Well I have to give these guys major cross-continental props!
Though my experience online was far from a 2013 affair, the personal interaction with Laduree employees far exceeds the average retailer.
I ordered macaroons as a gift for a friend in California, believing that the best I could get from the site was delivery to London for the bakery in Paris. I eventually came to terms with this and ordered the gift online. A few days later I received a call for a very nice French man informing me my order was ready at their Paris store. Well as much as I would love to have collected my order, I unfortunately needed them in London. After a bit of clarification and flexibility the Parisian employee said to simply inform one of the London locations of my order, demonstrable with a receipt, and they would fulfill the order.
OK, well now I have to expose myself to mounds of macaroons by having to actually go to a store to collect my order. But when I arrived at their Piccadilly location, though the store was heaving with customers, the staff were calm and polite and quickly dealt with their customers. When I explained my situation, the employee said it wasn't standard practice, but would be happy to accommodate me after taking a few details. I was in and out of there in a few minutes.
THEN, to top things off, I received a call from another very nice employee from their Paris store asking me if everything went OK, was I able to collect my order, did I need anything else... thank you for your follow up and for asking Laduree. I will now forever recommend you to my friends. Especially you Sea Salt Caramel macaroon! Absolute heaven.
BUT please get help with your website!!!!
Please don't misjudge me. I give it a 3-star because personally I am really not a fan for sweet tooth while living in the US for nearly 2 decades makes me scare of the "mouthful-sugars". But as a tourist, you gotta do what a tourist do is trying out things you don't have it in the west coast. If I have the money, I would rather spending the money on Laduree's cosmetic line and its accessories, they are just delicately beautiful and fanciful, it's almost like a dream if I could own all their products. ; )
I've been to other branches of Laduree in Harrods and in Paris, and am a real fan of their macarons. When I happened across this branch, my first thoughts were, 'good - an unexpected chance to treat myself' and 'wow, that looks like a jewel box'.
By the time I came out I was thinking 'hmm, not so friendly' and 'wow, tacky decor'. The space is really small, so that getting a box of macarons involved a sort of dance around the assistant and one other customer. Unfortunately, while her customers took this in good humour, the assistant seemed irritated by us. Service was abrupt, edging onto impatient (and I was hardly dawdling since I was on my way to a meeting).
The macarons were as good as ever. However, the experience was distinctly lacking: I'll stick to the far superior Harrods branch in future.
A gilded petit-palais of a premises - at the entry, to the Piccadilly side, of Burlington Arcade. Here, the famous (infamous?) macarons are the star of the show. Like little multi-coloured jewels, they shine in shade-graded rows and lure the sweet-toothed passer-by inside. Available in mouthful-size, by weight, at £6.30, per 100 grams - the choice appears almost endless, including deep, dark subtly-sweet licorice and softest-pink rose petal.
How do you make your choice - according to hue or flavour? The larger, full (generous) portion-size variants come in just five flavours - easier to decide upon - at £2.80 per piece.
I found the (French) staff here were quite welcoming - although communication flowed better when I spoke in their native tongue, as they didn't initially understand when I asked if I could just buy one or two little macarons or whether I had to opt for a full 100g
Crisp on the outside yet soft and just a little bit chewy on the inside, Ladurée's macaroons are the epitome of refined delicacy. At £1.40 each these small round button-like sandwiches of sweetness (the price lowers the more you purchase) are an affordable indulgence. And with an ever expanding and changing range of flavours, it's a good thing these morsels are inexpensive because (if you're like me) you'll want to try every last one of them!
My favourite Ladurée macaroons are the orange blossom and the rose. However, vanilla and pistachio are right up there in the running. Other flavours that sound absolutely delightfully but sadly I've yet to try (but know I'd love) include liquorice, jasmine mango, caramel with salted butter and coconut. Of course, there are plenty more flavours than those in the Ladurée macaroon collection! I recommend popping round to their Burlington Arcade café for an up close and personal look-see. These dainty and colourful (most are pastel) treats are not only a pleasure for the taste buds but are beautiful pieces of eye candy too.
Elegantly displayed in Ladurée's Burlington Arcade 'cave of gold' (really, you've got to see this café/shop it's too much!), you would be forgiven for thinking you were ogling precious jewels instead of macaroons. The café which is right off of the bustling Piccadilly (you can't miss it) is a great pit stop when sightseeing in the area as well. It certainly has more character than well you know all those mega-chain coffee shops and fast food joints that are all over London and most of the world. Besides, as the world's first shopping arcade, the opulent and historic Burlington Arcade is a top destination in its own right. Stop by, have a coffee or tea (and of course a macaroon or two), do some people watching and window shopping and enjoy London at its best.
Oh yeah, one more thing! I would be remiss if I failed to mention that Ladurée's macaroons make wonderful gifts. They stay fresh for awhile and keep well when travelling. And guys listen up: the ladies love them! A variety of prim and pretty gift boxes and sets are available.
Wow. Just wow. I'm in macaroon heaven! I popped in here yesterday and then had to ask myself 'what the hell took my so long?'
Well, it looks scary. Really scary. It's tiny, there's the French shop assistants. I can't afford to spend lots of money. So I've just looked longingly through the window and wished I was rich enough to buy them.
But! Today I did pop in! And I'm so pleased that I did. I spent £5.60 on tasty things and had five little macaroons (I even shared one). Sea salt caramel was very yummy and pistachio, but it was the fig and date on that blew me away. Remember those fig rolls you ate in the 90s (do people still eat them? can you still buy them?) well they taste exactly like that. But fancier. Yummy.
The staff were friendly, in that very 'French' way, and the shop itself is like a stunning little gold cave. A bit tacky, but on the edge of Burlington Arcade it works just fine. The French can get away with ostentatious. Yay. I don't think I'll come here very often at all, but if I did that would ruin the fun. There's something very decadent about coming in here and buying treats for yourself, but even if i bought them as a present for someone, I'd eat them all myself.
Surprised to read about the poor service - all seems fine now.
Simply put, Ladurée sell the best macaroons outside France (forget Pauls). For the uninitiated, they're crunchy on the outside, smooth on the inside-style cakes of differing flavours - pistachio, lemon, caramel, vanilla, red fruits, liquorice (ugh), Lily of the Valley (which, weirdly, you seem to taste through your nose!), mint, etc, etc. They're difficult to describe unless you've actually had one - but well worth experimenting with. Mini ones start at about £1.20, larger ones about £2.50. They also do coffees, cakes, etc. and it's often nice to sit outside in Burlington Arcade in the small seated area.
One more tip: they sell them in gift boxes of about 8, 12, etc. and make fabulous, unusual presents - everyone I've ever given them to is well impressed - especially as good macaroons are still relatively unknown in the UK.
Laduree is a French institution for macaroons; you simply cannot go anywhere else to try those amazing little cakes, soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside, wih incredible flavours.
So I was kind of excited to discover that Laduree had crossed the channel...
Their outlet on Burlington Arcade is just........weird! Maybe the person in charge of decoration is having a nervous breakdown?
The whole tiny store is decked out in gold foil - which makes it look really cheap and nasty.
Shame because the macaroons are still to die for. Just close your eyes and do a quick buy and run. Or maybe try another outlet, I think they have another 2 in London.
I was quite excited to see LaDuree here, but it seems totally wiped of all charm as opposed to the original Parisian outlets. The staff are condescending, perhaps they are venting their anxieties from operating in the bizarre all-gold environment on me? It would make me nervous too. Their alienating attitude though totally robs you of the sheer visual delight and childish excitement from seeing those trays and trays of pastel colored macarons, and the adorable boxes. Magnify this disdain should you dare ask for a single piece to nibble on your way -- you can't. There is a minimum purchase requirement.
If I'm spending so much on a sweet, I pay for experience and not just the product. LaDuree here gives me my yummies but stops at that. I prefer Fortnum and Mason across the way or maybe Prestat Chocolates at an arcade further down the street, where they know that when I'm damn well paying more than the price of cab fare for a sweet then they owe me a smile and a pretty little box. I'll save my macaron purchases for Paris.
I was introduced to this exquisite Parisian bakery by a French friend. Their speciality is the macaron (not to be confused with the English style coconut macaroon) which comes in a dazzling assortment of colours and flavours. Each little bite-size macaron is perfectly crispy on the outside with a squidgy sticky centre. Their outlet in Harrods and their tiny gilded cafe in Burlington Arcade are well worth a visit. at £7 odd per 100g, I may be developing an expensive habit!
The best bakery in London! I truly admire the whole selection of doughnuts and pastries there. I like getting a dozen for the office every Friday. It's like our little tradition and since everyone loves something sweet at the end of the week, Laduree is the perfect choice.
My new vice is now in the form of Laduree macaroons. I was very emotional about the taste once I had sinked my teeth into the crunchy exterior and was overwhelmed completely by the infusion of texture and taste. I have been to a branch of Laduree almost every week since this summer! My favourite is definitely the rose flavour. I have never tasted anything like it. A Laduree macaroon is more than just a dessert, it's an experience (short-lived one!)
Impossible to choose, everything tastes divine. A bit on the expensive side but worth every penny.
I love their Macaroons, i must admit i prefer Pierre Herme, but Laduree are still great and have more outlets around which is convenient if i want to treat someone (myself!)
A box of macaroons makes a great gift! So get down there and buy me some!
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