Recently La Parisienne patisserie in Loches won 'Best Chocolate Eclair in the Touraine' so naturally we hot-footed it there to try them. The shop was packed and when I congratulated the woman serving me she thanked me but shrugged and I got the impression she was a bit fed up with complete strangers walking in and only being interested in the chocolate éclairs. If I'd been a regular and loyal customer the reaction would have been warmer. And quite right too. I am pleased for them, but in fact, I habitually use a boulangerie patisserie round the corner in Loches, and will continue to do so (because I like their bread, quiches and viennoiseries, which are more my thing). I almost never buy an éclair, from anyone.
La Parisienne bakery in Loches.
The shop the prize winning pastry chef occupies is charming. An old building with visibly genuinely aged beams, painted a tasteful very pale grey. The display of cakes and pastries was enticing and a little bit unusual, indicative of a keen and creative baker out the back. I will happily take clients there if they want to experience a really good patisserie with a bit of cachet now they are officially the best éclair makers. I am lucky to be spoilt for choice though with my own purchasing and can flit from one baker to another, depending on convenience of locality and what I'm shopping for. There are nine artisan bakeries listed in the phone book for Loches, and three in Preuilly. I'm familiar with four of the Loches establishments and all three in Preuilly. All of them do good bread, pastries and cakes.
The chocolate éclairs are in the middle of this photo, slightly obscured by their trophy.
If you want to try the prize winning éclairs, La Parisienne is at 4 rue Picois (near the fountain).