I am prone to dream of Paris pretty much on any day. But in honor of the fact that Halloween is later this week I thought I’d focus on something sweet. Now Paris is the dream capital of my heart and home to so many yummy and pretty things that it can be hard to choose (if you’re a regular reader, you know that ice cream at Berthillon is my typical go-to). But if you’re looking for beautiful and delicious it’s hard to beat Ladurée.
Although there is now a gorgeous and glamorous outpost on the Champs Elysees and another on the Left Bank (to say nothing of London, Zurich, and Tokyo), what I’m dreaming of today is the original Ladurée Salon de Thé on the Rue Royale about a block from the Place de la Concorde. It’s been there since the late nineteenth century and is decorated at the height of Belle Époque style. I didn’t take the boys there when we were in Paris and I’ve been kicking myself ever since. I know that they would love the pastel boxes stacked in the windows filled with a rainbow of macarons, the frescoes on the ceiling, the gilded walls, the heavy silver pitchers…and of course the large case full of pastries, each as carefully and intricately constructed as a sculpture.
So what treats would we sample on a fine autumn afternoon? I’d of course let the boys choose from that case. But here are a few that I might recommend:
- For my purple-loving younger son, perhaps a Religieuse à la Violette, a puff pastry filled with violet-infused cream and topped with purple fondant icing and a candied violet. (A religieuse looks a little bit like a snowman, with one large round pastry topped by another smaller one – I’m sure this would add to its appeal).
- Tommy might enjoy a Saint-Honoré – this fabulous concoction has a puff pastry base topped with caramelized pastry balls (along the lines of profiteroles), vanilla cream, and lots of whipped sweet cream on top.
- And for me, some Macarons Bergamontes – almond macaroon cookies filled with a bergamont cream (think of Earl Gray tea and you’ve got the flavor).
The boys would have drinks to accompany their pastries; certainly a Chocolat Chaud Ladurée while I think I’d stick to tea – perhaps the blend named after Marie Antoinette, which is described thusly on the menu: “delicious China teas mixed with essential oils of subtle citrus fruit, rose and jasmine flowers flavour, scattered with small pieces of dried fruits and honey.” That almost sounds like dessert itself doesn’t it?
We’d also have to leave with one of those gorgeous boxes full of the handmade chocolates. Just because I would want the shopping bag as a souvenir.
Look for more posts this week about treats in various corners of the United States and beyond – after all, we need to get ourselves mentally prepared for all that candy. What treats are you dreaming of on this delicious Monday? Please feel free to share a link below, making sure you link directly to your post, not your site’s homepage and that you link back to this post. Questions? See About Monday Dreaming.
The top photo is courtesy of the fabulous Jen Laceda whose blog Folie à Deux is a treat for the eyes (see her posts about Parisian treats here and here). Thanks also to Ben Golub for the picture of the pastries and Yuichi Sakuraba for the final photo.