Owners Alice Quillet (French/British), Anna Trattles (British) and Anselme Blayney (Irish/French) who helped launch the craft coffee movement in Paris at Le Bal café, and went on to open Ten Belles Café on the canal Saint Martin, are now deep into their third successful venture, the mastery of sourdough at Ten Belles Bread. Those that know me well will be familiar with my 40-year long love affair with sourdough, and I was profoundly impressed with Ten Belles exquisite loaves with their deep flavorful crust and soft, acidic crumb. Alice is the brains behind the development of the Ten Belles Sourdough loaf, now so popular that no less that 45 Parisian restaurants order it daily, including Michelin-starred Septime and David Toutain. A self-taught baker, Alice was relentless in her pursuit of mastering the art of sourdough before opening Ten Belles Bread, including undertaking internships at Tartine bakery in San Francisco and Mirabelle in Copenhagen.
You’ll not likely stumble across their location, tucked away in a quiet pocket of the 11th between Bastille and Voltaire, but it is worth seeking out just for the bread alone (which, if stored correctly will keep for at least a week) and is only a short walk from the Bastille open-air market (on Thursdays and Sundays). You can witness the bread production from the street, through the large glass windows that give onto the kitchen. Inside, the unusually vast space includes a bread and pastry counter, a separate coffee bar, indoor seating and a rare treasure in Paris, a large courtyard terrace, that you’ll often find filled with young Parisian’s meeting for coffee and having business meetings. Both British and French-style pastries are also served, such as scones, brownies, financiers and fruit tarts, as well as anglo-influenced bunch and lunch menus. The coffee is excellent, unsurprisingly, as Anselme is also the cofounder of Belleville Brûlerie coffee roasters. We have not yet sampled their brunch and lunch offerings, but given their record for quality in all their past offerings, I am willing to bet that Ten Belles Bread is also a great casual lunch destination. We’ll be back for sure and will update this review with our findings. In the meantime, if you’re a bread lover, make sure Ten Belles Bread is on your list.
TEN BELLES BREAD | 17/19 bis rue Bréguet | Paris 11 | Tel: +33 1 42 40 90 78 | Métro: Bréguet-Sabin, Richard Lenoir or Voltaire | Open daily, Monday-Friday 8.30am–7pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-5.30pm.