Oh Ladurée, how we love thee! From the gold edged china, to the pastry boxes, to the pastries themselves (macarons anyone?), no visit to Paris seems complete without a glimpse through a Ladurée tea salon window.
or even better: a visit inside:
How did such a delightful little salon develop such a grand following?
The first Ladurée opened in 1862 at 16 rue Royale in Paris as a bakery. With the construction of the Opera Garnier nearby, the neighborhood surrounding the little bakery developed rapidly, soon becoming one of Paris’s most important and elegant business districts. Soon some of the most prestigious names in French luxury had taken residence in the neighborhood. In accordance, in 1871 owner Louis Ernest Ladurée reinvented his eponymous bakery as a more stylish and en vouge pastry shop.
The interior design and decoration was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a revered turn-of-the-century painter. M Cheret sought inspiration from the painting techniques used for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as well as the nearby Opera Garnier. With the new interiors came the idea of mixing styles, merging the pastry shop with the concept of the Parisian café. Voilà: one of the first Parisian tea salons, or “salons de thé,” was born.
In 1993, the Holder group purchased the Parisian institution and set about expanding the famous “Maison.” In September 1997, a new prestigious Ladurée address – both a restaurant and tea room – opened on the Champs-Elysées. A Ladurée salon is now not only a tea salon, but also a pastry shop, restaurant, chocolate shop and ice cream parlor. The Holder group furthermore intends to introduce the century-old Ladurée name to the main capitals of the world. In a little under twenty years they have succeeded very well.
While Ladurée does not (yet!) have locations in the United States, they have six salons in and outside of Paris, as well as locations in England, Ireland, Lebanon, Turkey, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and beyond. Hopefully they will expand to North America quite soon. Mais jusque-là…
Where ever you call home, you can bring a little Ladurée to your living space with a bit of artwork by Lucile Prache, a French illustrator living in Paris. For a song (approximately $50, including shipping), you can purchase one of her unframed limited edition paintings or screened prints – like this one:
An original poster similar to the watercolor above (which has already sold – they go fast!), is signed and numbered out of an edition of 10 and screen printed by hand with water based, non toxic inks. Available colors include chocolate, raspberry pink, mint green, orange, and black. Each print is unique, with small imperfections due to hand printing, and measures 14 X 17.5 inches.
Another way to incorporate a little Ladurée into your interior? Ladurée candles in various emblematic colors: the Ladurée green, the sugared-almond pink, the charcoal grey, the lilac violet, the daffodil yellow, the pale blue, and etc. Fragrances include: caramel with salted butter, mimosa, orange blossom, coffee, and praline. The candles retail for approximately $55 each. Available online at Opening Ceremony, in their NYC shop at the Ace Hotel, and on the Seventh Floor of the main Bergdorf Goodman store.
Et enfin, a parting video (that is just so French!) for you:
Images: /1 / Photograph via hjartesmil /2 / Photograph by Jayne-Davis / 3 / Photograph via Time Out, Paris / 4 / Photo of an upstairs room at the Champs Elysées Paris location via the The Swelle Life / 5 / Photo of the Bonapart Paris location via the The Swelle Life / 6 / Image via Ladurée / 7 / Original Watercolor by Lucile Prache, available via Lucile’s Kitchen , her online etsy boutique / 8 / Image via Opening Ceremony / 9 / Video, “Le Rêve Ladurée”, via Ladurée /