In France it is quite easy to find somewhere for a good cup of coffee or a drink of some kind, but a coffee to go with those very tempting French patisseries is another matter.
However, here four patisseries we visit where there is a coffee shop or tea salon and where the patisserie is mouthwateringly good. The fifth is a bit of surprise, unless you are really familiar with French habits. All four are chocolatiers and the fifth ……..read on.
1. Patisserie Bremaud – Bourgueil
Packed out on the morning of the weekly market on a Tuesday in Bourgueil, but so good! Their speciality is the Galette Bourguelloise and there is also an amazing range of cakes. A complimentary chocolate with the coffee too and ice-creams made in-house are available in the summer.
3, 5 Place des Halles, Bourgueil
Good to know: Patisserie Bremaud own the registered trade mark for Galette Bourgueilloise.
2. La Maison de Rabelais – Langeais
Situated in a quaint building just opposite the Chateau de Langeais. Their hot chocolate is excellent, especially on a Sunday morning after a visit to the market. Light lunches and snacks also available as well as some superb patisserie, selected teas and coffees, plus gifts to take home for friends if you can bear to part with them.
2 Place Pierre de Brosse, 37130 Langeais
Good to know: There is out-door seating with views of Chateau de Langeais.
3. Duchess Anne – Saumur
A favourite place to visit when in Saumur and another centre of excellence! Even when Saumur is busy, this coffee shop feels quite removed from the outside. Light lunches also available and daily newspapers are available, an asset for solo visitors!
22 Rue Franklin Roosevelt, 49400 Saumur
Good to know: ‘Joseph’ is their satellite patisserie on Boulevard du Maréchal Juin, next to a really good wine shop. Good parking outside for both.
4. Au Royal Chocolate – Azay Le Rideau
Azay is worth a visit, although rather crowded in the summer. Au Royal Chocolate has a really long display counter full of tempting treats. The seating area for coffee is limited, but the coffee is excellent. Hardouin, the traiteur d’excellence for charcuterie has a shop just opposite.
Good to know: The Paris Brest and the almond cookies are huge, enough for two people unless you are truly gourmand.
5. The Wild Card
What is little known, is that it is quite acceptable to buy from a nearby patisserie to eat with your coffee. Of course, it is only polite to check first.
Good to know: There are two bars in Place St. Pierre, which is a great place to sit and watch the world go by. Speaking from experience, both are happy for you to buy from the patisserie a few steps away. Also, just around the corner in Grande Rue is the Barre du Chocolate for exquisite artisan chocolates. There is also a really good patisserie in Montsoreau next to a bar/café and another bar a few steps away. Just perfect on a Sunday morning when the antiques fair is there and the food market just opposite.
Go on – spoil yourselves next time you are in France!