In the morning as we were discussing plans, I told Jerome I’d call him after my tour. Maybe I’d meet him later – provided I could still move after ingesting a mountain of sweets.
“Sure,” he said. “But if I don’t pick up the phone, don’t worry. I’ll just be in prison.”
Oh, ok, not worried at all. Have a good day, honey!
Jerome can be dramatic – obviously he did not end up in jail. By most accounts there were more people at the chocolate lab than at the demonstration.
Everyday has so many different possibilities, doesn’t it? We could choose one of a million things to do. In a city like Paris, the possibilities are almost paralyzing. Sometimes I need to force myself out the door (from whence do you come, inertia?) to go exploring.
But then I do, and free-flowing rivers of chocolate beckon. What more could one ask?
To be honest, the chocolate place wasn’t as exciting as it sounds, actually (Though what was I expecting? Willy Wonka? Well, maybe. Don’t judge).
For five euros (their site says 4 euros – don’t be fooled!) you get to sample some hot chocolate and (if you’re sneaky) as much chocolate as you want (just keep passing by for more).
The place did smell heavenly, but the chocolates seemed a bit too sweet (Too sweet? What, am I crazy?)
They were going all out for Easter, so perhaps it was just the cocoa bells and bunnies that were a bit much for me.
But the smell – oh the smell! Melted chocolate’s wonderful aroma wafting through your workplace – can you imagine? Our guide confirmed that they *do* need to sample the goods as part of the job. (I should rethink careers.)
For you, dear readers, I did something I dislike: I called them up afterward for a few questions that I didn’t think to ask at the time (French on the phone – the horror!)
Turns out, they run tours by season (and they are very nice on the phone). October-January are the biggest times to tour (Les Fetes!). And some in March/April (Easter!)
After that, they start turning their lab over to making ice cream, so a visit “wouldn’t be very interesting,” claimed the chocolate man (hang on, ice cream factory? Oh I’m interested!)
If you like window-shopping, their petite boutique is on Rue des Archives.
If you want to go behind the scenes, head to 5 rue de la Tacherie, not too far from there.
Chocolate man said that while they don’t usually do tours off-season, if I had, for example, 50 Americans who wanted to visit, they could make an exception and even offer the tour in English. (My tour Saturday was a group of 16 in French).
So if you and your 49 friends want a sneak peek, you can go anytime! Otherwise, reserve tours during their high season for a (sinfully) sweet treat.
4 Rue des Archives (boutique)
5 Rue de la Tacherie (lab)
01 42 72 39 62
Metro Hotel de Ville
Chocolats Girard produces:
9 tons of chocolate October-December
2.5 tons for Easter
3 tons the whole rest of the year
(Anyone else notice that for one weekend almost the same amount is produced as for the entire off-season? Gourmandise!)