Paris is a city known for several things: fashion, beautiful architecture, a rich history and its amazing patisseries. When I go on city breaks, I always make sure I find cheap hotel deals in destinations which are known for their culinary delights. Not only is this because I'm a bit of a foodie, but getting affordable accommodation means I have more cash left over to eat at all the places I want to!
One of my dreams is to go on a patisserie tour around Paris. I've visited the French capital in the past, but did all the usual tourist things, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and the Louvre. If I get the chance to visit again, the five patisseries below will certainly be on my list of cake shops to visit.
Now, I'm starting with somewhere a little bit unusual, as this patisserie combines French and Japanese creations. While you will find all of the pastries you would expect from a Parisian bakery, Sadaharu Aoki combines traditional flavours with Far Eastern ones such as black sesame and green tea.
I've heard they taste amazing, and also look fantastic. It has a number of branches, including at 56 boulevard du Port-Royal and 25 rue Perignon.
I'm a massive chocoholic and Jean-Paul Hevin is known as the ultimate artisan at the top of his game. I definitely would love to try one of his famous chocolate tarts, although perhaps with a coffee rather than a hot chocolate, as that might be a little bit too much sugar!
As well as pastries, Hevin is a master of chocolates, so I could be tempted to snap up a box or two to take home - if they last that long, that is!
Writing this top five list is certainly making me hungry, especially after checking out the website of Carl Marletti. This patisserie at 51 rue Censier makes my shortlist for several reasons, although his custard slices (millefueille) and éclairs stand out.
Some of Marletti's mouth-watering flavours include pistachio, vanilla, chocolate-passion and caramel. The difficult decision will be deciding which one to go for.
Pain de Sucre
Another famous patisserie that I'll hope to get to next time I stay in a cheap hotel in Paris is Pain de Sucre. This can be found at 14 rue Rambuteau, and while it looks small from the outside, this doesn't mean it's any less interesting than its larger rivals.
The baba au rhum comes with a syringe of rum if you feel as though your cake needs to be a bit boozier, while you won't be able to take your eyes away from the enchanting display of tarts, breads and marshmallows.
One of the first desserts that springs to mind when I think of Paris is colourful macaroons, and locals and tourists in the know buy theirs at the renowned Pierre Herme. Luckily, the patisserie chain is located in a few different places, so you should be able to find one.
Buy a box of colourful macaroons so you can try different flavours as you walk around some of Paris's top attractions. You'll find stores at the Galeries Lafayette, 185 rue de Vaugirard, 4 rue Cambon and 39 avenue de l'Opera.
Hopefully this top five has given you a good idea of where to hunt down sweet treats next time you're in Paris!