I first learned about the company Ladurée a little over six years ago, when a friend gifted me with the cutest pink box of macarons for my birthday. Knowing my love of France, desserts and elegant things, she couldn’t have chosen better.
The crisp, pastel-coloured shell. The soft, slightly chewy filling. Not too sweet. Not too crumbly. Just the right size. Unique flavours like pistachio, rose, matcha and sakura. The success of Ladurée internationally is due to all of this. The perfect macaron.
The Ladurée brand started as a little bakery in Paris over 150 years ago. As French society changed, the shops and cafes also had to adapt. Ladurée realized there was a demand for upper-class Parisian women to have a place to come and relax. So the bakery expanded, and a tea room was opened. Over time, the brand grew in popularity—today, it’s often referred to as Paris’ oldest and most luxurious tea room.
There are stores all around the world – in 27 countries, to be exact. And the brand is constantly collaborating with designers and artists. Recently, even one of my favourite Paris-based fashion photographers, Carin Olsson, unveiled a new Tea Ladurée product named after her blog ‘Paris in Four Months’.
Ladurée came to Japan in 2008, and it’s really not surprising how well it fit into the cafe and sweets scene here. The Japanese love all things French, nothing more so than their delectable desserts. There are now two restaurants and four stores all in the Tokyo region.
The Ginza branch of Ladurée sits on the second floor of the Mitsukoshi department store, overlooking Ginza’s busiest intersection. With countless designer stores and expensive boutiques, Ginza is where the rich go to shop. It’s one of Tokyo’s most sophisticated areas, and in amongst all the brand new buildings, you can find lots of great examples of architecture from the Meiji Period, a time when Japan was entering the modern world.
Unlike the second restaurant located in Aoyama, the Ginza store has a vintage, old Paris look. From the delicate chandeliers hanging from the ceiling to the upholstered chairs, and from the carpet flooring to the neoclassical wallpaper, the decor feels much closer to the French original.
On the Menu
There are so many mouth-watering options on the menu, but I went with the club sandwich with a side of the most delicious fries you’ll taste in Tokyo! For my drink, I got the ‘Marie-Antoinette’ – a light, black tea with a hint of citrus. For dessert, I got the seasonal St. Honoré Sakura, a Japanese spin on a classic French sweet made with choux pastry, cream puffs, sakura-flavoured whipped cream and cherries hidden inside. It was delicious, though a bit too much cream for me! And to take home, I couldn’t leave without a box of macarons. In Ladurée style, I had to get different colours and flavours, so I went with Morello Cherry, Marie-Antoinette Tea, Orange Blossom and Pistachio.
Ladurée macarons make a great gift for someone special or even to treat yourself. And the cafe is the perfect place to go if you’re in the mood for something a little fancy. I loved the Ginza store and hope I can visit Ladurée in Paris one day! If you’re wanting to check out Ladurée in Tokyo, here is a list of the stores > www.laduree.jp/boutiques