Could there be anything is ubiquitously Parisian as sitting down in a Laduree salon, sipping daintily from a cup of tea, your silver fork pushing its way through a delicate French pastry?
For me, Laduree will always be my favourite place for tea-time. Not even the luscious buttercream of Pierre Herme’s macarons, or the sunshine butterscotch smoothness of Dalloyau’s tarte au citron, even the ambrosial African hot chocolate of Angelina’s could draw me away.
Something about its pastel themes, ornate tea salons, plush chairs, and beautiful, classic pastries just instantly makes me feel dreamy and everything else tres romantique.
So while my favourite Laduree salon is its iconic Champs Elysees Salon Royale, we were only able to visit its Place Madeleine, Le Printemps, and Versailles Palace salons instead – Royale will be undergoing renovation until October 2012.
If you’re not girly nor a fan of pastries but you want to make a trip to Laduree anyway, I recommend the Place Madeleine branch. It’s new, and it has the most extensive variety of merchandise and pastries after Royale. ^^
At Laduree Bonaparte (Madeleine) –
To me, even the sugar lumps are tres adorable ! Uneven and crystal-like instead of sanitary perfect cubes add to the old-world vibe of silver teapots and embossed handle-napkins.
The Classic St Honore Laduree, the praline mille feuille, and an assortment of pretty macarons.
I have a terrible weakness for the St Honore, and I can never resist ordering it every single time I’m at Laduree. Its just so pretty ! And the combination of tastes and textures – light airy choux puffs coated in smooth rosewater icing, fat swirls of chantilly cream tinged with rose, tangy fresh raspberries and the smooth compote within.
The praline mille feuille comes a close second for me. Chocolate x crunch is just the perfect combination – not too stodgy, and the hazelnut creme makes it so addictive!
Unfortunately the macarons we had this time around were rather, dare I say it, stale. It could be that the magic of Pierre Herme overwhelmed our tastebuds thus rendering everything else inferior, but I think it has something to do with the fact that Laduree has over expanded and is having some serious quality control problems – they were no where as luscious as they were two years ago.
Bunny A on her introductory visit to the wonderful world of Laduree ! –
I have no idea how many cups of tea Bunny A and I imbibed this trip – every time we felt a little weary from too much traveling, or euphoric from over-shopping (hee) a cup of tea would always feel like exactly what we needed. There’s nothing quite like holding a cup of warm, milky sweet perfumed tea, inhaling the steam, and just feeling the warm liquid coursing down into your tummy. I think another name of it is – utter contentment.
An interesting thing that happened to us this visit – there was a little 9 or 10 year French girl sitting next to us, and according to Bunny A, she was instantly enamoured of me – she kept sneaking glances over and admiring my dress while trying to curl and twist her hair to the side. Bunny A thought she was cute – I didn’t know because I was too embarrassed to look over. ^^
Laduree Le Printemps –
A tiny little outlet really, inside Paris’s grand dame of departmental stores, Le Printemps. We decided to be decadent this time, collapsing into the soft sofa carrying thousands of euros worth of shopping, and ordered their luscious chocolate-on-chocolate cake.
It was so heavy and heady that I instantly went into a chocolate coma.
Finally, Laduree merchandise !
The Place Madeleine branch of Laduree has a mind bogging array of merchandise for Laduree fans from recipe books, perfume, candles, cutlery, and umbrellas to scarves, bag charms, stationery, and makeup bags – Bunny A had to physically restrain me from buying too much.
Some of my favourites –
Laduree x Paris x Macarons x Balenciaga Lace Brogues Praline
This charm has become our friendship charms ! We got LY and Wulan the same charms in different colors and they loved them !
And then –
Yes you saw it right, its Laduree x Hello Kitty !
The prettiest little charms (Kitty in French apron serving tea !) on my Lake Blue Prada ! The box is also impossibly detailed and a collectors item of its own 🙂
Sadly they did not have the Laduree Les Merveilleux makeup range – its only available at their Ginza Mitsukoshi branch (which I went to and loved) but I have the blush from the series thanks to my colleague C.
No worries, I’ll be sure to stock up on it when I head to Tokyo for winter later this year ! 🙂
Laduree Bonaparte (Madeleine)
21 Rue Bonaparte 75006 Paris, France
01 44 07 64 87
64 bd. Haussmann, 9e
01 42 82 50 00