The name originally belonged to a fabric and novelty shop at nearby 23 Rue de Buci. The shop sold silk lingerie and took its name from a popular play of the moment (1800s) entitled Les Deux Magots de la Chine. Its two statues represent Chinese “mandarins,” or “magicians” (and “alchemists,” depending upon one’s philosophical point of view), who gaze serenely over the room. These two oriental gentlemen are the source of the name for one of the great cultural landmark cafes of Saint-Germain des Pres. “Magot” literally means, “stocky figurine from the Far East.” In 1873 the business transferred to its current location in the Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés. In 1884 the business changed to a café and liquoriste, keeping the name.
Auguste Boulay bought the business in 1914, when it was on the brink of bankruptcy, for 400,000 francs (anciens). The present manager, Catherine Mathivat, is his great-great-granddaughter.
It was frequented by famed artists such as Elsa Triolet, Louis Aragon, Hemingway and Andre Breton.
Les Deux Magots is one of Paris’ most famous (and most touristy) cafés, but it’s a fun scene to sit and have a coffee out front if the weather’s good. Located in the formerly artsy and now trendy and espensive Saint-Germain-des-Prés area, Les Deux Magots is mostly famous for its prestigious clientele over the years, including Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Pablo Picasso, Albert Camus; the list goes on and on It’s a great feeling to sit enjoying a coffee and think about the brilliant folks who used to used to do the same thing in the same place.
6, place Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, 75006 Paris
A Marais institution, the Little Horseshoe is a pocket-size cafe-bar with an original horseshoe-shaped zinc bar from 1903. The place overflows with regulars from dawn to dark. Great apéro spot and great WC – stainless-steel toilet stalls straight out of a Flash Gordon film (actually inspired by the interior of the Nautilus submarine in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea ).
30 rue Vieille du Temple4e
Au Petit Fer A Cheval means “little horseshoe” in French. The inside bar is shaped like a horseshoe. The place is petit. I passed it a few times without even realizing it. But this is one of the reasons why it has so much character. If you can find a seat at the bar you can eat or drink. They serve a reasonably priced menu and serve coffee and wine. There is seating outside but its limited. If you get the chance there is also a few tables to sit and dine behind the bar. If you are walking through the Marais I highly recommend it.
The name of Au Petit Fer Cheval is very appropriate. It is small, very small. The tiny entrance, bordered by few tiny pavement tables, leads into a very tight bar area, bringing people and waiters together and forcing conversation.
Past the bar is a dining area where the tables are so close that you will hear your neighbour breathing and possibly what they are thinking. You can have lunch and dinner throughout the day from Noon to 1.00 am.
We arrived about 2.00pm and managed to get a table. It seemed impolite in such a tight crowd to take photos of our meals. We chose the blackboard specials of veal (€12) and fish (€18) and a small carafe of wine (€12). All meals are served from a small servery that also doubles as the door to the kitchen.
The chef, Pierre Beco, is also known for his duck confit and Aubrac beef sirloin served with fried potatoes and green vegetables. Tarte Tatin with fresh cream is also a speciality of the house.
The service was prompt, professional and friendly. All in all, a lovely atmosphere, good food and classic Parisian vibe. Be sure to check out the stainless-steel toilets inspired by the interior of the Nautilus submarine in Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea.
If you’re looking for authenticity, you won’t get much closer to Paris than Au Petit Fer à Cheval. If you can get a seat outside, you’ll have a prime view as Marais is all about people-watching.
Open for over a century, the early horseshoe was bought in 1990 by Xavier Denamur. With its latest dining room hidden counter-shaped horseshoe and its terrace overlooking the comings and goings of one of the most exclusive streets of the capital, this tiny bistro has quickly acquired an excellent reputation. The simple and authentic cuisine of chef Pierre Beco, the particularly warm friendliness of the place and all stainless steel toilets participated in the sit lasting notoriety of the former Café Bar Brazil.
Au Petit Fer à Cheval
30 Rue Vieille du Temple 75004 Paris
+33 1 42 72 47 47
Hours: 9.00am to 2.00am (every day); kitchen open from Noon to 1.15am.
Metro: Saint Paul, Hotel de Ville, Pont Marie. Bus: 69, 96, 76, 67
This cafe in the busy market street of Rue Montorgueil seems to be busy from morning to dark. Its rich history and sheer location in one of the most interesting streets in Paris makes the wait for a table worthwhile. A crowded street, loud voices of the fruit vendors, tourists and well heeled Parisians fill this space with an amazing almost palpable energy.
Sitting watching the many different folk pass by, there is a real sense of history. The cafe was a favourite of Novelist Honoré de Balzac and again it is such a luxury to feel like you are sitting where these now famous people once also sipped coffee. Open since the mid 19th Century, if you can take a moment to enjoy the ambiance of this cafe will be most grateful.
78 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France
Got a favourite cafe in Paris?
Patrick Roger is a chocolate artisan like no other. Patrick Roger is very involved in every step of chocolate making–from acquiring ingredients, developing flavor combinations, tempering the chocolates and sculpting! With a team of less than 15, Patrick Roger comes up with grand creations that are delectable and very detailed.
The clean lines of the Patrick Roger shops really give the chocolates the chance to pop. Don’t let your eyes fool you, those bees and chickens you will see on the shelves aren’t porcelain or glass—they’re chocolates too! Entering his store and getting a taste of the chocolates made us feel like being in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It’s handmade love for sure!
The day we visited the Patrick Roger Paris store, a one tonne block of chocolate in the window had been carved to a huge elephant. Something really amazing to see!
If you are in Paris and you’re looking for a chocolate gift then you will not be disappointed.
Flavor suggestions: anything with lemongrass, Sichuan peppercorn, pralines and caramels
Here at Dello Mano, we’re such advocates of handmade luxury food and products. While Dello Mano style is about refined rustic cakes and produce, Paris contines to provide us with inspiration in our commitment to handmade edible luxury. Paris is everything we dreamed about and more! The Parisian flair for creative artistry and distinct taste for opulence are such great influences, that we decided to share with you our love for the city of lights in a series we’ll be calling Paris est amour. Let’s get started with our favorite pastry shops:
In 1862, Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller founded a bakery. After a fire, the bakery was transformed into a pastry shop in 1871, with popular painter Jules Cherét in-charge of the interiors. With a combination of Parisian-style cafés and French patisserie goodness, the company opened a tea room for women and became one of the pioneers in the area. Ladurée brand further rose to fame when Pierre Desfontaines (grandson of Louis Ernest Ladurée) thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with ganache filling. The recipe for the ‘double-decker’ has not changed since then. Ladurée has been recognized as a French luxury sweets maker and the brand has also branched out to chocolates (Marquis Ladurée) and candles and home fragrances (Beauté Ladurée).
Fun Fact: The sweet treats Kirsten Dunst was eating in the film Marie Antoinette were from Ladurée, as chosen by director Sofia Coppola.
What we loved: The elegant interiors showed true Parisian flair. Together with the dainty packaging and fine china, it was a very luxurious experience. Of course, the delectable sweets are amazing. The Strawberry cake in the picture below has to be one of the most precious edibles we have ever seen. We loved too the secrecy. With much fuss about no photography it has to be one of the most photographed food shops in the world.
Must-try products: strawberry tarts, pistachio pain au chocolat, St. Honoré, world-famous macarons (flavors like Fleur d’oranger, licorice, cassis and chocolate yuzu)
Locations: Ladurée Houses can be found in several countries across the globe and is increasing as I type this note. For a complete list of locations click here.
We went in search of brownies at London’s Borough markets. We weren’t successful but wow are there some great sights. This is London’s oldest fruit and vegetable market, dating back to the 13th Century and it does not disappoint. Food heaven; all presented so beautifully. And if not food, equally well presented plants or flowers and all so creative and uplifting. Recommend a visit to this market if you find yourself in London.
Borough Market : 8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, United Kingdom
Chocolate Sculptor Extraordinaire
No chocolate lover’s trip including our Dello Mano expedition to Paris would be complete without a visit to one of Patrick Roger’s signature stores. And what a wonderful experience it was to visit this winner of the Meilleur Ouvrier de France(2000). The store is filled with amazing displays of chocolates, the most gorgeous packaging colour and a constantly updated chocolate sculpture.
The Patrick Roger Story
Contrary to popular belief, Patrick Roger apparently didn’t start out being a fan of museums and works of art. Instead he did an apprenticeship in pastry making and moved to Paris to further his skill.The story goes that he quickly realized that pastry making held no interest for him and he was about to move on to something new when he came upon chocolate. Suddenly he was captivated. The fabulous properties of chocolate most specifically its ability to be moulded into literally anything, held great interest for this artisan and it quickly became his signature. From the age of 18 he was creating chocolate sculptures for such names as Jean Paul Gautier and singer Yannick Noah and before long, Patrick’s chocolate sculptures became a fabulous inclusion for many events.
The Patrick Roger Boutiques
Patrick Roger has a number of chocolate boutiques in Paris offering chocolate gifts and other chocolate delicacies. He has a strong interest in developing and including new flavours in his creations and it is said that he will go to extraordinary chocolate lengths to grow the herbs and breed the honey himself in order to get his delicacies just perfect. He is often considered the pioneer of adding chilli to chocolate ( I guess in the contemporary world) and is constantly innovating with new ingredients as he conceives unique offerings.
Breaking Boundaries in the Culinary World
His store windows are often very controversial, whether it’s chocolate moulded nude women for Valentine’s Day or rats posing as chefs for his Easter display-On the day we visited the elephant was perhaps a very subdued subject, although noteworthy that the sculpture was linked to a fund raiser for elephants.
Patrick is forever working on new designs and flavours and during our visit we tried several of the unusual combinations. I was particularly keen to try the “Bejiing” which is flavoured strongly with root ginger.
I have to confess though that because the cute little chocolate came presented in the most gorgeous little box (see above and below) almost like a “solitaire” that I have been unable to eat it and have instead kept it to admire. So, the Bejiing flavour remains a mystery to me!
……and although still yet to be tried, i just couldnt resist showing you a close up of this beautiful little “specimen”
The Patrick Roger Boutiques
Patrick Roger has several stores and each of them is an experience on their own. Look forward to interesting sculptures combined with unique chocolate flavours and combinations. Store details are provided below and the website is http://www.patrickroger.com.
- Madeleine – 12 cité Berryer
- Faubourg – 199 rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré
- Rennes – 91 rue de Rennes
- Saint Germain – 108 boulevard Saint-Germain
- Victor Hugo – 45 avenue Victor Hugo
Ile de France
- Saint-Germain-en-Laye – 2 rue de Paris
- Sceaux – 47 rue Houdan
If you are in the vicinity of the Musee D’Orsay you must pop by to this amazing artisan pastry store. Located in a beautiful angular corner position on the very grand Boulevard St. Germain in the 7th is Gosselin Phillipe.
Gosselin are Patissier/Boulagere par excellence. They are also listed as a Traiteur which in the local parlance can mean a few things such as eating house or restaurateur . Their Pastries are simply works of art.
Take their eclairs as a benchmark for instance .Their chocolate offering is a light choux finger filled with a firm creamy chocolate delight. When you savour one it leaves you with that “just right” feeling ( not over indulged) It rates with Patissier Stroher ( more on Stroher Later – the Queen is a VIP client of Stroher) and Laduree eclairs. In one word, their Patisserie is fabulous.
And we haven’t even talked about their ornate and mouth watering Chocolate , fruit tartes etc ….etc . In fact the fruit tarts were just so beautiful.
Their skill is also carried over to other Parisian favourites such as meringues.
I really dont know where to stop with the photos from this amazing store – here is another one as you just need to see the excellence. Simply stunning I am still overwhelmed by the store as I write this blog.
One thing that really stuck with us was the amount of baked produce still available in the afternoon. Parisians seem to take the time to enjoy their pastry and have a wonderful selection available to them all day.
As a Patissier and bolulanger this is well worth a visit and a purchase!
258 Bvd St. Germain