Ladurée just opened a little indoor-outdoor cafe type thing in Covent Garden. Which was a very pleasant surprise, and not just because it's replaced a Cornish Pasty place (no offence to this kind of pastry, I just have more of a sweet tooth and an upwardly mobile air.), mostly because Ladurée make the world's best macaroons. And these tiny parcels of crispy then moisty joy are, in my opinion, what the angels eat.
The Covent Garden version can't possibly be as nice as the original Parisian tea room circa 1862, and it'll be interesting to see how the setting works. Pale green pastel Ladurée is usually a quieter affair than busy, tourist-filled Covent Garden piazza, and the perfect white table cloths and bone china might not go the distance outdoors with only a velvet rope to separate tea takers from the buskers and crowds ooo-ing and ahh-ing at them. But the indoors look a treat – as do the macaroons and other perfect pasties lined up perfectly under the glass of the take away counter.
Harrods' Ladurée is the perfect place for ladies-who-lunch to afternoon tea, though probably not on the same day that they're lunching. It opened in 2006, to excitement from the sweet-toothed community, and serves other things apart from afternoon tea, tiny cakes and light as air pastries, but those things are really of no consequence. The aim of this Ladurée is to experience a French tea room in London. 87/135 Brompton Road, London SW1X 7XL
Whichever Ladurée you visit the very newest macaroon flavour is the summery delicious sounding strawberry and mint: the strawberry sweetness coats your tongue – apparently this was a favourite of the Sun King – and then an icy perfume of mint rolls gradually in to add depth to this very adult treat.