From the first day I arrived in Paris, Alan had already told me we were going to have macaroons in Laduree which, incidentally, had their main patisserie at Champs Elysee which was a stone’s throw away from our hotel on Rue de Berri. On our second to the last day, we were actually planning to have tea there but the line for the Salon de The was a mile long and so was the line for the take home counter. We took a quick peak and decided we would go there early Sunday to sample the goodies and take our pick of what to bring home. (Big mistake! We should’ve gone the first day I was there..!)
We had breakfast in the hotel and went out to a sunny Champs Elysees and crossed the street to have early morning tea. Requesting for the non-smoking are, we were ushered in to a salon upstairs resplendent in its classic decor and homey ambience.
Salon Castiglione for the non-smokers on the second floor
They seated us by the fireplace (which is actually the table you see on the lower right hand corner of the picture above) and we looked over their French menu. After perusing it and realizing except for the Tea and the coffee, we weren’t quite sure which ones were the macaroons, we decided to venture with our splattering of French and I braved ordering from the young waitress attending to our table. I figure that if I mentioned “petite macaroons” she would get that we wanted the small ones, and in saying “assortment” with an accent she would understand I wanted different flavors, I would get the message across.
Alan ordered an espresso, and I picked out the Laduree Melange xxx in the tea menu. (That one she picked up easy.) And then I did my spiel on the petite macaroons which went without a hitch, plus I ordered an eclair. I surmised that this was the best place to try one. (Something I had postponed day after day as I passed patisserie after patisserie.)
The young lady arrived with two plates of 4 different flavored macaroons which Alan and I shared. The first bite I took totally melted my tastebuds! Right there and then, I knew each one was just a question of flavor, and I definitely made a mistake not to have taken the time to have one sooner. My idea of a macaroon was the coconut macaroons I myself made and which I bought from good old Goldilocks back home!
The Laduree counter where guests get to pick their treats to take home.
We had our tea and coffee and finished our macaroons and went downstairs to order our take home goodies. Alan and I bought a box of 15 macaroons each. Even Mikey and Mom loved the macaroons when we got home. Today I found out our new friend Alain, a true Frenchman in every sense of the word, arrived for a business trip in New York and handed Alan a big box of macaroons fresh from Paris! I am salivating just thinking about it and dying to sink my teeth into another batch of the heavenly treats from Laduree.. heaven must’ve been listening when I started reminiscing.
With our Pinoy penchant for pasalubongs, this is the perfect treat. So next time you have a friend going to Paris, ask for a box of macaroons from Laduree. They can be pricey, though, with a box of 15 mini macaroons fetching $23.00 or 17 Euros. Ah, the price of heaven!
And if you should find yourself in Paris one day, be ready for a feast for the eyes. If you have a fickle heart, you’ll have a tough time deciding which pastries to get. Safest choice: pick the plain macaroons.. that way, you know you’ll get your money’s worth without losing out on taste. My personal pick is caramel and almonds.. yummy!
My own photograph of the facade of Laduree at the Champs Elysee