A PIECE OF PARIS IN MANILA
I love macarons, and for some reason I always associate it with Audrey Hepburn, Paris, poodles, and extra calories needed to be burned at the gym after. Laduree has been under my radar and I have to admit, it was mostly cos of it’s beautiful french interiors, which btw guys did not disappoint at all. Just look at how dreamy these chandeliers, sky painted ceiling, and dainty boxes are :)
I had major plans to get eight macarons in a limited edition Kerrie Hess (my fave LV / Cartier painter) box, but it was too small to really appreciate her artwork so I got the pink silver box instead. It cost PHP1200 (26USD) — yep, it’s really expensive you’d think these are miracle macarons that will not let you gain weight — well actually these are gluten free so thats a plus!
MACARONS, CHOCOLATES, TRINKETS…
AND EVERYTHING NICE?
It’s PHP150 per macaron (I got 6) plus an extra PHP300 for the box, which is now sitting pretty on my vanity table. The macarons are in great quality although the flavors are softer compared to my other favorite macarons from Bizu and Santis — this could be a good thing for you depending on your preference. My top three flavors are (#1) Salted Caramel (#2) Chocolate (#3) Chestnut — I feel most chocolate lovers would enjoy these. The other three I got are Marie Antoinette, Pistachio, and Coffee.
They had other products I planned to try on my next visits — chocolates, ice cream, tea. And some more things you can take home as souvenirs to remind you of their fairy-tale-like store — books, candles, room perfumes, insulated bags (I really wanted to get one but it was sold out), and their famous macaron keychains. All of which as overly priced as their macarons.
One important note; they don’t have tables where you could dine in. Every order is a take out and the macarons can withstand not being refrigerated for more or less and hour.
IS IT WORTH IT?
When it comes to luxury brands like Laduree where the prices are very expensive, you’re not just paying for the product — you’re paying for the entire dining experience. This includes how the brand image, ambiance, packaging etc… make you feel — Laduree was pretty spot on with these. Their macarons were good, although if you’re not really into the whole image / experience thing you could get a macaron that tastes as good from other less expensive stores.
The main thing that put me off was the service. The Laduree sales lady never smiled, greeted (I was the only customer), nor showed any friendly accommodation as she answered my questions. She appeared like she just woke up from her afternoon nap and was pissed that i touched the keychain display I wanted to purchase. As soon as i took a step back from it, she frowned and immediately fixed the keychain box (that wasn’t really messed up to begin with).
I love splurging on luxurious things but my first Laduree visit didn’t live up to my expectation. However, the place is absolutely stunning, every girl is going to enjoy it. Is it worth going to? — yup, try a macaron or two, then decide if you’d like to dig in more. Is it worth the money? — from this experience not so much. Although I wouldn’t cross Laduree off my list forever, who knows their chocolates could be surprisingly amazing, and maybe on my next visit they’d improve on their service.