Why buy it?
If it’s your first time swanning around Paris, the city will most definitely overwhelm you with its wealth of boulangeries, patisseries, cafes and museums. Thankfully, Australian author Jane Paech is available for guided walking tours – and at a moment’s notice – in the form of her latest book, Delicious Days in Paris. Having lived in the city for six years, Jane’s knowledge of where to locate the silkiest mousse au chocolat and sip a glass of crisp vin naturel is vast.
As far as guide books go, this one stands out like an Aussie accent. Paech has designed 14 themed walking tours, each chapter named after a food highlight (Salted Butter Caramels, Confit de Canard, Rose and Jasmin Macarons, and so on), covering the many arrondissements of Paris. Whether you’re a novice or repeat visitor, Peach’s rundown of long-standing institutions, current food trends, and the Parisian bistronomy movement will surely satiate.
Flipping through its pages reveals seductive food photographs, illustrated maps and precious quotes, such as this gem from Gustave Eiffel, "I ought to be jealous of the tower. She is more famous than I." More than this, Paech's words read like postcards from a cherished friend. Reading it, one gets the sense of walking side by side with the author, uncovering new dishes and friends along the way.
While you can easily pop this book in your bag and consult it as you traipse down cobblestone paths, you can also enjoy it as you would a travel memoir, as each walk reads like a mini adventure.
There’s nothing quite like a lively French market, and the Marché du President Wilson is a quintessentially Parisian experience (beginning from Chapter 10). To fuel up for the day, order a velvety hot chocolate and a pastry on the terrace of nearby Carette.
Most surprising find
The French love their sweets, so trust that the chocolate mousse bar at Chocolat Chapon (69 Rue du Bac, 75007, Paris) is a revelation. Making use of chocolates from all over the world, this unusual bar spells good news (or trouble) for chocoholics.
“Naturally integrating walking into your day allows you to indulge, guilt-free, in all those divine pastries and chocolates you bump into along the way,” says Paech.
New visitors hungry for a complete city immersion, as well as seasoned travellers on the hunt for new foodie finds. Indeed, this book will make even the most serious Francophile see the City of Light in an all-new glow.
Delicious Days in Paris: Walking tours to explore the city’s food and culture, Jane Paech (Lantern, $35, pbk).
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