The latest London outpost of the iconic Paris pâtisserie and tea salon, Ladurée Covent Garden occupies an enviable position on the edge of the piazza. The space may be small, but it manages to include a chic terrace, upstairs tea salons with outdoor balcony seating, a marble-covered pâtisserie counter and petite boutique.
The reason I’ve hesitated to report back on our visit for tea and cake is that what should have been a delightful experience was marred by very offhand service from a member of staff, made even more unreasonable as the salon was literally empty.
However, since then, I’ve visited the branch many times to pick up a few macarons as an end-of-week treat and have had the pleasure of interactions with some incredibly polite, charming and helpful staff.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working my way through the macaron selections and my favourite new discoveries have been Salted Caramel and Violet Blackcurrant.
We ordered pots of thé violette and thé rose, which came served in large silver teapots with monogrammed paper handle covers and Ladurée’s exquisite signature pastel-coloured, gilt-edged china.
Coralie ordered a Raspberry Rose Saint-Honoré – an impressive dessert including a choux pastry base filled with rose-flavoured crème patisserie and rose icing with mini iced choux buns, whipped creme Chantilly and fresh raspberries.
My usual favourite is a Rose Religieuse, but this time I tried the chocolate flavour – a double choux pastry dessert filled with chocolate crème patisserie and covered in dark chocolate icing. Both were deliciously fresh and typically perfect – an indulgent Ladurée delight.
The two tea salons are small and cute, in a colour palette of Ladurée’s signature colours, with illustrations of birds and trees on the walls and comfy red velvet seating. The outside terrace and upstair balcony are perfect in the summer for people watching and basking in the sun over a macaron ice cream coupe.
Ladurée may not have the exquisite, palatial interiors of the Champs-Elysées salon or the gloss of the Harrods store, but it’s perfect for a relaxing break in Covent Garden, or a hard-to-resist macaron-fix.