Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Magical World of Ladurée [Covent Garden]














Alright, I'll say it. I'm a shameless lover of macarons! Two rounds of lovely crisp and chewy meringue filled with a rich fruity ganache...what could be better?  As soon as my eyes fall on those beautiful pastel-hued discs my heart and stomach are set aflutter. This is perhaps why on Wednesday I was so excited to visit the famous Covent Garden, in London, with my friend Kirsty. I had heard the word on the street..a new Laduree shop had been opened recently there. I was buzzing..'C'mon Kirsty..let's go, LET'S GO'
Well it's safe to say I wasn't disappointed. From the minute we arrived we were taken in by the delicately positioned pyramids of towering macarons..coloured coded: pink, blue, green. A true feast for the eyes. The sweet fragrant smell of lavender and caramelised ginger moved like waves around the shop, filling the guests with it's delight. It is without a doubt one of the most enchanting sweet shops in the world! Take that Willy Wonka.


With a flourish I selected an exotic option (as the kids say..YOLO) which was Fleur D'Oranger (roughly translates as 'Orange Blossom'). With a warm smile from the pleasent lady serving, my order was filtered into an adorable printed paper bag (I loved it so much I just had to take a picture...of course). Classic tourist ehhh.




Fast forward an hour later: FINALLY got to Hyde Park. Can't wait to dig into this macaron. Been waiting for this.

*looks into the bag* Oh god..the macaron is looking a bit battered and bruised. An hour on the cramped underground tubes, with sweaty commuters, unfriendly businessmen [who shove you out the way] and uneven flights of stairs certainly have taken it's toll ...

The lesson learnt-
Small bag + rush hour+ fragile meringue= crumpled macaron :(

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A Little History... It was originally a bakery founded in the gorgeous location of Paris, 1862, by Louis-Ernest Ladurée, a miller and a passionate writer. The shop was a moderate success for many decades but Ladurée's real rise to fame came in 1930 when his grandson, Pierre Desfontaines, had the original idea of the double-decker, sticking two macaron shells together with a creamy ganache as filling. Against the backdrop of a still fiercely sexist society, Desfontaines also opened a tea room at the pastry shop. In those days ladies were not admitted to cafés (which were the exclusive domain of men) meaning these Laduree team rooms were a big success with irritated housewives, who enjoyed meeting in the freedom of these tea rooms rather than in the confines of their homes. Now, Laduree is an internationally renowned brand, with a reputation for creating spectacularly beautiful and intricate pastries as well as being ambitious with their flavour combinations (recent additions to their macaron menu have been Blackcurrant Violet, Licorice  and Mango & Jasmine). There are currently around 30 stores worldwide (5 being in Paris and 4 being in good ol' London).

Drawbacks- Price If you do visit at Laduree shop then I should warn you that each little macaron is £1.70...and a box of 6 clocks in at around £10-12, meaning they are extremely expensive (and I thought Krispy Kremes were pricey). Further shock came when I took a second glance at the price list, I realised that a box of 72 was a jaw dropping £145..(oh my god.) However if you are looking to indulge and treat yourself to a delight, you probably wouldn't normally have, then buying the odd 2 or 3 won't completely break the piggy bank.

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 Final Verdict:


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Hyde Park Summer Playlist:
Peace- Lovesick
Arctic Monkeys- Fluorescent Adolescent
Last Dinosaur- Weekend

Hope you are enjoying the sun! xoxox