If you are one of those people who can travel the world in search of the best bagel, the most select macarons, the most delicious sachertorte or the most celebrated cupcakes, you undoubtedly and irremediably belong to the Sweets Lovers Club. Membership can lead to selling your soul or skipping an entire meal for a sinful dessert.
These are five pastry shops you should visit at least once in your life if you want to take your sweet tooth to paradise.
In the City of Light and on the banks of the Seine, you will find some of the world’s most celebrated pastry chefs. Pierre Hermé is one of them, and his fame is the envy of his peers. With a career that spans almost 40 years, at 54, he has 47 stores in 12 countries. Last year, Herme was named the best pastry chef in the world. If I had to choose my favorite shop, I’d have to go with the charming store at 72 Rue Bonaparte Paris, in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, don’t miss the raspberry with litchi and roses macaroons.
Spain’s Torreblanca Cero’s great achievement was the wedding cake of the current Kings of Spain. In this select bakery located in the Levantine town of Elda, you are in the midst of enormous creative talent. Their unforgettable chocolate and orange panettone, chocolate caviar, and tea cookies are recognized worldwide.
Los Angeles, California
At 8360 Melrose Avenue in L.A., Sweet Lady Jane has been creating impressive wedding, birthday, and anniversary cakes for 25 years. With impossible-to-resist treats, tarts, and pastries, you may be rubbing elbows with Hollywood’s next superstar.
This London bakery on Marylebone High Street sets the table for memorable afternoon teas surrounded by delicious pastries, salmon, cucumber or watercress sandwiches, as well as Scottish scones with freshly baked jam and cream. All you need is a glass of French champagne.
Very close to the Pantheon and the Italian Parliament—and certainly worth a visit—is Giolitti, a family-owned ice-cream parlor established in Rome since 1890. It has become a sweet institution in a city where food, and especially sweets, are sublime. Do not leave without trying their homemade gelato, or their famous Sicilian cannoli made with fresh ricotta cheese, candied cherries, vanilla, and dark chocolate. Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck fell in love while enjoying ice cream at Giolitti in William Wyler’s 1953 film Roman Holiday. ■