One of my intentions for the new year and new decade is to be mindful and consistent in enjoying the simple pleasures of living in New York. Any city gal knows that one pays a great price (literally and figuratively) to live in America’s most cosmopolitan city. And while most of us can’t afford to go to Broadway or Lincoln Center every night, we can pause to partake in sweet treasures that are slightly more affordable.
I’ve developed a pretty good sweet tooth over the last decade…blame it on my former boyfriend who was a card-carrying choco-holic. And, I’ve always loved beautiful, girly things. So Ladurée is a perfect stop for me. New York has three of these fine Parisian pastry shops—on the Upper East Side on Madison Avenue; the European-inspired Food Hall at the iconic Plaza Hotel; and a location on West Broadway in Soho, which features a stunning garden dining area. With locations around the world, Ladurée is brimming with delights that serve as a feast for the eyes, as well as the palette.
The first shop was founded in 1862 on the Rue Royale in the City of Lights and designed as tearooms, welcoming ladies of the day, who were not allowed in cafes. The signature item is the macaron the delicate biscuit brought to France from Italy, by Queen Catherine de’ Medici. Their emergence is noted when Ladurée’s grandson Pierre Desfontaines had the idea to create a double-decker macaron, with two layers of ganache yumminess. But the macarons are just the beginning of the extraordinary desserts including croissants, tarts, eclairs and so much more.
The signature look of these shoppes is the recognizable celadon color scheme and the cherubs fashioned as pastry chefs. It is an ideal location to pause and meet a friend, take a break and do some writing, or pick up a gift for a friend (or bride and groom!). For those not living in a location with their own Ladurée, one may order online. May we all find such oases of beauty and serenity to fill 2020 with sweet moments.