What is a trip to London, England without a trip to a Ladurée location? It seems to have become a little tradition between my sister and I to visit one of their tea rooms to have our version of high tea or to pick up a box of macarons because I collect their limited edition boxes.
A couple years ago, my sister and I went on a macaron pilgrimage while we were in Paris to taste the confections from the "holy trinity of macaron goodness".
(If you must know, they are Ladurée, Jean Paul Hevin, and Pierre Hermé.)
|Ladurée at Harrods, London|
Since I have not done a macaron post in awhile, let's start with my favourite! My sister and I always rave about Ladurée and their macarons. Nothing in Toronto seems to compare to them and some of our friends had been slightly skeptical of their greatness, but they have all been converted by us!
I initially stumbled upon them a few years back when my best friend mentioned she wanted to try really good macarons. I asked my cousin, while I was visiting her in England, where I could find some since I did not know where to get them. She directed me to Ladurée and I've never looked back! (I also brought home a box for my friend, who enjoyed them immensely. (*o*)~
My sister and I have tried pretty much every flavour of macaron they make and we make an effort to try out all their new seasonal flavors when we visit a Ladurée shop, be it in Tokyo, London or Paris. Their macarons are flown in from Paris to all over the world. The flavours that my sister and I like are Vanilla, Salted Caramel and Pistachio.
|Laduree, Covent Garden|
I'll make multiple blog posts about the different experiences I've had at Ladurée locations, so we'll just stick to London for this one! There are 4 locations in London that can be visited, each has their own little charm to it. The one located at Harrods and Covent Garden have tea rooms where you can dine and enjoy a cup of tea. I wouldn't recommend sitting at the Burlington Arcade location to drink tea or macarons since they have limited seating outside the store and the overall experience we had was a bit fussy. On this trip, I discovered they opened another location in Cornhill (near Bank station). It is a patisserie and only sells macarons and some of their desserts, but also carries an extensive amount of their souvenir items and official merchandise.
|Le Saint Honoré Rose-Frambois|
|Ladurée - Lanvin collaboration|
Hands down, my favourite dessert they serve is the Le Saint Honoré Rose-Frambois, or as my sister and I call it, the "Rose Puff". I missed out on having this desert while I was in Tokyo, so I had to have two rounds this time in London to make up for the loss! Everything about it is infused with hints of rose and raspberries. Even if you're not a fan of rose flavored things, after eating this, you'll be converted. I converted my sister who never enjoyed anything Rose flavoured and it seems to be the only thing we order now. (^__^;)
|I ♥ Lanvin . . . and macarons!|
|Macarons for me!|
The fun thing about Ladurée is that they always have fun collaborations with well known designers for a limited time. If there was a designer macaron, Ladurée would be the one to make it! Their latest collaboration is with French designer, Lanvin. When I saw the promotion pictures for it, I knew I had to collect the box and try the new flavour, bubblegum! I love Lanvin artwork, and the cute illustrations on this box were adorable. My sister and I tried the bubblegum macaron while we were at the Harrods location and unfortunately, it was not one of our favourites. It was very sweet and tasted very similar to Double Bubble bubblegum.
Some previous collections limited the amount of limited flavors you could get for a special box or you could only get the special macaron by purchasing the box. Since I was not ready to indulge myself with another bubblegum macaron, I filled up my box with Vanilla, Pistachio, Raspberry and Cassis (Black-current) macarons.
|Cashmere & Lanvin boxes|
The day I purchased the Lanvin set, the sales associate told me that they were launching new packaging the next day for the holiday season. Since I like collecting the packaging I groaned about, because if it was pretty I would have to get it. I opened their seasonal news letter that was at the cash register and gasped at the pictures of the box and showed my sister. It was horrible because we knew there would be damage to someone's wallet. /(>_<;;)\
I have never seen a Ladurée box like this one. Officially the collection name for this release is called "Cashmere". The print was inspired by French textiles of the 16th century and features calico patterns.
|Cashmere, box of 12 macarons|
The macarons had a plastic casing to prevent them from jostling around in the box and also has the calico design on it. My sister bought this box set and filled it up with her favourite flavored macarons. Lots of Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Pistachio, Pure Origin Chocolate and Raspberry. She gave me the box to store and to keep (*o*)!! Thank you!! ♥
I'm glad that I only get to visit Ladurée in specific places because I think a lot of my money would be spent on their confections. They have a new special edition box for each month of the year and I'm sure my wallet would cry! You might be thinking, "What does she do with those boxes?" I actually use them to store small trinkets and things, and one set I use to store sets of shoes for my dolls. I'll document all the boxes I have in a future post!
I think if there was a Ladurée in Toronto, it would loose some of it's luster for me. Part of the charm and excitement of Ladurée is that I only get to experience it once a year (maybe..if I'm lucky!) and I enjoy every moment of it because I don't know when the next time I will visit another location. I savour every bite of a macaron, dessert and drop of tea because it's special to me.
However, at the same time, it would be much more convenient to have a location here!
I just can't win in the end.. (^__^)*
Until next time Ladurée!