Laudrée is one of those classic places that you should visit while you are in Paris. Paris is a place for foodies and Ladurée is famous for their macarons. They are not only come in a rainbow of colors but they also come in many different flavors, apparently about 18 different flavors.
The location on Champs-Elyesse is worth a visit. It not only sells the wonderful little sweet treats that they make, they also have a wonderful little tea room. The ‘salon de thé’ serves a variety of things to eat. I can highly recommend the Ladurée salad and a lovely macaron for dessert!
The original bakery was created in 1862 by Louis-Enrest Ladrée. It was located at 16 rue Royale as a boulangerie. During the revolution it was burnt down in 1871. He decided to rebuild as a patisserie. He had Jules Chéret do the inside decoration. Jules Chéret has been called the ‘father of the modern poster’ and his work are now highly sought after. Ladurée was a miller and a prolific writer. He was a very forward thinker and believed in social reform at a time when there were censorship laws and harsh penalties for those who broke them.
It was in the 1930’s that the fantastic idea came about to create the macaron that is all the rage. Pierre Desfontaines came up with the genius idea to make a double decker biscuit and place ganache in-between the layers. In 1997, the shop was bought by the The Holder group, which also owns the Paul shops that are sprinkled around Paris. That was the same year that the Champs-Elyesse location opened. The Holder group has worked hard to expand the Ludrée stores, and they can now be found in 16+ different countries. They sell around 15,000 macarons a day.
There are 6 locations in Paris. I have visited the Champs-Elyesse location the most. Some of the other locations are purely just small counters that sell the macarons. Others, like the one on Champs-Elyesse location offers a ‘salon de thé’. Louis-Ernst Ladurée’s wife can be credited with this idea. In the original location, she influenced him to put in a tea room where women could meet. At the time, public tea rooms were for the use of men only. Women had to meet in private homes. The ‘salon de thé’ provided women with a public place to meet with friends. They have definitely kept to a French decor and a visit to the salon de thé is a lovely experience!