This post is.. you guessed it, about Laduree again. My favourite tea salon in the world.
Which will soon be coming to Singapore and basically ruining the whole experience for me. No, I’m not being bourgeois – I cannot imagine being made to queue up for an hour with a line of aunties outside it’s SG branch and hearing them call my beloved macarons ‘ma-kah-roons’.
The Laduree in my mind is a place of solace, of French waiters zooming to and fro in their smart uniforms, seating, serving and cleaning so quickly and efficiently, shooing me into my tiny seat with an ‘et voila’. Never snooty, never mean but of course sometimes brusque when the crowds get bad.
I can already imagine the looks of confusion on the faces of waiters in Singapore if I attempt to order in French. Worse, the menu will probably be completely in English. I wonder what they will call the St Honore. I shudder to think of it.
Laduree was a complete lifesaver this Paris trip – whenever we got tired, hungry, or just needed a respite from the cold we simply popped into one, stayed in just sharing some pastries and hot tea for an hour or so, and then, fortified, returned to the chilly streets.
Here’s us at the Bonaparte branch, which is the only one I have yet to visit !
They had the most lovely and warm staff ! It could be that it was Christmas Eve, but they were all so wonderfully helpful and obliging I could hardly believe it.
One Monsieur Waiter saw me eyeing the Laduree green paper mats on the table and when I requested for one to bring home, quickly rolled up two into a quick twist and presented it to me with a smile 🙂
It is near the Boulevard St Germain and just down the road from Pierre Herme and a huge YSL store, but has a far more homey and local feel than the rest of the tourist-packed Ladurees I am used to.
During our tea, we saw families rushing in to pick up desserts on their way to Christmas Eve parties, smiling, laughing and exchanging greetings before swinging their huge Laduree hampers full of goodies onto their shoulders and heading home – it was truly heart warming.
Laduree (St Germain des Pres)
21 rue Bonaparte
Neighbourhoods: Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, 6ème
Of course, we made a stop at their Champs Elysees salon, within four hours of landing at CDG, no less !
I was so very happy to see that it had opened for business again after extensive renovations – meaning Abby and I didn’t get to have tea there when we went in June.
There’s a back story to this Laduree for K and I, and not really the stuff of romance, but something we remember anyway.
During our last trip to Paris some four years ago, K and I had been with friends. We had been arguing about something or the other and boy, were our arguments scary back then. I had an uncontrollable temper and he had a crazily stubborn streak and it all ended with us yelling at each other outside Laduree at the Champs Elysees and him refusing to go in.
I was dying to get the argument over and done with and to go in and FINALLY try my first Laduree macaron but he completely did not budge. And we were flying off to London the next day. So it was that I never stepped into the iconic Champs Elysees Laduree since.
I’m glad to say this time it went a-okay 🙂
So we’re a little worse for wear in these photos (sans makeup, plus some serious travel fatigue)
As we typically were throughout our Paris trip, we became the topic of conversation of the two Parisians sitting next to us, enjoying some galette des rois and sharing a pot of tea. First, they smiled indulgently at our cam-whoring ways. Then, they exclaimed when we hefted out our macro lens. Finally, they commented that our pastries were pretty, and before they left, wished us ‘bon weekend’. Maybe there was something about our clueless Asian expressions that made them so friendly.
+33 1 40 75 08 75
Finally, we went full circle back to my favourite outlet of all ! Laduree Madeleine !
Since it was our second last day, we decided to indulge. K in his, you guessed it, fruit tart, and me in my Napoleon mille–feuille(again, I never seem to learn from the folly of past mistakes.
Because, of course, his tart was way more awesome than my slightly soggy Napoleon. Sigh.
Never mind, there’s always lots of sugar, tea and my KOBO to make me a happy girl again !
And, of course, my misguidedly ordered JUG (JUGGGGG) of milk which cost us an extra 2 euro and which we did not use at all, it having liberally masked and killed any semblance of taste in our very delicate Tea Josephine.
Til next time, Laduree !
16 rue Royale
Neighbourhoods: Concorde/Madeleine, 8ème