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The Best Croissants in Chalais

Croissants for breakfast

Croissants, coffee and some fruit juice for breakfast. What could be more French?

And what could be easier than walking from your gite to the nearest boulangerie to buy your croissants?

In Chalais we have a choice of six different bakers, and four of those are within 250 metres – a comfortable morning stroll.


But which boulangerie bakes the best croissants?

That was the challenge we selflessly set ourselves this week.

We decided to rate the croissants according to four criteria;

  1. Appearance
    We all know what a croissant looks like, but how tempting did our batch look?
  2. Consistency
    We wanted a croissant that was light and flakey without being too dry.
  3. Taste
    Ultimately, the only test that counts.
  4. Value
    The cheapest croissant was only half the price of the most expensive.  Would it show?


The Contenders

The Red Shop
24 Rue de Barbezieux

 chalais croissant challenge 1

Price – 1€

Appearance – 4

Nice shiny glaze.  A little over-cooked, maybe?

Consistency – 5

Good . Delightfully flakey without being dry.  

Taste – 5

Very nice, slightly salty butter.  Moist and more-ish.

Value – 4

The Beige Shop
30 Avenue de la Gare


Price – 0,90€

Appearance – 3

lIrregular shape.  Slightly over-cooked, but giving very distinctive layers.

Consistency – 3

Dry and flakey feel on outside.  Slightly tough to tear open and has very bread-like, compacted consistency.

Taste – 2

A little bland.  Greasy on roof of mouth.

Value – 3

The Green Shop
23 Avenue de la Gare


Cost – 1€

Appearance – 5

Perfectly balanced with good colour.

Consistency – 5

Excellent.  Open, flakey and light

Taste – 3

A little greasy and not quite as tasty as the smell would suggest.

Value – 4



Price – 0,50€

Appearance – 2

Looks a little old and dry.  Very little glaze.

Consistency – 3

Open and light.

Taste – 1

Uninteresting. Poor quality butter leaves mouth dry.  Taste confirms suspicions that it might be old.

Value – 3


Obviously, a bit of butter and a dollop of jam or chocolate spread can disguise a poor croissant, so we tested all of these ‘au naturel.’

No two croissants tasted the same, which made testing them very much easier.

Why were all the croissants in our survey straight? By definition, a croissant is curved, surely? This may be a local thing, and requires further investigation.

We were very disappointed with the Intermarché croissant.  Theirs are normally our first choice and the ones that we recommend to all our guests, but on the day of the challenge they were poor.

The Red Shop is under new management and the new owners are very friendly. It’s the only baker’s in the challenge where you can sit, have a coffee, and work your way through the many pastries and cakes.

Suffice it to say, the Green Shop is still under the same management, but the welcome has become much warmer.

The Beige Shop has a distinctly old-fashioned feel to it. Customers will have conversations with Madame whilst a queue builds up behind.  Long may that last!


Who bakes the best croissant?  The Verdict

1st Place :  The Red Shop – 18/20

2nd Place : The Green Shop – 17/20

3rd Place : The Beige Shop – 11/20

4th Place : Intermarché – 9/20

  1. Dick Jefferies on 13th February 2018 at 6:09 am

    My favorite is the Red Shop. What was the old name?

    • Jeremy on 13th February 2018 at 7:52 am

      It used to be owned by Madame Duval.
      Unusually for France, the name was always shown with her first – Mme & M Duval. He did the baking, so there must be a story behind that.

  2. Zanne Jefferies on 13th February 2018 at 7:09 pm

    Love the croissants in The red shop! Yummy!

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