La Pâtisserie des Rêves, 75116


“Et voila” she scowls as she throws the plates down in front of us.

La Pâtisserie des Rêves has been an address I’ve long admired. It was during my first week in Paris that I had my first taste of the Paris-Brest… but my love peaked at the moment that I was introduced to Conticini by my old boss.

My sister was in town this weekend and I wanted to take her somewhere special for tea. Today, however, the service en salle ruined the experience.

“Vous avez décidé?” “Décidé?!” We are awoken from a momentary daydream.

We order. Two teas, a Paris-Brest and a Grand Cru Vanille.

Looking around, we see a tea room that has not been thought through. The décor – supposedly “a cosy and intimate little corner with a modern, sleek design” – would more accurately be described as IKEA-meets-Hello-Kitty. Bright pink walls, ugly white tables… and in the toilets, fittings so flimsy you can only think that a cowboy builder must have done a rush-job.


Back to the main room. On this particular afternoon, there are five tables seated. One waitress.

And boy, did she manage to take French “surly service” to a new level. I even nicknamed her Snappy because of her delightfully pleasant manner with the customers. When she was clearing a table, for example, she did so with such menace that the rest of the room was silenced by her clattering.

Our teas come – a Tsareva and Lemon Verbena infusion. We are left to blindly sniff each one as Snappy has plonked them down in front of us without the slightest indication of which is which.

I know I’m English… but I do rather look for a little pomp and ceremony in a tea room. Let’s face it – we pay 7 or 8 euros (or more!) for a cup of tea; something, that quite honestly, we could have made at home with a trusty kitchen kettle for next to nothing. There’s gotta be something to sweeten the deal.


In this case, it’s the pastries. Within a few minutes, the plates are thrown down in front of us, also without as much as a meagre explanation or introduction. The famous French phrase “je ne sais quoi” was surely created with this Paris-Brest in mind and I was fully ready to forgive this pastry for having butted into our conversation unannounced. I found the Grand Cru Vanille a bit boring – but maybe that tells me more about myself than anything else… I’m clearly a nutty chocolate, not vanilla, kinda girl!

Overall, unfortunately, even the most amazing pastries in the world couldn’t make up for Snappy. My sister and I finish up and decide to leave without lingering. The waitress had succeeded in making us feel so unwelcome that we couldn’t wait to go.

I wish I had taken a video of the eye-roll that a neighbouring gentleman had given the waitress when he had to ask three times for the bill… this will have to do.

Upon paying, (we didn’t wait for the bill, but walked staight up to the counter) a waiter asked me how the experience had been. I (honestly) explained that the pastries were great comme d’habitude, but that the service had actually been pas terrible.

The waiter shrugged and said “well, nobody wants to be here today” referring to the Unity Rally that was taking place on the other side of the city.

And it’s true. After half an hour, I didn’t want to be there either. I paid the bill (28 euros) and left. Learn from my mistake: La Pâtisserie des Rêves makes excellent pastries… but the precise attention to small details never made it out of the kitchen. Take the pastries to go, and don’t waste your money and your time in this shambles of a tea shop. I, for one, certainly will not be back.


Essential Information

Address: 111 rue de Longchamp, 75116
Telephone: 01 47 04 00 24
Website: La Pâtisserie des RêvesFacebook
Opening Hours:
Tea Room: Friday – Saturday, from midday ’til 7pm. Sunday from 9am ’til 7pm.
Shop: Tuesday-Friday 10am-7pm. Saturday-Sunday 9pm-7pm. Closed Monday. 

La Petite Marquise, 75116

I find the line 2 métro fascinating. Of all the different lines, it is peut-être this one which covers the widest range of Parisian communities. Starting off at Nation, moving through the Chinese communities in Belleville and Ménilmontant, you see the hoardes of sunbathers getting off at Jaures and heading for the Canal Saint Martin. There are the Indians and Pakistanis in La Chapelle, the usual ragamuffins at Barbes-Rochechouart, the wide-eyed tourists at Anvers and those who consider themselves at the next level up because they’re off to see the Moulin Rouge at Blanche. Then there are the more upmarket areas around the Parc Monceau, Courcelles and Ternes. Office-workers, suited and booted, having one last cigarette before facing the reality of another day’s work.

After that, you have the Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile and all that goes with. Beyond, you have Victor Hugo and Porte Dauphine, two of the most luxurious residential areas within the city walls. I remember – aged 18 – staying for a couple of days with a friend who had a chambre de bonne on the avenue Victor Hugo. I was in awe at how broodily the Arc de Triomphe loomed at the end of his street but bizarrely, my strongest memory was the horror of unwittingly overhearing a gaggle of BCBG* self-absorbed teenage girls gossiping at the local Starbucks about how cool they were.

This morning I was back on that same street corner to chase up some bureaucrat. It’s not a secret how long administration can take in this country… and my new favourite way of getting anything done is to go in person.

Having finally accomplished what I set out to do, I decided to treat myself to a pastry. La Petite Marquise is a fantastic spot in the 16th arrondissement for the baguette de tradition. They came 8th in the 2014 Best Baguette in Paris competition, and 6th in 2012. I spent a reasonable 1€20 to try it for myself, and let’s just say, I was not disappointed! I also got a croissant au beurre (1€.) As you might know if you’ve followed this blog for a while, I have a penchant for really good buttery pastries and this one was super.

As it was almost lunchtime by the time I left, I spotted two servers putting out some mouth-watering sandwiches for the working and/or picnic crowd. There’s also a salon du thé towards the back of the shop, where you can sample their delicious creations on-site and wash it down with a cup of coffee or tea. Perfect for those with more time on their hands.

An extremely good address to have up your sleeve if you’re in the area.

*Bon Chic, Bon Genre: literally Good Style, Good Type. Not derogatory, the term first came about in the 1980s to describe well-dressed people with a style that now we expats have come to think of “typically Parisian”. Not to be confused with BoBo (Bourgeois Bohemian.)


Essential Information

Address: 3 place Victor Hugo, 75116
Telephone: 01 45 00 77 36
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday from 7.45am til 7.45pm. Saturday from 7.45am – 7.25pm. Closed Sunday.