This was the most unexpected surprise of our Chocolate pilgrimage. We were just strolling down the Champs Elysée from the Place De la Concorde on our way to the Arc de Triomphe. We planned to have side trip to "Fouquet" on the avenue on the recommendation of Charlotte (a Belgian chocolate fanantic we met in Bruxelles ) to share a hot chocolate and people watch. " Quatre chocolat chaud monsieur s'il vous plait"?.
The plan was abruptly interrupted when a pale green facade with a small yet stunning window display of patisserie, confection and chocolate perfection beckoned us. This window teased us into peering in the front door. We had planned to see Laduree at Rue Royale however here we were and we were hooked. The tight doors swung open. We were in. Laduree as all the books suggested was irrestistable.
Inside, darkness flooded room . The only lights in this Salon were those fixed on the exquisite delights of Laduree displayed on marble (Chocolate eclairs, chocolate mille feuille, gateaux, macarons and a selection of Truffles and chocolates).
Ladurees decor was classic. The best of all the Chocolate destinations we'd seen so far. As were the crisply pressed black uniforms of the Mademoiselles Ladurees. Their efficient ,clinical and polite service always finishing with "Ces tout"? It was hard to answer "Oui, that's all" as you just wanted to buy all the pasrties and chocolates in this boutique.
Laduree is best known apparently for its Macarons which it claims to have created. They offer a standard range of Macarons including chocolate, hazelnut, rose, pistachio, raspberry and lemon and add a new flavour for each season.
The atmosphere and the amazing cakes made it easy to see why Sofia Coppola used Laduree in her movie Marie Antoinetteto illustrate the decadence of the 18th century French royal court. The cakes are like works of art - almost impossible to make a choice and almost certainly too gorgeous to actually eat. But eat we did and they were amazing!
At the back of the store there is a Macaron bar (see below) - an almost fantasy of underwater mermaid life the decor is worth seeing.
Laduree offers a huge range of chocolate and chocolate gifts - all packaged in beautiful colour coordinated pastels boxes and ribbons.
If it seems like these delicacies may look great but not taste great we can testify that we tried several on offer including this most beautiful strawberry below and it was devine!
Laduree, merci beaucoup. You made our Parisian day.
Oh and there are several other Laduree locations in Paris - we will just have to check them out and let you know if they are as good!