I headed over to the swanky 8th arrondissement and the Champs Elysees with one thing in mind. No, it wasn't to get a Louis Vutton bag, a Cartier watch, Chanel suit or Dior dress. There are several sites in the area, like the Arch of Triumph and the massive Avenue Champs Elysees, but it is most popular with the fashionistas of the world because of the many haute couture boutiques in the area. Long lines to get into Louis Vutton are normal as are women walking out of the boutiques with their hands full of shopping bags. Many times their car and driver are waiting for them curbside. Since I'm more of a pastry-nista, my Cartier of the Champs Elysees is La Duree. La Duree is a salon de the and has been around since 1862. It started as a bakery, became a patisserie, then a tea salon for the wives of the Paris elite who wanted to socialize while their husbands were at work.
Out of all the tea salons in Paris, La Duree is the one I like best. I love the ornateness of the salon, with the green paneling, green velour chairs and gold accents. I sit down and feel like I've been transported to another time and am a woman of leisure with nothing else to do but have afternoon tea and desserts. All I need now is my corsetted petticoat dress, gloves, and parasol. They use the same decoration in their boxes, packaging each box of macarons in the green or purple box and wrapping it up as if they were jewels from Tiffany's.
La Duree is most famous for its macaron, the meringue and almond flour cookie with creamy fillings. I've sampled many of their pastries, many times getting them at the to-go counter. When I actually sit down and order, as I did today, I almost always get Les Mini Macarons Glaces, which isn't available at the to-go counter. This is a dish of ice cream with 4 mini macarons. You choose the flavor of the ice cream and the 4 mini macarons from a selction of 8. The mini macarons have the ice cream filling that corresponds to the flavors you've chosen. I ordered chocolate ice cream and macarons of vanilla, pistachio, raspberry and coffee. All I can say is YUMMY. Sweet macaron cookies surrounding creamy ice cream centers---now that's an ice cream sandwich. The raspberry flavored macaron has raspberry sorbet in it, which is very refreshing, and I always save that one for last.
La Duree also serves lunch daily and they have a formula menu, so you can get an entree, main dish and dessert for not too bad of a price. They have brunch on Saturday, Sundays and holidays. You can check out their menu here. I would say sitting down to tea and a La Duree dessert is a must-do while in Paris, along with sampling their famous macarons.