Ladurée in Geneva
Geneva is such a fashion-forward and international city that nearly everything is in walking distance. Staying at the Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneva, in less than ten minutes walking distance, I could easily access Rolex headquarters, the Patek Philippe museum, a Pathé cinema, and shopping boutiques from Hermes to Hervé Léger. On one morning stroll across the lovely pedestrian bridges crossing Lake Geneva, I happened upon the world famous Ladurée shop.
It makes perfect sense that Geneva, the French capital of Switzerland would have a 19th century-decorated outpost, in the style of the Paris original (founded in 1862) that put macaroons back on the map. The small boutique has the macaroons shipped fresh several times a week from the Monaco Ladurée laboratory. Having tried numerous examples of New York's macaroon forays, I was excited to finally try the real thing. These small round crisp cakes, filled with a soft creme center were available in a myriad of delicate flavors, including mimose, figure datte, black currant violet, rose petals and lily of the valley.
Ladurée macaroons put much more emphasis on the filling than our American versions, marking each confection with a very healthy dose of creme. I found that the more scented flavors were a bit off-putting, reminding me more of tasting perfume and soap. Their more traditional chocolate and fruit-flavored macaroons, including some of their most popular varieties, caramel, bitter dark chocolate, and lemon, however, were a whole different story. Bursting in rich flavors and filling your mouth with an array of salty and sweet, these fragile desserts are unlike anything you can get stateside.
If you ever stumble upon any of numerous Maisons Ladurée, currently in Europe and Japan, be sure to try an assortment of flavors. A ribbon-tied gift box full of six fresh macaroons costs 20 Swiss francs and keeps for four-five days.
7, Cours de Rive - 1204 GENEVA
Tel : +41/ 22 310 44 04
My visit to Geneva was sponsored by the Swiss Development Group, but the opinions expressed in the article are 100% my own.