was at the Monoprix, Paris’s ubiquitous supermarket, buying fresh notebooks and pencils. (“Don’t forget your water bottle!” my friend joked on the phone.) I stepped into school and after getting lost twice, I finally entered a bright classroom to greet my classmates. I’m glad to say that they are an amazing group of people, who come from all over (S. Africa, Poland, California, Australia, Nicaragua, Taiwan, Belgium, Canada…), have varied backgrounds (architecture, education, finance, dance, design…), but are joined by one common thread – the love and passion for good food. It is an amazing joy to share this experience with so many like-minded individuals.

Cl Coll Continue Reading…

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Photo of the Day: Traffic Lights at Dawn

Traffic Lights at Dawn

Going to school before the sun rises can have its advantages, like this view as I got out of the subway.

{Taken outside Metro: Rennes, Paris}

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Photo of the Day: Homework!

Homework!

From analyzing business flows to homework in water color! Life certainly has changed.

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