I may have left my heart in Paris, but I found love again in the heart of Dublin’s creative quarter.
When trying to picture a colourful escape from the dark and dreary streets, I can really conjure no image more perfect than Ladurée.
Having heard so much about the world-famous French patisserie’s tour de force when it first took Dublin by technicolour storm by opening its playful, pastel-coloured doors in December 2015, as well as having noticed the many whimsical and eccentric collaborations that the company has done in both the worlds of fashion and cinema, I just had to pay a visit to this adorably abundant, rainbow-filled wonderland of sweet treats and decadent desserts for myself.
Before crossing the threshold of Ladurée’s delicately scalloped, candy-coloured doorways, I admired the opulent displays of fanciful cakes and colourful ornaments in the window. And upon entering I found myself immediately astonished by all that was before me. Glass cases framed by luxurious gold borders housed the most vivid palette of pastel macarons. Gorgeous vintage-style perfume bottles decorated a deluxe marble fireplace. And a decadent array of original house blend herbal teas and endless rows of richly scented candles, all stacked together neatly, each worked together to radiate a vast spectrum of colour.
I had barely been standing on the deep mahogany floor five minutes before I realised that I was entirely enamoured by just how much luxury the interior boasted. Its white marble tabletops, crushed velvet curtains and antique rococo-style seating alone were enough to make me feel completely infatuated with the shop from the very moment I entered.
After having ordered my pot of Marie-Antoinette tea and pink macarons to go with it (rose and citron) my experience was made all the more comforting by the generosity of Ladurée’s caring and attentive staff, who were constantly checking that I had everything I needed and paying me compliments on my macaron-heeled shoes! Really, if there’s anywhere to go in Dublin to feel like royalty for a while as you sip tea out of a pink porcelain cup, it has to be here. ❤
Another thing to love about Ladurée South William Street is just how much it rivals all other beauty and high-end homeware boutiques in the city. Its extensive range of shining bag charms, sweetly scented home fragrances and perfumes in elegant bottles, along with the colourful candles in china pots that arrive packaged in beautifully illustrated keepsake boxes, are just too pretty not to take home. My personal favourites in the gift collection however were the specially designed handbags adorned with the most darling little illustrations emblematic of the Ladurée house. Mind you, the wild strawberry perfumes and rosy home scents were difficult to resist too!
But even for those less enthused by candy-coloured viennoiseries, sugar-coated shopping bags and honey-scented tea leaves, there can be no doubt that Ladurée has something for everyone between its decadent afternoon tea menu and stunning visual appeal. But what is most interesting about the house is its ongoing contribution to the arts since its debut in Paris in 1862.
While Catherine de’Medici may have introduced the macaron to France in the early Renaissance period, it was Ladurée who epitomised the pastry as we know it today by rendering it a double-decker biscuit and adding a sweet and creamy, ganache filling. However, the house has much more than a strong historical significance, with a present day artistic and aesthetic impact that thrives in both the worlds of high end fashion and cinema.
My absolute favourite thing about Ladurée is just how fantastical and artistically pleasing its cinematic collaborations over recent years have been. In 2010 the alluring and enchanting elements of Alice in Wonderland lead to the release of a macaron box, embellished with Lewis Carroll inspired designs, perfectly suited to the Mad Hatter’s tea party. And in 2012, a Hello Kitty collaboration excited all Japanese and Kawaii fashion enthusiasts alike with the launch of adorable stationary and cute kitty bag charms.
But their most recent silver screen collaboration is much more of a wonderful and peculiar one. This year’s special macaron box features the newest Tim Burton release, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, with each patisserie now offering a gothic-style box decorated with special artwork from the movie, as well as a fantasy-like neon blue caramel-citron macaron. Such illustrations and crafts are perfect for this time of year with Halloween just around the corner and the limited edition macaron is so wonderfully strange, yet so sweet and delightful to indulge in along with a cup of hot tea.
And the creative flow of Ladurée doesn’t just stop there. In recent years, the house joining forces with some of the most renowned names in haute couture including Christian Louboutin, Nina Ricci and now fellow fashion blogger, Chiara Ferragni has meant a wide variety of amazing and imaginative creations including exclusive gift boxes, deliciously perfumed candles and once in a life time macarons.
So this cosy little South William Street cafe isn’t just an authentic slice of Paris in the heart of Dublin. There is so much artistic value to Ladurée with the entire house having such a strong affinity to all that is whimsical and fantastical in the creative world and with every decadent rainbow macaron crafted to perfection.
If you’re in Dublin anytime soon or you find that you’re just wishing to dive into a colourful sanctuary of hot coffees and sweet desserts, then Ladurée is definitely your go-to place. I really fell in love with it during my short visit and now I really can’t wait to pass by again.
BE HAPPY ♥ BE HAPPY
~Love Mew xx