And the table and settings were nice and quaint. They really did try to make it seem like a little Parisian Cafe...in the middle of Dubai:
[Forgive the lighting. I had left my camera somewhere and later reclaimed it]
So, this was our setting:
We were really full so we didn't have as much stuff as we ordinarily would have.
[Laduree Dubai - Orange Blosson Macaron]
The macaron was as good as expected and although it seems ages ago, I remember it being better than any macaron I had eaten prior to it.
[Laduree Dubai - Pistachio, Chocolate and Plain Croissants]
The croissants were really yum. They were all good, but I really loved the plain croissant. It was delicious and flaky and buttery and all things good.
[Laduree Dubai - Latte]
The latte was terrible. I don't even understand why. It barely had any flavour and the colour was just murky as opposed to coffee-coloured. So disappointing!
[Laduree Dubai - Viennese Hot Chocolate]
The Enabler had this and she said it was absolutely fantastic. And I trust her because...just look at it! Mmmm chocolate...
The bill in Dubai came up to AED90+ which is pretty decent by Dubai standards. I still absolutely regret the latte though.
London was a lot more exciting though. It seemed like a much more authentic experience because the decor was so much more enthusiastic and beautiful.
We turned up at Laduree around tea time (my favourite time) so we decided to share an Afternoon Tea set for 1 and add on a pot of tea. One set is more than enough for two people, so I don't understand how it's a set for one. Who is eating this much food?!
So we went over the extensive list of teas and got very excited. We then decided to order something different from our usual English Breakfast Tea and Earl Grey (respectively) selections. I ordered the Melange Laduree Tea and she ordered the Marie Antoinette Tea.
Both the teas were essentially black teas, so they look the same, but here's a picture of one of them.
[Melange Laduree Tea]
The Melange Laduree Tea is one of their special blends with a combination of black teas from Sri Lanka and China, along with rose petals and aromatics such as orange, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, bergamot and blackcurrant. It was a very lovely and light, yet full bodied, black tea which was absolutely delicious. So delicious that we ended up buying the tea later on.
The Marie Antoinette tea is a combination of black teas from India, Sri Lanka and China with small pieces of fruit, rose petals and aromatics such as grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, tangerine, lime and honey. It, too, was absolutely wonderful. It was floral in the perfect sense...not like full on fruit tea which is quite appalling...but rather subtle and containing depth of flavour.
I drank the Melange Laduree with milk and it opened up the fruit flavours quite a bit leaving the tea one of the most satisfying things to sip on, while she had the Marie Antoinette with honey. It was quite amazing because the honey sort of bound itself to the undertones which were already in the tea and was just open and floral in flavour. It was also delicious enough for us to end up buying the tea later on.
We weren't informed of this, but they charge £2 for it. But the Enabler says that the honey was well worth it because it was flowery and quite nice. I'm also guessing the floral notes complemented the tea very well.
Then came the tea set:
[Afternoon Tea for One (£27.50)]
The tea set comes with one pot of tea, two finger sandwiches, two croissant, two pastries and two macarons. I am genuinely baffled as to how this is meant to feed only one person. It is so wrong! Also, I know the bottom layer looks inexcusably, almost sickeningly, sweet, but the desserts are perfectly sweetened without being cloying.
It is also interestingly untraditional in the layering because it tends to go bottom up with savouries right at the bottom, but I suppose you really can't fit those two giant pastries right on top so it's all good. Since I'm short, it also allowed me to take nicer pictures of the croissants and desserts.
[Afternoon Tea - Tier 1: Ham and Cheese Sandwiches]
The above contains literally one ham finger sandwich and one cheese finger sandwich. I couldn't get a picture of the cheese sandwich because she had already bitten into it...vegetarians!
I know it looks plain, but let me explain. Between the packaging and quality, I have no regrets. It was prettily wrapped in wax paper which can be unfurled to reveal a thick slice of ham between two very soft pieces of bread. There was definitely no compromise on the quality of the bread or meat.
[Afternoon Tea - Tier 2: Croissants]
We had originally asked for one plain and one chocolate croissant, but they were out of chocolate croissants, so we both asked for plain ones. They had other options like almond croissants, but you really can't compete with a plain, buttery croissant.
And we were not disappointed. The croissants were absolutely delectable. They were flaky and buttery and slightly spongy in the middle. Omg. I love them!
The third tier had two pastries and two macarons, so we'll look at them individually. No picture did the lot of them justice.
[Afternoon Tea - Tier 3: Rose Macaron]
[Afternoon Tea - Tier 3: Orange Blossom Macaron]
Now, strangely enough, my passion for macarons tends to run towards the fruity flavours like passionfruit, lemon, etc. so I decided to try something new and I have no regrets. These have to be the best macarons I have had in my life. I can only imagine how good the macarons in France are!
The rose macaron wasn't too overpowering. It didn't taste like a flavoured macaron, but rather subtle enough to be rose-tinged and not too sweet. The orange blossom macaron was slightly tangy and had an amazing flavour to it. When you add that to the perfectly flaky, light meringue shell...you get heaven. True heaven. If you're ever in the vicinity, go try it...especially the orange blossom macaron. So yum!
[Afternoon Tea - Tier 3: Tarte Passion Framboise]
This was delicious! The raspberries were slightly tangy which complimented the tart passion fruit filling and the perfectly flaky shell. I know it looks like it would be far too sweet to consume the whole thing, but the two of us managed to polish off at least half of it which is saying a lot from our track record. It was truly an amazing tart. I'm usually not a fan of raspberries, but I actively ate this, which speaks for itself.
[Afternoon Tea - Tier 3: Ispaham]
This was a rose meringue with cream, lychees and raspberries. It sounds every bit as awesome as it was. Seriously. Laduree has perfected in art of perfectly sweetened meringue. I love it! I cannot describe how awesome this was. My initial plan was to eat the macarons and be satisfied, but one taste of the lychees and cream and I was hooked...subsequently digging into both the desserts! What made this so perfect was the blend of sweetness with the tart raspberries and lychees. I might be in love. I'm not sure yet.
Because we thought we were getting a chocolate croissant, we didn't order a chocolate-based dessert, which is a shame. And it was regretted when we saw the platter, but after we tasted everything we were beyond happy. This was definitely a blessing in disguise. I'm addicted.
Was it worth it? Without a doubt. I'd definitely say that the macarons in London are much better than those in Dubai, so if you have a choice, skip Laduree, Dubai. They've also opened up in Singapore, but I'm reasonably sure it's going to be a vast disappointment.
The tea in Laduree runs at a pretty decent price. One pot will cost you £3.60, and they serve some truly excellent tea so if nothing else, go for tea and a macaron which will keep the tab below £10, but will be an amount well spent!
Laduree Dubai (Dubai Mall):
French Spirit Coffee Shop
Laduree London (Harrods):
87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X 0NA, London