Welcome to Week 4 of my #Gauteng52 challenge, for which I will visit and blog about a new place in Gauteng Province every week for 52 straight weeks. This week I visit Patisserie de Paris, a French bakery and café in the Jozi suburb of Blairgowrie.
I’ve known for a long time about the French bakery off Conrad Drive in Blairgowrie. (By the way, I’m tempted to move to Blairgowrie, a Joburg suburb between Linden and Craighall Park, simply for the name. Blairgowrie! Pronounced exactly as it’s spelled. Love it.) I heard good things.
But, as I’m sure I’ll say many times over this year, the #Gauteng52 challenge motivated me to finally give Patisserie de Paris a try. And boy, have I been missing out.
Patisserie de Paris, The French Jewel of Blairgowrie
The first thing I noticed, and liked, about Patisserie de Paris is its unabashed pinkness. I’m not a particular fan (or non-fan) of pink, but I like it when a place goes all-out like this. The walls are pink and the waiters are decked out head-to-toe in pink.
The whimsical interior of Patisserie de Paris. Not normally my style, but in this place it just works.
Even the books are pinkish — possibly a reflection from the walls.
The second thing I noticed was the menu. It’s legitimately French, but in the most unpretentious — and by that I mean cheapest — possible way. My eyes went straight to the croque monsieur, which is basically a French grilled ham-and-cheese but ten times better than that sounds. The croque monsieur cost R45 (about $3.25). I ordered it without looking any further.
Look, my friend Krista matches the restaurant.
Krista ordered the French toast (very appropriate) with mixed berry compote and lemon-blended mascarpone cheese, for R49 ($3.60).
When the plates came out — less than five minutes later, as if by magic — I nearly cried with delight. Everything looked and tasted amazing. The only thing I didn’t go crazy over was my cappuccino, which was good but not great.
Croque monsieur, which is a ham sandwich with cheese melted on the outside, and French toast with berry compote and mascarpone cheese. It tasted every bit as good as it looks.
The third thing I noticed was the cheese room. Patisserie de Paris has a whole separate room for cheese, most of which comes from France. I didn’t buy any but I will next time.
Kwenza, friendly manager of Patisserie de Paris, wraps up a cheese order at the café’s dedicated cheese counter.
The fourth thing I noticed was the bakery/confectionary, which also has a dedicated room. Patisserie de Paris is famous for its baguettes and breads. I bought one baguette, which I took to a friend’s house for dinner that evening and really enjoyed, and one croissant, which I’d intended to save for breakfast the next morning but wound up eating that afternoon.
A selection of croissants. I had a plain one. I’d say it was on par with the croissants from my other favorite French café in Joburg: the French Corner in Bryanston. But Patisserie de Paris’ croissants are made from scratch onsite, while the French Corner’s are made with dough imported from France. So Patisserie de Paris wins based on carbon footprint.
The Story of Patisserie de Paris
As Kwenza explained to me, Patisserie de Paris’ story started when Paul Zwick, a lifelong television producer and director, decided to give up his 30-year career in Johannesburg and move to France to become a chef. After training at various acclaimed French culinary schools and apprenticing at two Michelin-rated restaurants, Paul moved home and started selling bread and pastries at the Bryanston Organic Market. He opened Patisserie de Paris on Bastille Day (14 July) in 2013.
Well done, Paul. Your story is the fifth thing I like about Patisserie de Paris.
Patisserie de Paris is at 9 Mackay Ave., Blairgowrie. The café is open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Paul also trades at the Bryanston Organic Market on Thursday and Sunday.
Read all of my #Gauteng52 posts and check out the interactive #Gauteng52 map.
I have been meaning to go here for literally months. THIS WEEK!!!!
Omg, it’s so freaking good.
Can’t believe this place is 2kms away from my home and I never heard of it.. wanna go there soonish…
Get yourself over there, stat! 🙂
I’ve never had a croque monsieur, and now I want one.
You kill me with these food posts.
Mmmm I wanna come to Jhb soon!
Ah, c’est si bon! How delightful. Great, mouthwatering pics.
Cheese room??? How didn’t I know about this, lol.
I know! If you’re missing French cheese then this is definitely a place to check out.