We’re all in mad love with this their delightful desserts. One can’t possibly visit a city where one is located without stopping by, non? It was our first stop in Paris once we unpacked and rested a bit. It was a vision. I was entranced by it’s glamour and beauty. The colours, sweetness and elegance of the renowned Ladurée macaroons delight both Parisians and tourists alike.
Ladurée was founded in in 1862 by Louis-Ernest Ladurée, a miller, on 16 Rue Royale.
During the Paris Commune uprising of 1871, the bakery was burnt down. A pastry shop was built at the same location and Jules Chéret, a famous turn-of-the-century painter and cousin of Ladurée, was entrusted with the interior decoration. It draws inspiration from the painting techniques used for the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel and the Opera Garnier.
The chubby cherubs dressed as pastry cooks, painted by Chéret on the ceiling, form the company’s emblem. The interior was painted in the same celadon colour as the façade.
Isn’t the “patissier angel” beautiful?
Though well-known in France, it wasn’t until 1930 when Ladurée rose to international fame. Louis-Ernest’s grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, had the brilliant idea of the double-decker design, sticking two macaron shells together with center filling of creamy ganache.
The original macarons were much like amaretti in that they had a crunchy outside and chewy inside. It is believed that the first fillingless almond delight was brought to France from Italy by Queen Catherine de’ Medici during the 16th century and was served at her wedding to Henry II. The recipe has hardly changed over the years.
Desfontaines also opened a tea room upstairs at the pastry shop. Jeanne Souchard, Ernest Ladurée’s wife and daughter of a famous hotelier in Rouen, had the idea of mixing styles ~ the Parisian café and pastry shop gave birth to one of the first tea salons in town. At the time, ladies were not permitted into cafés. However, at the new salon women were given the freedom to gather, giving the salon an advantage over other establishments. Jeanne Souchard succeeded in combining the turn-of-the-century trend to modernism.
The five dining rooms on the second floor were decorated by French interior designer Jacques Garcia. The small rooms are decorated with luscious furniture, paneled walls, gilt accents, and bobeche-dripping chandeliers dedicated to the 19th century Parisian muses : “Paeva”, “Castiglione”, “Mathilde”, la Bibliothèque and La Chocolaterie. They set an elegant scene for this busy tea room. The “salon de thé” makes place a unique address in Paris, a symbol of “the art of French living”.
Top designers collaborate with Ladurée ~
With each new season, Ladurée pays tribute to its most famous creation by presenting a new flavour. The variety of colours is as important as the range of flavours and a vital part of their appeal . Macarons are made each morning in the Ladurée laboratory. Once cooked and filled, the round delicacies are put aside for 2 days before going on sale, the time it takes to achieve a perfect balance between texture and flavour.
I cannot remember the name of this cocktail, and French Kiss
In 2007, a beauty line was launched. Like the pastries, the lotions and potions use almonds (in oil form); the idea is that almond oil will soften and moisturize skin.
Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film, Marie Antoinette ~
In fall 2008, Le Bar opened at the Champs Elysées location in celebration of its 10th anniversary. Laduree Le Bar features creations by chef michel lerouet. The Rose and Violet macaron cocktails are my favourite! We stopped for drinks before our dinner reservations at Le Cristal Room.
Rose Macaron cocktail
Ladurée continues to expand, opening shops on the Champs-Elysées, on Rue Bonaparte in the Saint-Germain district, at Printemps department store and more recently in the airports in Paris. Locations can also be found in London, Tokyo, Geneva, Switzerland and Monaco.
If you would like to try your hand at making these delightful treats yourself, Ladurée has come out with a cookbooks, Sucré being one of them. The celebrated Parisian maison de pâtisserie reveals its best-kept secrets. Packaged in a lovely gift box. The lovely gilded pages, Sucré makes it almost too pretty to use in the kitchen!
The pastry shop also sells many other items ~ baubles, totes, umbrellas, perfume, scented cards, perfumed candles, the list goes on…
I love the French Bulldog ♥ it reminds me of Mlle Coco
How cute is this Bébé bib? Perfect for baby’s first visit!
La collection Bébé Ladurée
As there are no Ladurée salons in the US, I anxiously await the next time I visit a location. Until then, I will visit the french bakery near my home when I long for macarons.
Au revoir, mes amis! xoxo, B