Ladurée Love ~

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.
flavour chart
The original macarons were much like amaretti in that they had a crunchy outside and chewy insideIt 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 ~
Marni
Alexis Mabille
Christian Louboutin
Disney
Andy Warhol
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.

Sephora
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.
Le Bar
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
 
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19 thoughts on “Ladurée Love ~

  1. Bonjour Madame says:

    I've seen a lot of Laduree posts, but this one is the best. I think their stores are so gorgeous and the selections are the best. A simple lunch was such an extraordinary experience. Great post!

    Like

  2. Marsi says:

    This is such a great post. Instead of being the usual macaron worship, you've given history I didn't know, photos I've never seen, and items I've never heard of — laced with your own personal experience.

    I have a recipe book and notes for making macarons, and have just been waiting for an uneventful weekend to give it a shot. Maybe this weekend is it?

    Like

  3. howtobeperfect says:

    My favourite place on earth! This is a great post I could read about Laduree forever. Brilliant collection of images too, I love the macaron flavour chart! I went last year and was so chuffed I got to try the Christian Louboutin macaron. I posted some pics on my blog although apparently they strictly prohibit photography! I would have been mortified to be told off!

    http://theartofbeingperfect.blogspot.com/2010/01/paris-2009.html

    Marsi is so right the attention to detail, facts and history in your blog posts is, as always brilliant x

    Like

  4. BonjourRomance says:

    Bonjour,
    What a fabulous post, the history is so interesting. Who would have guesed Catherine was responsible for these confections, at least she had one saving grace. I try to go in the off hours, but there are no off hours at Ladurée.

    Le Bar is quite dramatic – did you find those beautiful stools can be a bear to navigate after a few macarons?

    Hope you're having a great week.

    Like

  5. Hope Ava says:

    Until today, when I thought of my all too brief time in Paris my mouth watered at the thought of croissants that made me realize I had never eaten a real croissant before in my life, and cafe creme that has made every other coffee drink I taste a poor imitation. But now all I can think of is stepping into that sublime hall of confectionary and tasting one of those heavenly creations! Leave it to the french to treat their pastries as if they were jewelry! What a beautiful little gem of a shop; I will definitely have to put that at the top of the list for when I finally make it back to Paris! Thanks for the visual holiday!

    Like

  6. Couture Millinery Atelier. says:

    Oh, this is such a fabulous post!!! I love Laduree and hope one day they will open location in New York too. Untill then Laduree is such a treat and my number 1 destination when I am in Europe. :-))) I also wrote a post a while ago about my inspiration from Laduree and even posted a hat inspired by sweets from Laduree in London. :-))) Thank you so very much for the wonderful comment you left in my Blog. I agree with you – there is a certain moment when you do know that he is the one. :-)))Wishing you beautiful weekend. Please, do not forget to participate in my spectacular Giveaway!!! 🙂

    Like

  7. Couture Millinery Atelier. says:

    Thank you so very much for your wonderful comment and kind words about my “Laduree” hat – it was so much fun designing it!:-) Congratulations on your new Chanel lipsticks – I am also a great fan of Chanel nail polish and lipstick, can never get enough of it!:-))) Wishing you wonderful week filled with inspirations, joy andSpring sun bunnies. 🙂

    Like

  8. Simply Mel says:

    Simply adore Laduree! It is perfection in every capacity…especially when their delectable goodness meets my taste buds! Excellent post ~ now I'm ready to hop on a plane and head to Paris!

    Like

  9. adventuresomekitchen says:

    we LOOOOOVE Macarons!! We were in Paris for 2 weeks over Christmas and made a point of trying all the macaron shops we could to find the best. For us, Pierre Herme just beat out Laduree. But I'd take Laduree any day!! Thanks for a beautiful and informative post. I'm missing those macarons!

    Like

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