Saturday, August 31, 2019

Afternoon tea fit for a princess: Ladurée in NYC where Meghan Markle came to visit!

Ladurée, where Meghan Markle came to tea 

When royalty and tea connect, it hits our radar - and, if possible, we find a way to be a part of it! Such is the case with Ladurée , the French restaurant in the Soho section of Manhattan, where Megan Markle visited last February and had tea and macarons. 

Just our luck (!),  we had planned a trip to New York this month to visit my son, Matt, who recently moved to the Big Apple to start graduate school. 

As noted in Harper's Bazaar, Meghan came to New York earlier in the year to attend a private baby shower in her honor on the upper east side. While here, she  made it a point to stop in at Ladurée  with a good friend for tea and macarons in a private space at the French restaurant.

When we stopped in at Ladurée  two weeks ago, our waiter confirmed Meghan had. indeed, visited in February and reported she was very down-to-earth.  He pointed to the private room where she had sipped tea and sampled macarons. 

It was worth the trip on that alone! But, add a delightful afternoon tea, outstanding macarons and a little bit of French history, and, nous avons touché le jackpot!

Before our visit, I did a little research on Laduree. According to its website, it began in 1862 as a French bakery in Paris,  founded by Louis Ernest Laduree.  In time, it received a facelift and transformed into a pastry shop and café, the latter venue  becoming very popular with the Paris elite. It was Laduree's wife, Jeanne Souchard, who had the idea of mixing the styles and, per the website,  it "gave birth to one of the first tea rooms in town. The 'salon de the' had the definite advantage over the cafes:  women could gather in complete freedom."

Laduree expanded to different locations in Paris, then abroad, coming to New York in 2011 and the Soho location in 2013. That's where we (and Meghan) had tea!

I knew there was a lot to like about this place. And we haven't even talked about the menu. . . . "

Afternoon tea is served every day at Laduree from 2:00 - 5:00 PM. Unfortunately, I had not zeroed in on the time and made reservations for 1:00. Amazingly empathetic to our plight, our waiter checked with the chef, and they were très accommodating. We had the full afternoon tea service, with one substitution: a salted roll in place of a madeleine. (The roll was so light, flavorful and delicious, I was not disappointed in the least!).

The tea fare included two tea sandwiches (I had smoked salmon and comte cheese - both scrumptious!),  a luxuriously sinful chocolate éclair, two guimauves (gourmet marshmallows) and the best macarons I have ever tasted. 

A slight disclaimer here - I like macarons, but I don't typically LOVE them. I have to say, Ladurees made me a fan:  j'adore the macaroons du Laduree. I brought home a dozen to share. (je regret, il n'ya plus rien!).

And a note to those who enjoy restaurants for more than afternoon tea, Laduree has a full menu for lunch and dinner and cocktails as well. My husband, Chris, who believes "when in  Rome. .  ." ordered up a Manhattan with his lunch. 

Deux pouce est en place  for Laduree - something  delicious and special for everyone!

More stories to come on our trip to NYC! STAY TUNED TO OUR BLOG FOR MORE ON THE BIG APPLE!! (you know, Gilded Age is part of it!)  

Au revior, mes amies!!

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