I’ve been to Harrods several times but not once visited their Ladurée store. While doing some shopping in Knightsbrige a couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to right this wrong (plus it was a great way to escape from the rain!).
Originally we’d planned to order ourselves some tea and macarons but when we saw they had a full afternoon tea on offer the temptation was too strong to resist.
The afternoon tea is available from 12pm to 6pm, and at £27.50 per person it is quite resonably priced. The Ladurée afternoon tea varies slightly from tradition in that croissants are offered instead of scones.
Each person can select two finger sandwiches, two croissants, two pastries and two macarons, as well as coffee, tea or a hot chocolate. I decided to go with a hot chocolate and it was super thick and rich, kind of like drinking melted chocolate after a mug. Normally I wouldn’t complain about such a thing but after a while it got a bit too much even for me. I think sticking with a traditional tea would have been a better option.
There are four types of sandwiches to choose from - smoked salmon, ham, cheese and vegetable. I went with two cheese sandwiches as the other fillings didn’t appeal to me. The sandwiches are served individually wrapped and were tasty although the bread was a little dry on the ends.
Croissants are also offered in four varieties - a traditional mini croissant, walnut croissant, chocolate croissant and sugar brioche. Not wanting to fill up before the pastries, I only ate my mini croissant at the restaurant and saved the chocolate croissant to take home and enjoy later. Both croissants were excellent, as you would expect from a French cafe.
Our pastries were raspberry tarte and chocolate (Tarte Passion Framboise) cake with hazelnuts, praline and milk chocolate (Plaisir Sucré). We both enjoyed the tarte immensely and we were impressed with how fresh the raspberries were. I loved the crunchy base of the chocolate cake but we were getting quite full at this and I couldn’t manage to finish all of mine.
My two macarons of choice were salted caramel and strawberry marshmallow. The salted caramel is definitely my favourite Ladurée macaron ever but really you can’t go wrong with any of them.
The cafe has its own entrance facing the street, which people use as a gateway into Harrods so it is often very busy with people walking through. I feel that this has a somewhat negative impact on the atmosphere inside Ladurée. The tables are positioned close together so its not very private. Luckily there was a nice American couple on the table next to us who we chatted to for a little bit so it wasn’t an issue.
Unfortunately we found the service to be a little disappointing. Our waitress seemed to be in a bit of a bad mood and never managed a smile the whole time we were there. They were rather prompt at bringing the food out to begin with but we did have to wait a while for the plates to be cleared at the end.
I love Ladurée and their macarons will always have me coming back. We did enjoy our afternoon tea but in future I would probably stick with just the pastries and macarons as they are the real stars of the show.
Have you tried the afternoon tea at Ladurée? What did you think?