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“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” ― Bill Bryson

Choux a la créme at Odette Paris

Choux a la créme at Odette Paris

 

It was as I wandered down a cobbled street looking for Shakespeare & Company that I spotted the facade.

The glossy black storefront glistens in the sunlight, oozing chic Parisian style; white window panes flourish with rosy spring blooms while draping greenery cascades down the muted apricot render. Above the fringed awnings emblazoned in a bold art deco typeface, the sign reads: Odette.

This trendy patisserie had surfaced during my searches for the best pastries in Paris. I recognised it immediately. Housed inside a 17th century building in the 5th arrondissement, the patisserie has long been savoured by locals. In recent years, travelling pastry enthusiasts have stumbled upon this tasty morsel bringing renewed attention to an already beloved patisserie.

I had every intention of stopping by during my short visit to Paris but, as fate would have it, my introduction to perfect Parisian choux pastry would happen sooner rather than later.

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Walking into Odette, I was greeted by marble checkerboard floors and marquetry walls, a stunning view of the Notre Dame from across the Seine and a “bonjour” from the warmly smiling sales assistant standing behind the matte black counter.

I scanned the glass display for a glimpse of the famously colourful pastries only to find the shelves completely bare.

My heart sank. It must’ve shown as the sales assistant quickly explained, “We’ve just opened for the day! All of the flavours are available, they’re just not on display yet.”

She smiled, “First choux for the day!”

“Could we order some choux to go?”, I asked, now beaming with renewed energy.

She filled me in. You can dine in - go up the coiled staircase, take a table on the first floor and enjoy as many or as few choux pastries as you like - or you can take the pastries away, choosing from boxes of 6, 9, 12 or 18.

Having no issue with ordering multiple choux pastries - and having become sidetracked from the original plan for the morning - I ordered 6 to go.

Odette Paris offers a selection of 9 different flavours and my eyes gleamed as I perused the menu. Chocolate, caramel, pistachio, coffee, berries, praline, vanilla, lemon and passionfruit - an impossible decision, really.

“Would you like to know my recommendations?” the sales assistant offered, kindly saving me from the difficult task of choosing my final flavours.

“Praline is the best, in my opinion,” she offered humbly. For lovers of fruity flavours, passionfruit is a favourite. I selected one each of her recommendations, along with one pistachio choux and one each of the classics: chocolate, coffee and caramel.

My glossy Odette pastry box was now filled with colourful choux and slipped inside a white paper bag with black handles. She waves us off with a friendly “au revoir”, and I’m barely 6 feet from the front door before I unravel her careful packaging and dive in for my first bite: a pistachio cream-filled choux pastry finished off with pastel green icing.

Perfectly crisp on the outside with a sweet cream filling its airy centre, Odette’s choux pastries deserve every ounce of the fanfare they have received online. My one regret was assuming 6 would be plenty. Until next time, Odette Paris.
 

Visiting Odette Paris

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Address: 77 Rue Galande, 75005 PARIS

Operating hours: 10:30 am to 7:30 pm every day.

Prices: Per choux: €1.90, Box of 6: €10,90, Box of 9: €15,90, Box of 12: €19,80, Box of 18: €29,80, The luxury box of 72: €200

 
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