Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Paris] Ladurée

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Ladurée

Add: 21 rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris*
Tel: 01 44 07 64 87
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 8:30am~7:30pm [Sat] 8:30am~8:30pm [Sun] 10am~7:30pm
Website: www.laduree.com
Price: [coffee/tea] €4~8 [pastries] €6~10
Visited on: May 2014

*Multiple locations in Paris and worldwide, check website for details. 

You must have heard of  Ladurée. The pastel-colored macarons from this luxury patisserie, having appeared in popular culture like Marie Antoinette and Gossip Girl, form many people’s imagination of French pastry. Sweet lovers from all over the world flock to Ladurée for a taste of these double deckers, and apparently Ladurée sells around 15,000 of them each day (though I’m not sure how up to date this number is and if it’s referring to its sales in Paris, France, or worldwide). While I prefer macarons from Pierre Hermé, I do also enjoy the ones from Ladurée – the texture and the flavor are both quite different, and it’s really a matter of personal preference. However, I have not actually tried of any of Ladurée’s pastries during my almost-2-year stay in Paris until just earlier this month. Why?

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

Simply put, I’ve heard negative reviews about Ladurée pastries from industry professionals. This may come as a surprise for many people, as Ladurée is often seen as the epitome of French pastry by the general public, but actually I know of many patissiers who don’t go to Ladurée anymore.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

Having said that, one has got to tea at Ladurée at least once while living in Paris, no? So on a rainy afternoon, I sought refuge from the downpour at Ladurée’s salon de thé on rue Bonaparte with a few of my favorites.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

The pastry display at Ladurée is generally quite attractive. This La Fraise Ladurée, for example, composed of light strawberry mousseline, strawberry confit, and coconut dacquoise, is definitely a cutie.

The decor in this particular tea salon is Chinese-inspired, but if you understand Chinese and read carefully, you will be baffled by the writings on the wall, which are completely inappropriate for a tea salon.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

This line, for example, is about the hope of not having traitors around (?!)

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

But anyway, here are our selections for the afternoon…

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

Tarte Fraise des Bois Rhubarbe (€9.80), a tart with rhubarb jam and wild strawberries.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

Tarte Citron (€6.70), lemon tart.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

Saint-Honoré (€9.50), puff pastry with caramelized cream puffs,  light vanilla cream, Chantilly cream, and grilled almond flakes.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

Plaisir Sucré (€8.70), dacquoise biscuit with crushed hazelnuts, crispy praline, milk chocolate thin leaves, chocolate ganache, milk chocolate Chantilly cream.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

As I had imagined, the pastries at Ladurée were ok. To be fair, the quality isn’t bad given the quantity they are making in that pastry factory, but I personally prefer patisseries with smaller productions (for example, the shops that have only one or two boutiques), which the exceptions of Pierre Hermé and Pâtisserie des Rêves, which are huge productions that still manage to maintain high quality.

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

Ladurée is, after all, a classic in Paris, so by all means go for the experience of it. I personally probably won’t be back there for tea again because I can get better pastries elsewhere with service and ambience as good as, if not better, than what I can find at Ladurée, but I will drop by from time to time for their macarons, which can be very fun – a recent one I tried is named Marie Antoinette, with the flavor of black tea with rose, citrus, and honey!

sugared & spiced - paris laduree

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Written by sugarednspiced

May 26th, 2014 at 9:20 am