Who can resist the delicious charms of Laduree macaroons? Certainly not me! It's pure girly heaven in their shop, a tiny rococo gilded grotto at the Piccadilly end of Burlington Arcade. There you can gaze upon the prettiest macaroons known to woman, laid out in serried ranks, in the most gorgeous colours and flavours imaginable: bright yellow lemon, pink raspberry, dark chocolate, violet violet and matt black liquorice. And turquoise! They are crisp on the outside, smooth and soft on the inside, and each season Laduree pays "hommage" to its most famous creation by bringing out a new flavour - rather like a French fashion house (which I suppose is what Laduree is, in some ways).
I was delighted to find a recipe for Laduree-style macaroons in the wonderful Ottolenghi cookbook and intend to try and make them at the earliest opportunity. After my success with soft amaretti biscuits (also from the Ottolenghi book), I am inspired. They can't be that difficult, can they?
In the meantime, I visit the shop whenever I am in that neck of the woods. You can even stop for tea there, if you are lucky to bag one of the three tables outside the shop (they also serve lovely patisserie and chocolates), where you can watch the moneyed world and Japanese tourists pass by on their progress along Burlington Arcade. It's a truly delightful little enclave. And now you can bring a little of that je ne sais quoi scent of Laduree into your home in the shape of their home fragrance and candles.
And the best part is that I found mini macaroons, not unlike Laduree's, in the freezer cabinet of my local Waitrose!