Croissant: Union Boulangerie, 9th Arrondissement
In Paris, almost all the best bakeries have the kitchen at the back, so you know what you’re getting is super-fresh, straight from the oven. Union Boulangerie in the 9th Arrondissement is a proper bakery. It’s not about making pastries for Instagram. Its croissants are old-school in the best way: crunchy on the outside and still soft in the middle.
2 Rue Bleue, 75009 Paris;@union_boulangerie
Rum baba: La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac, various locations
The famous French chef Cyril Lignac has five branches of his patisserie throughout the city, including one on Rue de Chaillot near the Palais de Tokyo and one in the 11th that’s not too far from Père Lachaise. It’s the kind of place where you can shut your eyes and order everything, but the rum baba is particularly good.
Various locations; gourmand-croquant.com
Paris-Brest: Philippe Conticini, various locations
Philippe Conticini is one of the great French pastry chefs and he has shops in London and, of course, Paris – including one on Île de la Cité, right in the heart of the action. He’s famous for lots of things, from coffee eclairs to lemon buckwheat tarts, but the thing you must try is his Paris-Brest, a praline cream-filled pastry, which is both a technical triumph and extremely tasty.
Various locations; philippeconticini.fr
Birley Bakery, 28-30 Cale Street, London SW3 3QU. Follow them on Instagram here: @birleybakery