Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Laduree Paris - Tea Room, Macaron, and Pastry review!!

As you all know, I've been a little bit obsessed with Laduree's macarons.  One of my top priorities when visiting Paris was to visit the Laduree tea salon on the Champs Elysees.

Not only do I have their Sweets Recipe book, I had poured over numerous websites trying to decide what I was going to eat when I arrived!  Now settle in, I have a lot to say about Laduree!
a review of Laduree Paris



We had made a reservation for breakfast at the Laduree's tea salon on the Champs Elysees in the morning.  We made it around 9am in the morning, which I guess according to how empty the salon was, it was *much* to early to eat breakfast.  However, for these jet-lagged Americans, 9am was perfect timing.  We made a reservation through this website. 
We knew we had arrived when we spotted the pretty green metalwork outside.  How cute! 
Although Easter had already passed, they still had their Easter displays up complete with cute chocolate chickens.  While we were there, they did change their displays to a Mikimoto display, which I forgot to take a picture of. 
We bypassed the row of viennoisseries and patisseries and headed up the stairs to the tea salon.
We were seated next to this beautiful antique French clock. 
I did not take too many pictures of the upstairs as I was trying to be discreet.  
Below is a picture of the (free) bread they give you... and wrapped up in that pretty green package is not candy but... butter!
Now, deciding what to order was a bit difficult.  The menu was pages and pages long.  I *highly* recommend looking at the menu before you go.  You can browse through the menu here.

The Tea Room Experience
We had both coffee (which was good) and the Melange Laduree tea. The Melange Laduree tea is the house signature tea which is a mix of black teas, rose petals, and essence of orange, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, bergamot, and black currant.  If you like Earl Grey, you will like this tea!  I loved it so much I bought some to bring home.  (The tea is for sale downstairs)

To eat, we started off with some pastries.  We had a little pastry with raisins, an apple turnover, and a chocolate croissant.  They were yummy!

For breakfast, we had the plain French toast, raspberry French toast, and an omelette.  The plain French toast was very good; it was a nice brioche with pure maple syrup.  But then I tried the French toast that had fresh raspberries with raspberry coulis... oh boy, that was SUPER good.  I highly recommend trying that.  But, what I really loved was their omelette.  It was perfectly cooked.  It also was very thick but fluffy at the same time.  It was the best omelette I've ever had!  I think they probably use more yolk in their omelettes (With all of that macaron baking, they will have a plethora of extra yolks).  I read some poor reviews about the omelette about it being cold and I feel sorry for those people because mine was delicious!

 After the waiter allowed us to enjoy the salon for several hours, we headed downstairs.  A note about dining in Paris - you must ask for the bill.  They won't present it to you automatically.  It is considered rude to force someone out of their seat, so the waiters will wait for your signal.  A lot of Americans think that the waiters are being rude and ignoring you, when in fact, they are being nice to you and not rushing you through the wonderful dining experience!  Imagine it from their view: you are paying top dollar to dine in a fine tea salon on the most famous street in the world! No rushing here!
We headed downstairs after eating to the store.  Enjoy some eye candy...




After staring for a while at all of the sweets, we eventually we were able to choose some macarons to take back and enjoy later.  We arrived early in the day to the tea salon and store which I highly recommend!  Later in the day, i.e. in the afternoon, there will be a VERY long line to get in to not just the tea salon but the store downstairs.  We had no line.  That was around 11am. 

 I highly recommend choosing a pretty box so you can take it open as a souvenir!
Laduree Paris Macarons
Macaron Tasting Reviews
For all of the macarons we tasted, they all had perfectly baked cookies with perfectly smooth tops and perfect feet.  We did not have a single one that was bad.  They are fragile and got beaten up a bit as I carried my loot around Paris all morning, but that's okay.
Laduree salted caramel macaron
Salted Caramel Macaron - The salted caramel macaron as delicious.  It was one of my favorites.  I have nothing bad to say about it.  You MUST try this one.
Laduree cherry blossom
Cherry Blossom Macaron - The cherry blossom macaron was very pleasant.  It tasted, like, well, cherry blossoms!  I didn't know what cherry blossoms would taste like, but if I were to go and eat them I am guessing they would taste like this!  This one is not a must-try.
Laduree pistachio macaron
Pistachio macaron - The pistachio macaron was very very good.  The shell had pistachio in it to give the pastry more pistachio flavor.  The pistachio cream inside was very pistachio tasting as well.  Sometimes other places' pistachio macarons do not have enough pistachio in them for my taste.  This one was VERY good.  Must get this one if you love pistachios!
Laduree orange blossom macaron
Orange Blossom Macaron- Onto my *favorite* macaron from Laduree... the orange blossom macaron!  This is one of their original and signature flavors.  It really does taste like an orange blossom.  But it isn't too floral.  It is REALLY good. REALLY REALLY GOOD. You MUST try this one.  You can also check out my blog post which features their recipe if you can't wait 'til a trip to Paris.
Laduree lemon macaron
Lemon Macaron - The lemon macaron was okay.  There wasn't anything special about it.  It wasn't bad, but... there are other flavors that are more amazing that I recommend! 
Laduree raspberry macaron
Raspberry Macaron - The raspberry macaron was really good.  I love raspberry macarons.  The tartness from the raspberries go really well with the almond shells.  Can't go wrong with this one.
Laduree Lily of the Valley macaron
Lily of the Valley Macaron - I was surprised at how much I loved the Lily of the Valley macaron.  I bought it as a last-minute decision... and I ended up just loving it.  It has a really nice refreshing taste.  It does taste like the smell of lily of the valley.  This flavor was just REALLY good.  I've tried to find a recipe for it online and haven't yet.... I guess I'll have to make my own essence of lily of the valley.  This is a must-try.
Laduree macarons
Other Flavors that we tried but I forgot to take pictures of because we ate them too fast...

Mikimoto Macaron - this is a rose lychee macaron and was okay.  I don't love rose nor lychee things, so I didn't expect that I'd love it.  However, Pierre Herme's rose lychee ispahan croissant is to-die-for.

The Marie Antoinette Macaron - the blue one in the picture above.  It tastes like an Earl Grey tea.  If you like earl grey tea flavored desserts, than this one is for you.  I just felt like they had other flavors that are worth your money and calories that you should try first.
Ice Cream Review - Yes, we tried their ice cream.  I shouldn't call it ice cream, it's more like a sorbet. It got hot one day and naturally we had to try it.  We tried both the raspberry and lemon flavors.  They were REALLY good.  The raspberry was very intense in raspberry flavor.  The lemon was tart but sweet at the same time.  I feel like their glaces do not get enough praise.  If it is a hot day in Paris, it is worth getting some!

FINAL THOUGHTS - What is not to like about the perfectly packaged patisseries from Laduree?  People have complained they are over-priced... um, yeah, duh. I wasn't headed to Paris with bargains in mind.  Are there other macaron bakers in Paris that are good? yeah, sure.  But do they come in cute little boxes? No. Do they have an orange blossom macaron? No.  I HIGHLY recommend going to Laduree on your trip to Paris.  They have several tea salons throughout the city and then several macaron selling carts scattered about in popular areas... including one in the Louvre museum and another in the airport so you can pick some up to bring home to your friends (oops, then you eat it on the long 12 hour plane flight, sorry friends!)  You don't have to do dine in the tea salon to get the experience... it was just something special I wanted to do.

My 6 recommended macaron flavors to purchase for your perfectly packaged box are: salted caramel, orange blossom, lily of the valley, pistachio, raspberry, and oh, another orange blossom!

I'm reviewing Pierre Herme next and will also try to answer the burning question... Which macarons are better, ones from Pierre Herme or Laduree?

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20 comments:

  1. Angelina, what a wonderful tour of Laduree! All that gorgeous architectural detail inside and out-- not to mention the scrumptious looking goodies! The little chocolate items in the first row of the photo just before your macaroon review look especially yummy.

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    1. The chocolate tarts looked so good but I knew they wouldn't travel well during the day, so we stuck to the macarons. Guess we'll have to go back...

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  2. oh man, you are bringing me back..and also making me want macarons. their pistachio was the first pistachio item that was not a nut that i tasted, and it set me off. all i wanted when we were there was more pistachio macarons and pistachio ice cream. now, the taste of pistachio tastes like paris. love that. i agree with you on the marie antoinette-i did not care for it, but it was blue and pretty and i had to try it. i got a decorative box, and i managed to not dent it after a week in paris and packing up and heading to normandy, and then packing up and heading home. i kept it in my carry on, and now i store my ipod and things in it. yay. great recap and it sounds like you had a great experience.

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    1. It's funny because for me pistachio brings me back to Paris as well. Even though we have them here, I feel like their foods with pistachio in them are much more rich with pistachio flavor. Pistachio gelato is to die for. I had two little boxes and then we were trying to spend our euros in the airport and ended up with 3!

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  3. Now this is my kind of post!
    I haven't been to Laduree in Paris . . .yet! But it's definitely on my list when my husband and I get the chance to travel abroad.
    I, too, am a big macaron fan . . . as well as, a big fan of Tea Salons.
    My husband's cousin lives in New York, and whenever she visits us - she brings me macarons from the Laduree in NY as well as several other salons. It's like Christmas every time she visits :0) !
    Your review is so comprehensive and fun to read! Thanks for sharing with us.
    Love the photos!! So fun!!
    Suzanne
    PS I think Laduree's macarons are better than Peirre Hermes :0)
    PPS And if you're ever in LA, visit Chado's for a wonderful tea experience.

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    1. I was so excited when I saw Laduree was coming to NYC and I have been HOPING that they will be a tea salon on the West Coast somewhere, anywhere, it's just closer than NYC or Paris! You should ask your cousin for some Melange Laduree tea... It is really nice! I have been wanting to do this post for a while, but it just took a lot of time to put together! On Monday I will review Pierre Herme!

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  4. Oh! Have you ever been to Paris in a Cup in Orange, CA?
    You would love it!
    Suzanne

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    1. I have never been to Chados or Paris in a Cup, but I just bookmarked them for later! Have you ever been to Bottega Louie in LA? It's the closest thing to Paris that I've found on the west coast http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com/2014/05/a-french-patisserie-in-la.html

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  5. Oh my! So much eye candy here. Everything looks delicious. I've never been to Paris, but I love macarons. I heard they just added "macaron" to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary :)

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    1. oh funny to hear they just added the word to the dictionary! Everything not only looked delicious but tasted delicious too!

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  6. wow everything looks amazing!! awesome post :)

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    1. thank you! it tasted amazing; now I'm trying to figure out how to make the pastries at home

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  7. Amazing. I remember being in heaven there! No better place to escape life than Laduree in Paris -- Ohhh La La!!!

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  8. Oh, my! I'm drooling and licking my screen and drooling again! Thank you so much for sharing at Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop!

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    1. I'm so glad I took the pictures of the sweets so I can remember what they look like. The last time I went to Paris I didn't take pics of all of the sweets I ate and my memory faded :(

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  9. From the photographs to your words, this is an outstanding post. I absolutely loved it.

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  10. Thank you for all of your Paris insight. Headed there in October for just a day as a side trip from Berlin. How much are the macaroons?

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    1. I believe the macarons are 1.50-2 Euros. Definitely not cheap, but you must try at least one!

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