Bring out your party horns because this week (May 31st to be precise) we celebrated #NationalMacaronDay! Is there anywhere more magnificent to celebrate such a momentous occassion than within the walls of the famous Parisian tea rooms at Ladurée Soho in New York? Stacks upon stacks of pastel sweets and treats are displayed on marble counters at this storied shop that feels like a Breakfast at Tiffany's meets Marie Antoinette moment.
Setting foot inside Ladurée is like stepping into your childhood dream as you are greeted by a myriad of macarons, tarts, eclairs and cakes in every shade in of the rainbow, set in a stylish patisserie.
The Ladurée vibe is absolutely perfect for bridal showers, ladies who lunch, and just getting the girls together for a good ol' gab sesh. The rooms are filled with custom-made furniture, carefully collected from Parisian antique shops. The boutique has a feel-good vibe with fun, feminine and flirty touches throughout. Depending on your mood, you can choose from four different seating areas within the boutique; an airy front counter area covered in pristine white marble, a pale green garden with dainty rod iron cafe chairs, a wildly whimsical animal print dining room or a Marie Antoinette ballroom-style salon. Each space is comletely different, totally Parisian and will totally transport you to a bygone era.
We were fortunate to chat with Rebecca Yale Photography who brilliantly captured the boutique along with the darling co-president of Ladurée U.S, Elisabeth Holder, who is both an inspiring businesswoman and mom to twins. Holder's family bought a little Parisian bakery called Ladurée in 1997 and the rest is history.
"It all began in 1862, when Louis Ernest Ladurée, a miller from the southwest of France, founded a bakery in Paris at 16 rue Royale. In 1871, while Baron Haussmann was giving Paris a "new face", a fire in the bakery opened the opportunity to transform it into a pastry shop. The decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn-of-the-century painter and poster artist." - Ladurée
Words and Photography by Rebecca Yale Photography
Walking into the Soho Laduree store feels like stepping into a little slice of Paris in the heart of Downtown NYC. Having spent my junior year abroad in Paris a little piece of my heart will always belong to that city and when I'm in New York I'll often pop into Laduree and spend the afternoon with a cappuccino and a good book, pretending I'm actually in Paris. You are immediately greeted by rows upon rows of delicious pastries and macarons all beautifully displayed at the front of the store.
No detail is left undone and patrons can pick from a large selection of beautiful gift boxes- almost as lovely as the macarons themselves- and choices or beautiful silk ribbons to tie them up with. For those who want to stay for a coffee or a bite there are two indoor salons past the boutique room and a gorgeous outdoor courtyard that transports you in your mind to the Jardin du Luxembourg with the cafe tables and shade from the trees.
The indoor salons are equally stunning decorated with rich upholstery and crystal chandeliers worthy of versailles. Any girl can have a true Marie Antoinette moment indulging in an afternoon tea and cake under the tromp l'oeil ceiling.
USA Co-President of Laduree, Elizabeth Holder, showed us around the boutique and showed off some of the beautiful beaute products Laduree has launched including their signature perfumes and candles inspired by the different cities Laduree has boutiques in.
The Ladurée Venue Breakdown
With so many spaces to choose from how will you decide which one to gather in? Each space has a completely different magical feel in which you will uncover a treasure trove of eclectic details. Let’s break it down for you...
You and your guests will enter through the front cafe area, where the counter is center stage, made of sparkling white marble layered with the colorful confections of Ladurée’s mouth-watering offerings. It's flanked by a large museum-like bookcase, filled with exquisite boxes, highly sought after by gourmands all over the world. This area is the perfect spot to mingle and chat as you select your delectable treats.
The Madeleine Castaing Salon, named for the French interior designer and muse of the Napoleon III style, is whimsical, wild and eclectic. The furnishings of the salon are a combination of Napoléon III and neoclassical styles with gorgeous chandeliers hovering over the area. Guests can lounge amongst blue silks, small guéridon tables in black wood, and cozy little Napoléon III armchairs upholstered in rich midnight blue velvet. All are accented by passementerie trimmings and textiles chosen in honor of the famous Parisian shop at 21 rue Bonaparte, now occupied by Ladurée.
The Pompadour Salon inspired by Madame de Pompadour (a member of the French court and Louis XV’s mistress) is layered in lush tones of blue, green and dusty rose. This lavish setting will invites guests to lounge comfortably into banquettes and armchairs covered with bold stripes and floral textiles. The decorative accents evoke the charm and romanticism of a private home, perfect for elegant gatherings with your guests.
The Garden is covered in soft tones of a pale mint green and ideal for al fresco affairs in warm weather. You and your guests can relax under the shade of cherry blossom trees evoking a Secret Garden feel. Sip tea and taste the sweets while chatting amongst the soft chirping of birds and trickling of the fountain. Feel at peace in the middle of a bustling city while treating you and your favorite ladies and gents to the wondrous world of Ladurée’s menu.
MEET THE CORRESPONDENT