As the song says; "I love Paris in the springtime, I love Paris in the fall, I love Paris in the winter when it drizzles, I love Paris in the summer; when it sizzles....." So when don't I love Paris? I don't love Paris when it is Fashion Week and bars and galleries are blocked up with androgynous, black clad giraffes, eyes cold with a combination of hunger, cocaine and sheer ambivalence. I also don't love Paris when I catch a stinking cold from a man behind me on the Eurostar who spent the journey over snorting like a pig.
So there I am slumped in bed on Saturday morning when I had planned on being up with the oiseaux meandering my way round a marché aux puces in Montreuil. Still, even in the depths of a cold there can be glimmers of gastronomic pleasure to be found. I had the most fantastic supper in bed the night before due entirely to the cold and I bought it all from a corner shop. No, really, the best corner shop I've ever encountered: Publicis Drugstore.
At first glance the back entrance to Publicis Drugstore looks like most late night corner shops; plastified sandwiches, microwave meals, rows of Coke and Evian and a small baked goods area. Its only when you look more closely that you see the croissants are all by Alain Ducasse, the patisserie from Philippe Conticini's Patisserie des Reves range or from Dalloyau. Petrossian has a small counter of caviar and smoked salmon. Around the corner is a Pierre Herme macaron counter. Dinner for me was a truffle risotto from Maison de la Truffe. At 16 euros probably the most expensive microwave meal ever but by God was it worth it. Rich and creamy with a powerful truffle aroma filling the store as it cooked. It feels utterly wrong to be praising a microwave meal but it was truly very, very right indeed. A dessert of a tarte tatin from Patisserie des Reves and two vanilla macarons completed the meal.
Continue further into its depths and there is a bookshop with some great food and art coffee table type books as well as international magazines. A beauty area stocked with top brands is next to wines and cigars as well as counters of the sort of expensive fripperies and pretty things that everyone wants but nobody needs. Its like a mini late night shopping heaven and if I hadn't been such a red eyed sniffing mess there's a significant chance that my bank balance would have been further damaged.
If you're not looking to hide in your sick bed like me there are plenty of restaurant options on site. In the basement is a 2 michelin starred branch of Joel Robuchon as well as a see and be seen brasserie on the ground floor looking out onto the Champs Elysee. A steakhouse rounds off the restaurants.
In goods news for my cold it also has a 24 hour pharmacy. Possibly one of the most useful shops in the whole of Paris. We even went back a few days later post cold on the way back to the Eurostar and stocked up on all our favourite brand foodie souvenirs in one place, perfect.
So if you're ever looking for an out of hours macaron fix, the ingredients for breakfast in bed or some late night drink you know where to go. Oh and whilst you're enjoying your treats, visit their website, there's an awesome playlist on it.
|133 Avenue des Champs Élysées, 75008 Paris, France|