You might as well give up your pledge to eat and drink less this year, because your best intentions are not going to survive this: a pop-up chocolate bar in Paris. Oh, mon dieu. Leave it to the lavish Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris to dream up an artisan bar serving four decadent hot chocolate drinks and four lavish desserts concocted by Pierre Hermé.
Considered “The King of modern pâtisseries,” Hermé oversees all the pastries at the grand hotel on Avenue Hoche. Having begun his career at the age of 14, Hermé worked as an apprentice to French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre. He is also heir to four generations of Alsatian bakery and pastry-making traditions, and has been said to make grown men weep with his macaroons.
Leave it to him to transform the Le Royal Monceau’s stylish Bar Long (designed by Philippe Starck) into a winter-long homage to everyone’s favorite sweet. “I like the idea of sharing my world,” says Hermé, “where cocoa is the king.” To that end, he delivers culinary slam dunks with new chocolate sensations, textures and flavor combinations. Sit and sip on four unique, steaming cups of hot chocolate: Viennois features chantilly cream; Comme au 16eme Siecle kicks in up a notch with South American spices; Whisky Chocolate features pure malt whisky, cocoa liqueur and whisky cream; and Orginel returns to the origins of cocoa with the flavors of pepper, grains and corn foam.
For dessert, just try refusing one of Hermé’s indulgent options which include Delire Delice Infiniment Praline Noisettes or Plenitude Millefeuilles made of caramelized puff pastry, Grand Cru Araguani chocolate mascarpone cream, salted butter caramel and dark chocolate slivers with fleur de sel. Can’t decide? Go for the chocolate trilogy: Menthe Fraiche with fresh mint granite, the “Inca” Grand Cru Caraibe hot chocolate ganache, avocado and bananas compote; and the “Rouge & Noir” Grand Cru Manjari chocolate cream, Grand Cru Manjari, chantilly cream and crispy fruits in balsamic vinegar gelée.
Le Royal Monceau - Raffles Paris is also renowned for its 149 luxurious rooms and suites, its two Michelin-star restaurants, art concierge and gallery, and its prime location near the Arc-de-Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées in Paris' 8th arrondissement. And to work off those extra chocolate pounds, the hotel’s 4,900-square-foot Spa My Blend by Clarins is an award-winning white paradise, with the longest swimming pool in a Paris hotel.