Bonbons! The Best French Sweet Shop in Paris

I literally stumbled into this sweet shop the other day.  It was raining, chats et chiens and, instead of taking the metro back to Châtelet, so drifted with the wind as it steered me downhill in the 5th Arrondissement. The sudden sight of glistening jars filled with chocolates and bright pastel confections halted my track and lured me indoors. I stepped back in time like a curious, mesmerised child into this haven in Paris. It’s le Bonbon au Palais.

Table of French regional confectionary at Le Bonbon au Palais, The best sweet shop in Paris

I remembered Carol Gillot of ParisBreakfasts talk about this sweet shop and its owner, ‘Professor’ Georges. Well, here he was in person, proudly presenting his range of the best regional and artisanal sweet delicacies from around France all under one roof. As he says on the giant blackboard, life is much more beautiful with sweets or candies. His shop resembles a classroom from yesterday, with Nicolas and Pimpranelle looking on (yet another story: Antoine and I dressed up in PJs as the children’s TV characters at a fancy dress party, only to discover that everyone else was in elaborate Carnaval of Venice costumes.)

Georges at Le Bonbon au Palais, specialist of French regional sweet candies in Paris

With Brassens (another Georges) singing and strumming his guitar on the vintage radio, Georges opened several giant apothecary lids as he explained some  delicacies while I tasted and relished in the jolly Georges ambience.

Pierrot Gourmand sucette artisanal lollies the oldest lollipops in France

The Pierrot Gourmand symbols of the Comedia dell’Arte displayed France’s oldest lollipop, or sucette.

Georges Evrard created the Pierrot Gourmand company in 1892 and invented the first lollipop in 1924.  It was also one of the first companies to envelope lollipops in printed paper. The milk caramel was the original flavour, nicknamed ‘Pégé’ for P.G.  Pierrot Gourmand now sells around 140 million lollipops each year.

Lyon sweet candy speciality les coussins de Lyon

I’d already fallen in love with le Coussin de Lyon (chocolate ganache perfumed with curaçao) during my gastronomic weekend in Lyon. Here, Georges also had framboise (raspberry) and myrtille (blueberry) versions plus the Coussin’s sweeter cousin in bright yellow (top right), Le Cocon de Lyon. The cocon resembles the silk worm’s cocoon, paying homage to the silk-weavers of Lyon.

apothecary jars of traditional sweets from all around France at the Bonbon au Palais

Barley sugars, jellies and fast emptying jars of salted caramels from Normandy and Brittany line the pristine, glossy white shelves.

almond marzipan calisson speciality French sweets from Provence

How many times have I visited family in Provence but I never knew about the Calisson de St. Rémy?  It’s not quite as sweet as it’s popular and brighter yellow oval Calisson cousin since it’s made with different almonds.

spicy sweet piments of Vaucluse, candy speciality in Provence

Mother-in-Law in the Vaucluse has certainly never introduced me to these spicy sweets, either. Instead she orders traditional candied fruits from Apt from the factory shop by the kilo.  I’ve still got two kilos of candied ginger and orange peel left to add to desserts and macarons.

french candy sticks and love heart lollipops at the best sweet shop in Paris

I’ll have to return with my girls and our pocket money. There’s so much more to learn about French candies. Meanwhile, I’m hiding my Bonbon au Palais bag under my desk like a naughty squirrel. Georges said these delicacies can keep for up to 6 months so all the more reason for me to keep them aside and savour them on the palate (notice the play of French words with palet/palate and palais/palace).

the best regional French sweet confiseries

These Tas de Sel from the Loire (literally translated as salt stacks) and Tétons de la Reine Margot from Pau in the Pyrénées-Atlantique, (meaning Queen Margot’s nipples) are definitely for secret, special, oh-là-là moments.

Queen Margot's nipples tetons de la reine chocolates

Like this wonderful moment.  I’ll tell you why next time, but meanwhile we’re finally off on that summer holiday we cancelled last year.  I just need to taste another téton de la Reine Margot, just to ensure my chocolate palate gets the taste of orange and the Cognac.

A bientôt!

Le Bonbon au Palais
19, rue Monge
75005 Paris

Metro: Cardinal Lemoine

 

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16 Responses to Bonbons! The Best French Sweet Shop in Paris

  1. Areesh from My Deal Voucher UK April 5, 2014 at 22:13 #

    After seeing the Picture i guess to my self that its paris. I saw the title after seeing the pictires. :) all the pictures saying it all. :)

  2. Michelle March 19, 2014 at 10:48 #

    Oh My Goodness, I would have a fit in that place!!! they all look amazing!!im going to Paris in the summer I will not leave town without checking it out!! Thanks for the post :D Nom Nom Nom!!!

  3. Tama March 11, 2014 at 19:02 #

    Looks like a road trip to Paris in order. Isabel came home to show me this – guess will be hitting this place sometime soon!.

  4. Tama March 11, 2014 at 19:01 #

    Looks like a road trip in order. Isabel had to rush home to show me this!We’ll be hittin’ the train into Paris for this I gather.

  5. Jean-Pierre March 2, 2014 at 19:26 #

    I need to check this place out. Sweet posting, Jill

  6. Sweet Lover February 27, 2014 at 14:58 #

    These look so yummy I could lick your photos. This shop looks a bit like the one I used to go to when I was younger. Your kids are lucky to have such a great mum!

  7. Shirley Moffat February 22, 2014 at 17:26 #

    What another fantastic blog Jill I am so glad you didn’t take the metro back to Chatelet as your photos showing Georges wonderful delicacies are amazing – indeed a sweet Palace – no wonder Georges is so proud of his shop. I look forward to seeing your next blog.

  8. Kim - Liv Life February 22, 2014 at 06:04 #

    Oh my goodness!! I know a certain 14-year old girl who would be in sweet heaven in this shop!!!

  9. Lesley Moyes February 20, 2014 at 05:43 #

    Enjoyed the blog. Is it a modern day ‘Ellen’s'?

    • Jill March 4, 2014 at 18:52 #

      Ah! Ellen’s. Nope. This is all by region and so ultra posh. Ellens, on the other hand, was special memories. She would also serve potatoes all covered in earth straight from the colossal sack, behind the jars.
      All sweet shops have their memories, don’t they?

  10. Thomasina February 19, 2014 at 20:38 #

    Looking forward to your next blog Jill. French candies and chocolates are right up my street. I’m learning a lot from you – thank you.

  11. Jerome February 19, 2014 at 15:10 #

    Superbe! Merci Jill! :)

  12. June S February 19, 2014 at 14:50 #

    Georges is my kind of sweet shop owner – his shop I can only describe as spectacular and sparkling. You must show me where this is – I must meet him. You’ve restored my faith in people dealing with nostalgia. Last summer visited a wee sweet shop in Fife, going down memory lane drooling over jars of sweets of my childhood. Chatted about the past but was met with pitying looks.

    • Jill February 19, 2014 at 16:24 #

      June, I can assure you there are no pitying looks at this sweet Palace. Georges is so passionate about his subject you could stay in there for hours!

  13. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.) February 19, 2014 at 13:33 #

    On my list for July :)

  14. Lindsey February 19, 2014 at 11:11 #

    WOW! I think I’ll be making a stop here soon :)

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