The Laduree Paris Macaron Experience

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Macarons anyone? In my second instalment of Paris food adventures, I bring you Paris’ famous macaron house Laduree, located right in the heart of the Avenue de Champs Elysee. After some not so extensive Googling, I came across Laduree’s incredible website and decided to add it to my list of stops.  Step through the elegant green and gold doors and you’ll find yourself in a dimly lit room with an amazing ambiance and, as you would expect the smells inside were divine. The left side of the shop is dedicated to selecting macarons and pastries. The right side, a cosy restaurant with luxurious patterned wallpaper and lamp lit tables.

Laduree Macarons Paris

The décor both inside and outside was superb. The interior was full of lush green carpets and pretty tiles. Soft lighting and delicate lighting fixtures hanging from the walls and ceilings really compliment the produce on display which was the undoubted star of the show. My trip was during the end of January so the windows were all geared towards Valentine’s Day. Nina Ricci had collaborated with the company to design a pink and gold covered strawberry macaron. These were on display in the shop window and for sale inside at the counter. The packaging for this was beautiful red Nina Ricci heart box or rounded box, which ever you preferred, costing €55 upwards. Definitely a present for someone who appreciates their macarons!

Nina Ricci Laduree Window

Nina Ricci Laduree Paris Window Valentine's Day

After randomly stumbling upon Piere Herme another famous macaron house in Paris, I was glad I waited for Laduree. While the produce in Piere Herme looked lovely, Laduree was an unforgettable experience. The customer service was excellent. The Laduree staff members were extremely friendly, helpful and professional. Not having a clue which macarons I wanted to try, my server described a selection of his favourites and the more random flavours like orange blossom, “like something my grandmother would make me eat at her house.” I forgot to make a note of the 6 flavours I ordered, I know raspberry, chocolate and even the orange blossom were in the mix somewhere. They taste as good as they look!

Laduree Macarons Paris

Laduree Macarons Paris

Price wise, it cost €15.80 for 6 mini macarons. Crazy as some might think that is, the customer service was incredible and the product even more so. The packaging was amazing and you got to choose from three different boxes. I went for the traditional green but there were other options available.

Laduree Macarons Paris

Laduree is a must for any foodies out there or lovers of luxury macarons! Let me know if you have been or plan to go to Laduree.

Click here to see my post on Dinner at Le Schmuck Paris.

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Dinner at Le Schmuck Paris

Photo courtesy of Stouring.fr

Leaving the lights and glamour of Paris behind is never an easy task! Neither is settling back into the routine of college and work again. After a mini break with my friend to the romantic city of lights, I thought I would share my recent French cuisine experiences with you.  No better way to kick it off than with Le Schmuck. A super chic and relaxed restaurant tucked away in the 6th arrondissement, Le Schmuck offers a cool and desirable dining experience in the heart of Saint Germain.

leschmuck

I was here during late lunch time about 2 o’clock. There was one waiter serving the whole floor and two gentlemen who later sat outside with their cigarettes and coffees, how very French! Service was a bit slow to start. It was close to 10 minutes before we got a menu. That said it was busy and from there on in the service was very attentive. Our waiter was very friendly and looked more like a Dior model than a waiter. The atmosphere is very relaxed and chilled in Le Schmuck. You can expect to hear a mix of mellow, laidback tunes with a bit of Kanye West’s slower less aggressive numbers.

For main course myself and my friend both ordered burgers, cooked to order. Both came with skinny French fries and a lightly dressed garden salad. I had originally ordered a chicken and chorizo dish to try something different but they were all sold out.  A warning for those of you who freak if they see ‘red’ in their meat, I  ordered my burger “medium” which, if I’m honest was a little bit too raw for me but it was still juicy and tasty minus the slightly red colour when I cut into it. The burger itself was garnished with cheese, lettuce and a mayonnaise sauce and tasted divine.

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Onto the piece de resistance, dessert! Homemade French toast (made with thick, fluffy brioche) with salted caramel and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  This was heaven on a plate and the main reason I took a trip out to Saint Germain. I saw this dish on a blog I follow ages ago last year and since then I was hell bent on tasting it. It was definitely worth the wait.The caramel was  incredible and worked so well with the french toast. Two foods I would never have thought to put together…De-licious!

French Toast at Le Schmuck

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 I also ordered a raspberry, passion fruit and orange juice mocktail which was sweet and sugary. The restaurant also doubles as a cocktail bar with an extensive cocktail menu, which would be perfect for a girly night out or as a general night out.

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Price wise, I thought  Le Schmuck was reasonable. This all depends on your budget and expectations. Personally I wasn’t shocked that it cost €19 for a burger. I had read reviews online complaining about the pice but location, service and the quality of the food considered I thought these were a bit harsh. If money is an issue I would advise just ordering a delicious dessert instead.

Le Schmuck

Shabby-Vintage-Chic comes to mind when I think of the décor. The restaurant and toilets have printed wallpaper full of birds, stripes, and trees. There are also rugs or tapestries hanging randomly along the walls along with mirrors and framed pictures. There are numerous sofas and floral printed chairs that you might find in your Granny’s house, added to this the chandeliers hanging from a faux vine ceiling it sounds higgledepigglty but it all merges seamlessly.

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Overall I was thoroughly pleased with Le Schmuck and it more than met my expectations. A brilliant fine dining experience and a must try for anyone who wants to splurge on good food in Paris.I will definitely be back! For more details visit http://www.schmuckrestaurant.com/

Let me know if you have ever eaten in Le Schmuck and if you enjoyed your experience there,  good or bad.

Expectation v Reality: Unrealistic Expectations Thanks to TV

If you haven’t watched The Hills, MTV Cribs, Keeping Up with the Kardashians or even Geordie Shore and The Only Way is Essex, without pining after designer shoes, ginormous luxury houses or an all expenses paid night out, I commend you!  Shopping all day with limitless funds or a luxury mansion that sleeps twenty four people and securely houses their cars is a completely unrealistic expectation of what adulthood holds in store.
Here are some of the (unrealistic) expectations that television have given us over the years…

Medical Staff

Medical Expectation Mc Steamy Mc Dreamy and Kate Beckinsale Nurse
Expectation: McSteamy, McDreamy, Kate Beckinsale (Pearl Harbour)
Reality: 99% of the time our local doctors and nurses are regular guys and girls like ourselves. Medical personnel are undoubtedly  sexualised on television. The reality can more often than not be older, greyer and fully clothed professionals.

Body

Victoria Secrets Models and Bradley Cooper

Expectation: Victoria Secrets Models, Bradley Cooper
Reality: Trying to achieve and maintain a body as fierce as those mentioned above is extremely unrealistic. Sadly for us, the media dictates that looking like a Victoria Secrets Angel is completely normal and achievable.

Houses/Apartments

LuxuryHouses
 Expectation: MTV Cribs style 10,000 square foot home with 20 bed and bathrooms, luxury penthouse in central New York/ LA.
 Reality: No one lives like this unless you are OBSCEENLY wealthy! The cast and crew of The Hills have admitted that MTV purchased their luxury apartments and condos for the purpose of filming the show. Comfy cushions, some scented candles and pictures can make any dingy house feel like your dream home, you just may have to use your bath as your indoor swimming pool.

 Jobs

DreamJob Expectation
Expectation: Running into Anna Wintour (Editor in Chief of Vogue) at the Supermarket, becoming the next football or singing sensation.
Reality: If you have ever met Anna Wintour in the supermarket and bagged a job at Vogue I am extremely jealous! Chances are you will have to work your way through the ranks to achieve the success that Anna Wintour has.  No one gets handed their dream job in fashion, production, communications, without having to work hard for it. No footballer is put on the pitch without hard training sessions and 100% dedication to top fitness. Singing shows like the Xfactor have given younger viewers the impression that this is a quick route to fame, whether you can sing or not. Don’t give up on your dream job just remember we’re not all Whitney Port and Lauren Conrad!

Food

Food Expectation

Expectation: Masterchef or Michelin Star style presentation
Reality: While I try my best to replicate the basic dishes on Masterchef like chocolate gnash cake or roast chicken, my recreations never live up to the professional creations. That said this is something to aspire to… I’ll have to keep trying!
What unrealistic expectations has television and the wider media given you?

Wait a Minute… or Two

Did you know, on average a person will spend 40-60 minutes a day waiting?

Whether you’re waiting for a bus, for your turn at the doctors or waiting for a mate like this guy,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by3XPyiv7yo , there is nothing  worse than trying to kill time! After a recent two and a half hour wait, I decided to compile a list of boredom killers and essentials to carry in your handbag, that might help ease the wait.

1.Mobile Phone

The obvious option to pass the time is to whip out your mobile phone. The majority of smartphones are filled with fun time-busting apps. Pinterest, 4Pics 1 Word, True or False, Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Vine, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc. are sure to keep you entertained.

Apps

2. MP3/iPod

The next best option to your smartphone device is an MP3 or iPod.  A good FM radio station or your favourite playlists and albums will see you through until you’re finished queuing or waiting.

FM Radio and iPods

3.Pen and Notepad

If you have no internet connection or your device is not fully charged make sure you have a pen and notebook on hand.  You can draw, jot down ideas, make lists of items you need or products you’re thinking of buying. I always find that when I am on my own for an extended period of time, it can jog my memory and enhance my imagination.

Pen and Notebook

4.Food

Waiting can leave you hungry. Always carry around an energy bar or chocolate bar in your bag or pocket. Be careful though, chocolate will melt in your pocket! A bottle of water is also a handy essential.

Food

5. A Book

Be it on a kindle, a magazine, a newspaper or an actual book, reading is a great time consumer. If you’re stuck for something to read I would highly recommend browsing through www.goodreads.com . You can browse synopses of almost every book available and read non-spoiler reviews. Alternatively you can have a look at some of my reads on the widget to your right or…. Browse your favourite book blogs on wordpress.com.

Books Magazine Kindle Newspapers

6.Money

If you have no book, no water, no food, money can always get you out of a fix. You can run into your local newsagents, café or shop, grab a coffee, snack or magazine to tide you over.

Money euro pound yen dollar

7.Go For a Walk

If you are waiting while someone else carries out another task or waiting for their appointment to finish, why not go for a walk around the area.  Even if you know the area well a fifteen minute walk will get your blood flowing and burn a few calories. You never know who you could meet or what you could see along the way!

Group WalkingHappy waiting everyone.