June 2013 – It was the early 1990s after I graduated from university in New England when I travelled to Paris for the first time.
One morning, I happened to pass by the most charming shop – its façade was framed by pastel green windows and its displays were decorated with mountains of colorful macaroons – pink, purple, green, yellow, blue, brown and more! So when I saw this view of adorable sweets, I couldn’t resist but bought myself a box of 18 macaroons!
Ladurée is not the only macaroon-maker in Paris, but this patisserie definitely makes the finest macaroons! The macaroon shells are fragile, yet crispy and the fillings of ganache – whether be it rose petal cream or raspberry confiture or Ghana chocolate – are rich and refreshing, yet not sugary. Ever since then, on every visit to Paris, I would stop by Ladurée to pick up my favorite treats – “A Little Taste of Paris” in pastel green boxes.
Fast forward two decades later, Ladurée has brought “A Little Taste of Paris” to Singapore in mid-April. Despite my aversion for long queues, I woke up at 9:30am and promptly headed to the new shop at 10am. Fortunately for me, macaroons-crazed shoppers only started arriving in herds after 12 noon. The shop is charming with their signature pastel green décor. I am also a fan of their exquisite boxes, which make superb mementos. This time, I decided that I must have the “limited edition Singapour” box featuring a blond girl strolling with a poodle, Ladurée green bag in hand.
At last, it was my turn ; I ordered my favorite flavors – Citron (lemon), Rose (rose petal), Chocolate, Café (coffee), Pistache (pistachio), Framboise (Raspberry) and to be adventurous, an Marie Antoinette – which came in a beguiling baby blue color! I ate them as soon as I got home 20 minutes later……Yes, it was “A Little Taste of Paris” indeed!
Then, I had another thought…I wish they hadn’t opened a Ladurée in Singapore at all. Somehow, I felt as if I have been robbed of my Parisian experience. Fortunately, there is no Ladurée “Salón de té” in Singapore; at least, I can keep my other ritual of going to my favorite Ladurée at Madeline for breakfast – nothing like a French petit déjeuner!
November 2015 – A few months after their grand opening, the queues outside Ladurée’s Singapore shop had somehow vanished. Perhaps, the novelty factor has worn off. I am still a fan of their macaroons, but I only purchase them occasionally.
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.