continuing my reports from a recent trip to Europe
16, Rue Royale, 75008, Paris, depuis 1862
A grey, wet, cheerless, Paris day bought with it the need for a self-indulgent treat. I wanted something beautiful to eat and a warm drink. F didn't know what to suggest, so we just got in the car and drove into Paris. I decided I wanted afternoon tea, my mind was on sinful, delicate French pastries. F put in a call to V to see if she could suggest a place. Coincidentally, just as we had driven past the Champs Elysees, she returned his call and told us to try Laduree on Rue Royale for what, she told us, were the best macaroons in the City. As she made the suggestion, we just happened to be driving right past the building, quite by chance. We parked the car and made our way to the little tearoom, packed with throngs of tourists.
Although this Salon de The (part of a chain, but this the original, I think) was being held up by ugly metal girders, no doubt to stop the roof from caving in, the shabby chic of the ornately painted and guilded walls and picturesque ceilings had its particular charm, although the tourists did deter from the authenticity of the atmosphere.
F, who despite taking 5 sugars in a coffee every morning claims not to have a sweet tooth decided against a pastry and instead ordered a club sandwich and a glass of wine. The toasted bread was spread with a piquant mustard and mayonnaise adding flavour to the egg, ham and tomato filling.
My own choice was certainly less wholesome. I couldn't resist a magical, exotic pale pink patisserie creation that almost defies description. A bed of flaky feuillet spread with a sharp raspberry confiture and a thick custard was crowned with little pink-iced creme-filled choux pastries, held in place by a dollop of rose-flavoured chantilly and scattered with red petals and raspberries. It was fluffy pink cloud of heavenly sweetness which lifted my spirits and made me forget about the rain outside.
As Laduree is so famous for it's macaroons in all colours, flavours and sizes, we had to just try a little one. Bitter chocolate was my choice because the praline I really desired wasn't available. It complimented the glass of red I was lingering over after the coffee I'd paired with my earlier pastry. At least I had achieved a satisfied feeling inside before having to return outside to battle with the ever changing Parisian summer.