Warning! Don't attempt this at home. A Parisian feeding frenzy.

Thick hot chocolate and a piece of heavenly chocolate cake at Jean-Paul Hevin

Usually I like when people leave comments because otherwise I start feeling as if I'm carrying on a monotonous conversation with myself. I have to admit, however, that I'm relieved that only two people responded to my question about what they would do on their first day in Paris because I had rather foolishly decided that I would follow their suggestions. The result was a grueling food fest that should only be attempted with extreme caution by those who have undergone intensive training!

Starting point: Concorde metro station 
Ending point: Mabillon metro station
Duration: approximately 4 1/2 hours
Level: expert eater with years of training under their belt

After seeing that Jean-Paul Hévin is Le Figaro's top choice for hot chocolate, I threw caution to the wind and ordered a cup of their aphrodisiac brew flavored with ginger and spices even though Stephane is in Italy this week. It went well with a sinfully rich piece of Guayaquil cake. After all, what's better than chocolate x 2 and a full belly!

Knowing that the next challenge of eating some Berthillon ice cream would require a bit of preparation, I walked through the Tuileries Garden on my way to l'Ile St. Louis.

My favorite statue is a reminder that curvaceous is beautiful! I'm going to show this photo to Stephane
the next time he mentions the belly that I've been growing (nurturing!) since we moved to Paris.
People taking it easy by one of the fountains in the Tuileries Garden. Perhaps they
were victims of the infamous Parisian feeding frenzy!
Unfortunately, Berthillon at 31 rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile is closed on Monday.
But did that stop me from following Sara's suggestion? No!
Because there are plenty of other places, like the one shown above, on l'Ile St. Louis that serve Berthillon ice cream.
Since it's kind of difficult to hold an ice cream cone and take a photo, I asked the man in front of me if I could
take a picture of his ice cream. After the chocolate x 2 at Jean-Paul Hevin, I knew that I had to have
something other than my usual chocolate, so I settled for some very tasty peach sorbet. 
Joseph's suggestion was to drink a glass (or a bottle!) of champagne. I deviated slightly by having a glass of kir
 with peanuts but took a photo of the couple next to me who followed his recommendation.
Joseph also said that he likes to do a bit of people watching on his first day in Paris.
As I staggered on to the metro, I thought about how good it feels to be home.
Thanks for a perfect afternoon and a very full stomach!
P.S. This photo of the Brasserie de l'Ile St. Louis was added in response to Joseph's comment about
the location of the cafe. It's on the Quai de Bourbon.


  1. My first day back home (no matter where I happen to live!) is spent unpacking - so happy I didn't ruin your first day back by telling you this sooner. When I was a tourist in Paris, my first day was always: cafe creme and croissant while people watching, long walk, brasserie lunch while people watching, more walking, nap...now that Paris is home for the foreseeable future, I unpack. Boo hiss.

  2. Millie, You're way too organized and efficient! The next time that you arrive back in Paris, I'm going to take you for hot chocolate at Jean-Paul Hevin's or we can follow your cafe creme and croissant program, although it's much less decadent than chocolate x 2. Time to go unpack my suitcase and do some laundry. Thanks for the reminder! ;-)

  3. Did you have a kir at the Brasserie behind Notre Dame? It looks like the corner there, and people crossing from the bridge. My favorite cafe, well, besides Cafe Flore or Deux Magots.

    And had I known you were going to do as your readers suggested, I would have thrown in some high-end shopping on FSH, preferably coming home with a distinctive orange box and bag--I'm sure Stephane would approve.

  4. Joseph, I just included a photo of the brasserie in the post. Is it the one of which you're thinking? I went there after talking with a woman while I was admiring a window display. She told me that it has a lot of "atmosphere" because the owner is rather cantankerous. Does that ring a bell?

    And yes, I wish that someone had suggested a bit of shopping. Next time, perhaps!

  5. I NEVER unpack ever.
    Not that much to unpack really but I have done all of the above with bells on.
    Pls remove above comment-error alert

  6. Carol, I LOVE your Chocolate Passion watercolor. Thanks for including the link so that I could read about your experience at J-P Hevin. But the next time, you have to drink hot chocolate with the chocolate cake...not tea! That's the ultimate chocolate experience. And wait a minute, did you share that piece of cake? ;-)

  7. YES! That's the place. I love it there. The bar inside is wonderful, the coffee machine is as big as a car, and it's copper as I remember. The flowers on the bar are always beautiful. And I love having dinner there--very hearty, healthy Alsatian fare--go hungry and have a beer with dinner.

  8. Now that, my friend, sounds like one great day! I need to try that hot chocolate. Is it super thick like Angelinas?

  9. Joseph, How funny that I ended up in one of your favorite brasseries. Next time I'll have to go inside and take a look at the coffee machine. And thank goodness that I didn't know that the food was good - my stomach couldn't have handled hearty Alsatian fare after the chocolate and ice cream but I would have been tempted...

    Kate, The hot chocolate at J-P Hevin is rich, thick and absolutely delicious. The menu for their Parisian hot chocolate is rather funny because they propose different kinds of chocolate for different hours of the day. It's rather telling that "aphrodisiac" is their suggestion for 4:00 pm!

    I still haven't tried Angelina's. That's where I was originally going to go until I saw le Figaro's ranking of the top 10 hot chocolates in Paris.

  10. That's what I was saying up until abou 3:00 pm yesterday. That and telling myself that I mustn't ever combine hot chocolate with rich chocolate cake again. By about 3:30 pm, I was able to finish off a piece of chocolate from Patrick Rogers. I'm back, baby.....

  11. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm totally taking a day in Paris to do this. This is amazing!!! If there's one thing I can say I've trained my whole life for, it's eating! Mary Kay, you're a jewel! (Remind me that I said that when I can't fit into my pants when I get back!)

  12. Tread carefully...very, very carefully. The chocolate in Paris is extravagantly rich but oh so delightful! One of the best things about when it rains in Paris is that you "have" to go in a cafe and get a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. And what goes with a hot drink - why, chocolate cake, of course!

    Have fun and don't worry about your pants fitting until you get back home.


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