History of Ladurée
The history of the Parisian tea room is intimately tied to the personal history of the Ladurée family. It all began in 1862, when Louis Ernest Ladurée, a man from the southwest of France, opened a bakery on 16 rue Royale in Paris. The same year, the first stone of the Garnier Opera House was laid, and the area surrounding Madeleine was rapidly developing into one of the capital’s most important and elegant business districts. The most prestigious names in the French luxury market had already taken up residence in this neighbourhood. In 1871, while Baron Haussmann was giving Paris a “facelift”, a fire at the bakery presented the possibility of transforming it into a pastry shop. The store’s decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous painter and poster artist at the turn of the century. Mr. Cheret sought inspiration from the painting techniques used on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and in the Garnier Opera House. By integrating them into his work, he added depth and relief to the store’s ceilings has he decorated them with iconic angels, most notably the “Pastry Angel” who would later inspire Ladurée’s graphic identity. Under the Second Empire, cafés developed and became more and more luxurious, drawing in crowds from Parisian high society. Much like the chic restaurants in the Madeleine area, these cafés became the showpieces of the capital. The beginning of this century found Paris wrapped up in a frenzy of entertainment and “going out on the town”. Parisians and international visitors alike flocked to the Universal Exposition. Women’s roles and desires were also changing. They wanted to make new acquaintances, but literary salons and literature circles were outmoded. Louis Ernest Ladurée’s wife, Jeanne Souchard, had the idea of fusing the Parisian café and the French patisserie, which led to the creation of one of the first tea rooms in town. The ”salon de thé” had one firm advantage over cafés: it represented a space where women could gather in complete freedom.
History of the Macaron
The story of the Ladurée macaron began in the middle of the 20th century with Pierre Desfontaines, who first thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling. The recipe has not changed. Ladurée’s refined atmosphere, laden with history, caught the attention of David Holder and his father Francis Holder, founder of the Holder Group. In 1993, they decided to buy theParisian institution, with the aim of promoting and expanding the famous “Maison”. In September 1997, a new Ladurée store opened at 75, avenue des Champs-Elysées. Francis and David Holder, the latter now president of Ladurée, sought to create a refined, authentic tea room on the most beautiful avenue in the world, in keeping with the image of the original tea room on rue Royale. Ladurée is a veritable hymn to the innovation of sweets and pastries. Every moment of the creation process is an intense experience, which is why, twice a year, like fashion designers, the House presents new desserts such as the Rose Religieuse, the Rose-Raspberry Saint Honoré, the Liquorice Millefeuille, and the Blackcurrant-Violet Macaron.