There are many coffee shops and cafes in Paris, too numerous to count but have you heard of the cafes owned by Alice Quillet and Anselme Blayney? If not, then you are in for a treat.
They have some of the best coffee and sourdough bread in all of the French capital.
Alice Quillet and Anselme Blayney opened Le Bal Cafe in 2010 next to a bookshop in a building that was once used as a dancehall in the 1930s.
They bought it with co-owner Anna Trattles and served hearty British food.
Anna used to work at St John restaurant in London and so there was a lot of offal on their menu.
They began offering sourdough bread which Alice specialised in and was inspired by Jean-Luc Poujauran who supplied all the best restaurants in Paris.
The restaurant served contemporary European cuisine with an Austrian influence.
It had a bookshop and exhibition space attached giving it a gallery vibe. However, Le Bal restaurant is now permanently closed.
Alice began working in the Rose Bakery which was owned by friends of her parents in September 2002, and they trained her in the kitchen.
She spent a year and a half there during which time Anselme joined as a waiter having studied at the Sorbonne.
He worked at the Rose Bakery for a year and then began working in wine, as a salesman for a French wine producer in New York.
While he and Alice were there Alice’s business partner Anna told them of an opportunity to open a restaurant in Paris, Le Bal was the result in 2010 followed by Ten Belles in 2012.
Today they have three cafes in Paris under the Ten Belles name.
The 6th arrondissement of Paris has long been associated with art, culture and a sense of chic Bohemian style. The Ten Belles in this left bank district first opened in 2019.
The Latin Quarter is frequented by lots of students and tourists as well as local residents.
It’s a small, cute coffee shop serving bread, scones, filled rolls as well as patisseries. All available to take away or eat in on the small terrace.
Alice Quillet’s sourdough is a favourite with clients who can also enjoy Anselme Blayney’s amazing speciality coffee.
The artisanal style of the cafe and its food is testament to their determination to keep the business as sustainable and socially responsible as possible.
This cafe in Paris’ tenth arrondissement is the site of the original Ten Belles and tucked away in a little corner off the Canal Saint-Martin.
When it opened in 2012 it catered to all coffee lovers from tourists to locals and continues to do so today.
They have a full menu of salads, sandwiches and pastries complemented with either hot or cold drinks which can be enjoyed inside or out on the small terrace depending on the weather.
Many people like to buy their food to take away and sit by the canal watching the world go by. The cafe also stocks plenty of Alice’s famous sourdough bread and Anselme’s speciality coffees.
Ten Belles Bread is located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris and is the largest of the three cafes.
It was opened in 2016 and has a large seating area which is great for meeting groups of friends or work colleagues for breakfast, brunch or lunch.
There is also a nice, quiet terrace for enjoying a great espresso in the sunshine. Inside there is a busy, busting kitchen and bakery. All of the food is made on the premises and is fresh every day, available to take away or to eat in.
You can frequently see a line of people queuing up to get their favourite sourdough bread, coffee or patisserie. This cafe also sells the Ten Belles branded merchandise and their retail coffee selection.
When Alice was offered the opportunity to work in the Rose Bakery it was the beginning of her career as a chef and began her relationship with bread.
Now she takes the business of making sourdough bread extremely seriously and produces it for their three coffee shops.
She was first inspired to make it when people would come into the cafes for breakfast but not want to eat scones or banana bread. So she created a sourdough breakfast roll.
Alice began studying the recipes of Chad Robertson, owner of Tartine in San Francisco and Justin Gellatly who has a bakery in London called Bread Ahead. She was also influenced by
Jean-Luc Poujauran, a famous Parisian baker.
The bread is organic and made from locally grown grains and naturally occurring yeasts. It is handcrafted by the bakers in the Ten Belles bakery kitchen.
It’s used in the cafes, sold online and at all three Ten Belles locations in Paris. They also supply other Paris restaurants.
Anselme’s expertise is in coffee (Find out Does Cold Brew Have More Caffeine here), and he is very passionate about making the best coffee possible. Even to the point of taking his own coffee machine when having Sunday lunch with his parents.
One of his favourites is Yirgacheffe from Ethiopia.
He draws comparisons between coffee and wine in terms of their subtlety and variations.
This is greatly influenced by where the coffee bean is grown, the environmental factors that affect the plant and of course the roasting process itself.
The heart of Ten Belles coffee roastery is their Loring Falcon which is highly efficient. They also only import coffee beans from farmers who have a positive social impact and make a difference to those who work for them.
The food scene in Paris is intensely competitive and difficult to break into but Alice Quillet and Anselme Blayney have made their mark on the cafe scene.
With high quality and specialised bread and coffee they have established themselves as professionals with a lot to offer in the Parisian coffee shop culture.