Wednesday, May 31, 2006

My Paris: Ladurée

I finally made it to Paris the weekend before last. I have travelled as far as Mexico, been to most corners of Europe (including extended stays in Denmark and Scotland), but somehow this foodie capital had escaped me. Not anymore. I spent four wonderful days in Paris with someone who, luckily for me, spoke French, and had been to Paris before. I, on the other hand, had carefully studied several trustworthy sources (that's you, fellow foodbloggers!) for insider tips about the foodie gems of Paris. A very good match indeed.

We managed to squeeze some moderate sightseeing and one really cool concert (Lo'Jo) into our four days, but my first trip to Paris was definitely food-oriented. We spent coupe of hours wandering in La Grande Epicerie de Paris, had a wonderful meal at La Cave de l'Os à Moëlle, enjoyed a coffee and cake at 'Cafe Des Deux Moulins' in Montmartre (as part of the Amélie trail), visited Bastille Market (where I picked up some wild asparagus and fresh bay leaves), breakfasted at Bread & Roses next to Jardin du Luxembourg, paid a visit to E. Dehillerin, ate falafels at the Jewish Quarter and drank tea at Mariage Frères.

And we made it to Ladurée. We climbed the stairs to the upstairs (much less crowded and non-smoking!) room of the original Ladurée branch at 16, Rue de Royale, where we were seated right next to the window. Having only just eaten breakfast, we weren't able to enjoy the rather delicious-sounding Le Brunch Ladurée (€33), but we treated ourselves to two cups of Café crème Ladurée and studied the menu. Although Pim declares the Ladurée Ispahan to be just a poor imitation of Pierre Hermé's version (and I'm sure she's right, although we didn't have a chance to compare the two this time), we decided to order it after all (Ispahan is a smooth rose flavoured macaroon biscuit, rose petal cream, fresh raspberries and lychees created by Pierre Hermé when he was working at Ladurée a while back). I must admit that Ispahan had a very unusual and intense flavour, which you wouldn't want to have too much of. But it was tasty and memorable nevertheless.

My date K. and I also shared four macaroons between us:

Cassis violette/Blackcurrant violet (a seasonal flavour), Pétales de rose/Rose petal, Caramel à la fleur de sel/Salted butter Caramel, Gingembre citron vert/Lime & Ginger. We both agreed that the lime & ginger version was our favourite, followed by the unusually moist blackcurrant violet macaroon (him) and salted butter caramel (me). Rose was most unimpressive of the lot, but maybe because we had already had enough rosewater in the form of Ispahan.

Next time we'll pay a visit to Pierre Hermé (shall we, K?) ;-)


Anonymous said...

All very sweet :)

Kalyn Denny said...

How wonderful. I've been to France, but never to Paris. There are so many places I want to go (and I have so little money!)

Jeanne said...

Ooooh, I am going to have to go to Laduree when I go to Paris in July. My hotel is literally a block from Pierre Herme's shop, so I'm sure I can do a comparative tasting. I have had the PH Isphahan and I must say that I loved it, even though rosewater is not one of my favourite flavours. The lychee cream did it for me... And my favourite PH macaron was the Pamplemousse & Campari, sadly also a seasonal flavour :-( Although I adore the Caramel & fleur de sel as well...

Ruth Daniels said...

I must say - Paris is one of my favorite places to visit. Thanks for taking me down memory lane.

Valentina said...

Pille, it sounds as if your trip was great. I have not been to Paris in a year and it has given me itchy feet.

Anna (Morsels and Musings) said...

I'm so jealous! I recently tried some macaroons at the Lindt Concept store (Sydney, Australia) and adored them. Since then I've been wistfully staring at the Ladurée website and it was even the blackcurrant/violet and the salted caramel macaroons that drew my attention. I can't emphasise how jealous I am!!!

Pille said...

Roxy - it was - all of it:)

Kalyn - same here! Though I guess it's cheaper for me to get to Paris than for you from the States.

Jeanne - am looking forward to reading about your Laduree visit. Apparently the Pamplemousse & Campari is still on the menu - Bea had one last week:)

Ruth - you're welcome!

Valentina - hope you get to go again soon! I, certainly, can't wait for my next trip:)

Anna - their website is lovely, isn't it! And the shops are just as cute with all those pastel coloured boxes and fancy silverware. I will be back for some double-checking and comparative tasting soon!

Anonymous said...

hi Nami!

I m Philippe Tailleur, owner of bread & roses Paris and as I noticed by reading your blog that you were a macaron amateur I suggest that you taste our fresh basil and rasperry macaron at your next visit! We have now a wabsite which is :
Best regards

Pille said...

Hi Philippe,
thank you for popping by! Next time I'm in Paris, I will try and taste one of your fresh basil and raspberry macarons:)

Paris Hotels said...

I must agree with you that LO'JO is a MUST concert! i just booked my trip to the city of lights with LMT and i must find where they are on stage! and one thing- macaroon(s) rocks too:)