The Parisian folk are well known for their chic sense of style, their world famous pastries and their iconic cityscape, but here in Dublin, we too have been lucky enough to be afforded a small taste of Parisian lifestyle since Ladurée, the world renowned tea rooms opened its Dublin doors in 2016. The Ladurée story began in 1862 when Louis Ernest Ladurée opened a bakery in Paris at 16 rue Royale. His wife, Jeanne Souchard was a forward thinking woman, and proposed that they offer their customers something more, and so Ladurée Café and Pastry Shop was born, one of the first tea rooms in the city. The ‘salon de thé’ had arrived and was an immediate success. Fast forward 154 years and Dubliners were lucky enough to be afforded their very own Salon de Thé on Dublin’s South William Street.
Famous for their Macarons, it is no doubt that it was these bite sized, pastel hued sweet treats that brought Ladurée the acclaim it receives today, but I had been reliably informed that Ladurée had so much more to offer, and so I set out to find out for myself what all the fuss was about.
It was a decidedly grey afternoon in Dublin when I finally made the trip to Ladurée and immediately upon arriving my spirits were lifted. The impressive display of handmade Macarons is a sight to behold with all the colours (and flavours) of the rainbow well represented. After being escorted to my table and presented with a menu, I found myself somewhat in a quandary trying to decide what to choose. Brunch at Ladurée is remarkable value at €15.50 per person, which includes the flakiest chocolate croissant (or plain if you prefer, although why you would I don’t know), Eggs Benedict or Pain Perdu (French Toast), a glass of Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice, and a hot drink of your choice. I had been advised to try the Eggs Benedict, a brunch classic that is offered with the classic Bacon, or with Salmon and decided to stick with that, after all, I needed an excuse to come back and try some of the other dishes on the menu. The Eggs Benedict were perhaps the best I have ever tasted, with two perfectly poached eggs, and bacon (or salmon) on top of the most buttery, thick slice of classic French Brioche. A silver just came on the side with enough hollandaise to drown your eggs should you wish to. The hollandaise was so good I could have drank it straight, but given the very chic surroundings, I managed to refrain myself. To wash it all down, I chose a black coffee, despite the fact that I really wanted what I am told is the best hot chocolate in town. In the end, I was happy with my choices as the Eggs Benedict was so rich and filling that the Hot Chocolate may not have paired well.
Ladurée also have a delightful afternoon tea menu that I am determined to try that is offered with (or without) a glass of Prosecco. There is a short but sufficient wine list and a wide selection of Ice Creams, Crêpes, Cold Drinks and of course Hot Drinks befitting a Salon de Thé of this grandeur. And then there are the famous Macarons. My advice, try a few for research but make sure you include the Rose flavour, you won’t regret it.
REVIEW BY CIARA MCQUILLAN