One of my favourite images of Paris is taking the time to relax, socialise and absorb Parisian life from an elegant street-side café. Delicate, perfectly balanced patisserie are part of this wonderful experience and for me macaron are a favourite-anytime-treat and your macaron mission is to try every flavour until you find your favourite!
The French luxury bakery, Ladurée, are credited as the birthplace of macaron, and now their endless flavour combinations for the exquisite bite sized pastry are world famous.
Why don’t you set yourself a fun mission next time you are in Paris or elsewhere in France, to sample and rate macaron as you work your way around fabulously winding streets, cafés and patisserie?
Perhaps you could start with one of the Ladurée stores or restaurants and as you discover other wonderful patisserie, blog about your experiences and add your photos to your Nifty over Fifty blog and online journal.
1 Ladurée: It all began in 1862
Ladurée is perhaps the most well known with shops and restaurants all around the world.
Interestingly the history of Parisian Tea Rooms (Salon de Thé) is also tied to the history of the Ladurée family.
It began in 1862, when Louis Ernest Ladurée created a bakery in Paris at 16 rue Royale. During this time the area surrounding the Madeleine was rapidly developing into one of the capital’s most important and elegant business districts and cafés became more and more luxurious, attracting Parisian high society. These cafés, along with the chic restaurants around the Madeleine, became the showcases of Paris.
Women were also changing. They wanted to make new acquaintances, but literary salons and literature circles were outmoded. Louis Ernest Ladurée’s wife, Jeanne Souchard, had the idea of mixing the styles of the Parisian café and the bakery and consequently she gave birth to one of the first and most popular Salon de Thé. At Ladurée women could gather in complete freedom enjoying pasteries with tea or coffee.
The Ladurée tearooms style is inspired by all female influences of timeless elegance including Madame de Pompadour, Eugénie de Montijo and Madeleine Castaing. Pompons, gilding, silk, marble, crystal and other materials and objects synonymous with beauty, comfort and delicacy ensure a pleasure of the eyes and a delight of the palate, called in Ladurée "the taste of memory".
2 Ladurée: International Stores
In 2005 Ladurée opened in London at Harrod's, starting their great international adventure.
2009 a boutique in the Royal Court of the Castle in Versaille.
2011 New York Madison Avenue
At this time Ladurée have 79 stores in 24 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the USA and Canada. 31 stores are located in France, with 9 located in central Paris.
Ladurée ship all around the world however, so you could have a gorgeous box of Ladurée creations perfect for your occassion, delivered right to your door.
3 Ladurée: 9 Paris Locations
Lucky Paris have 9 Ladurée stores.
5 of which have restaurants, each of which have their own personalities and interiors which are described as being "an adventure onto itself".
Ladurée desire that you have “the taste of times gone by” with the perfect balance of visual and gustatory pleasure.
The Ladurée website has a handy store and restaurant search. You can search by country and location, for example Paris, and you will see a list of the restaurants, their locations on a map, menus, address, phone number, photographs so you can check if that restaurants decor is to your taste, and then and you can choose your time and book your table online, very helpful.
If you would like to see where it all began for Ladurée, you can visit the original store, restaurant or private rooms at 16 rue Royal, Paris where restaurant bookings are recommended. The menus are refreshingly reasonable and start from €19.5 for starter + main course + dessert.
If you happen to miss one of the stores in Paris, you could pick up some last minute tasty treats from the mini-Ladurée stands at the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.
4 Ladurée: Claire Heitzler, Creative Director of Patisserie
Since 2016 Claire Heitzler has been the Creative Director of Patisserie for Ladurée.
- Born in Alsace and serving her apprenticeship in Strasbourg, Claire's love for patisserie has taken her all over the world.
- Whilst in Tokyo as head pastry chef for Alain Ducasse's restaurant Beige, Claire took inspiration from the worlds of cosmetics and jewelry to develop exclusive desserts which played with curves, shapes and the impact of shiny elements as part of a partnership with Chanel.
- Returning to the legendary Ritz Paris via the Park Hyatt in Dubai, Claire then joined Lasserre in 2010 where she challenged traditional dessert parameters by using fruit and vegetables.
At Ladurée, Claire has brought a fresh approach sourcing more exotic ingredients, updating the flavors throughout the seasons and making the recipes lighter.
Best selling macaron flavours include: Rose, Salted Caramel, Chocolate (pure origin Ghana), Lavender, Orange Blossom, Strawberry Mint, and Vanilla.
You can follow Claire Heitzler on instagram.
Let yourself be tempted by the latest Ladurée pasteries created by Claire Heitzler. Unfortunately these creations are only available for click and collect or Paris delivery.
5 Learn how world famous Ladurée make their classic macaron
Harper's Bazaar visited Ladurée and watched how they make their delicious macarons, it's quite mesmerising.
6 Saint Honoré Rose - learn how Ladurée make this delicately, decadent dessert
Like fashion designers, Ladurée imagines new desserts twice a year.
Examples of newcomers include decadent delights such as the Rose Religieuse, the Rose- Raspberry Saint Honoré, the Liquorice Millefeuille and the Blackcurrant-Violet Macaron.
These incredible creations are almost too pretty to eat ... almost.
7 Ladurée: Movie Trivia
Ladurée made the pastries for the 2006 film Marie Antoinette directed by Sofia Coppola. Although the edgy movie had mixed reviews, it won the Oscar for Best Costume Design.
Ms Coppola's interpretation for the movie eschewed the traditional stately colours of the French court and was inspired by Ladurée macarons to opt for pastels instead for a more modern stylised twist and possibly a reference to Marie Antoinettes reported quote during the French Revolution “Let them eat cake”.
Production was given unprecented access to the Palace of Versailles and so even though the movie received mixed reviews it may be worth watching for the stunning scenes of the Palace.
Ladurée interestingly have a Marie Antoinette Gift Box, which is a selection of 12 macarons. You can choose your selection from Ladurée 12 essential flavours and 6 seasonal flavours - it is always so hard to choose. Do you have a favourite flavour macaron?
8 Ladurée: Christmas Selections
Ladurée also had a 2018 Christmas collection adorned in red, white and gold Scandinavian motifs and flavours - perfect for a gift or Christmas treat.
9 Ladurée: Gifts or Momentos
Ladurée have a selection of gifts inspired by their beautiful macaron. The range goes from keychains, candles, accessories and recipe books right up to the Royal Hamper.
So how about it, are you really for the macaron mission to try every flavour until you find your favourite?
OK, alright, I confess it's not really a mission, more of calculated reason to eat lots of different flavoured macaron. Soooo...... are you in??
I hope you have enjoyed this post about the world famous Ladurée macaron.
Please add your comments below, what is your favourite macaron, what other patisserie do you enjoy and anything else related that might be interesting or inspiring for our Nifty over Fifty community.
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