|Hoarder For Life! |
Sunglasses: Shakuhachi, Bali
Dress: Sass and Bide
Necklace: Sass and Bide
Shoes: Prisoner of St. Petersburg, Bali
Jumper: Forever 21, New York
Whilst standing in my closet yesterday pondering over what to wear I spotted an old 'Sass and Bide' dress that has not seen the light of day in at least two years. Why had I not come across it earlier? It is so perfect for right now! It is a short sleeved shift dress. The majority of the dress is in a quirky black and white swirly print with the top right hand corner and sleeve being neon, citrus satin. Ding, ding, ding! Right on! I first put it on with just my neon 'Sass and Bide - Make A Wish' necklace and my see through black boots from Bali. Overall, it was a very 'Sass and Bide' day!
When I went outside it was in fact a lot colder than I originally thought. All good, the dress looks even better when I wear layers! A black, long sleeve top and black stockings went underneath it and my black, leather, quilted vest went on top. I also tied my citrus jumper around my waist, in case I got cold later (not going to lie, I thought it looked cool). This is why I am a fashion hoarder. If I was like my friends this dress would have gone out after two months of not wearing it. Luckily I never get rid of anything. I may have an overflowing wardrobe but hey, I might have also saved my money on buying a new dress by wearing a really old one! Everything comes back around at some point!
It was KJ's birthday yesterday and as one of her many treats of the day I took her to have her first 'Laduree' macaron from their new shop in Sydney Westfield. The highly anticipated store finally opened its doors last week.
'Laduree' is a French patisserie which is now a chain. They are responsible for the macaron invasion all over the world! They were the first to make them and still claim to make the best ones in the world. Pierre Desfontaines first came up with the concept of the macaron in the beginning of the 20th Century. Joining the small, round, crispy cakes with smooth and soft ganache in the middle.
They are made daily in Switzerland and are shipped to Australia. They shouldn't be consumed until they are two days old (not to worry it would take them that long to get here) and must be eaten no more than three days after defrosting them.
The 'Laduree' shops in Europe are very prestigious however I feel that the open store in the middle of our Westfield makes it a lot less classy. Let's not even begin to talk about the line up just to get your hands on one of these little gems!
The tea salon itself is quite small. There are no more than a dozen tables and then a take-away counter. As it has just opened the lines are huge (us Aussies love a trend). We went on a Sunday afternoon and both the take-away line and the dine-in lines were over 45 minutes long! Oh well, we hoped it was worth the wait. We opted for the dine-in line because we wanted to soak up as much (or as little) of the ambiance as possible!
After waiting and waiting and watching several diners sit and play on their iPhones for over twenty minutes after finishing their food we were finally seated. The very friendly and suave waiters showed us to our seats. The seats were very plush, golden salon style chairs. They were upholstered in very pretty material. The tables were glassed topped and quite small. The china was very sophisticated. They use pink and white striped cups and white plates with a blue rim. They didn't use real serviettes though which is surprising when attempting to be sophisticated.
The menu is very pretty rimmed in gold with the 'Laduree' logo printed in gold on the front. Apart from macaroons there are a handful of pastries on the menu but that is about it. You are also able to purchase take-away chocolates and jellies but the main attraction is obviously the macaron. There are sixteen different flavours of macarons to choose from. The price is steep at four dollars each. Most people dining in were opting for four macarons for $16. It was quite difficult to choose only four flavours. The favourite seemed to be the 'salted caramel' so we ordered one of those, a 'chocolate', a 'pistachio' and a 'violet marshmallow'. Being massive 'Zumbo' fans and hearing that you will never eat another 'Zumbo' macaron after you have tasted a 'Laduree' macaron they had a lot to live up to! They were excellent. Each tasted exactly like their flavour, the shells were light and crispy and the centres had several different elements within the ganche which were creamy, thick and delicious.
To go with our macarons we had 'Darjeeling' and 'Earl Grey' teas. Surprisingly, there was no 'English Breakfast' on the menu. Despite the lovely silver teapots and the cute 'L' napkins on the handles (so that you don't burn your hand)the tea was a let down. They use tea bags (again bringing the sophistication levels down) and you can see them out of the top of the teapot! Tacky! They also charge $7.50 for a teabag and don't even offer to top up your hot water!
|Raspberry, Pistachio, Salted Caramel and Chocolate $16 for four|
Everyone around us ordered more macarons to take-away. It was six for $23 in a hard, gift box or eight for $25 in a soft box. Both of which come in a lovely 'Laduree' bag. Since we were only going to eat them ourselves we ordered eight - three salted caramel (to die for), one plain chocolate and one ghana chocolate, one pistachio, one raspberry and one strawberry marshmallow. The salted caramel obviously won us over however the texture of the strawberry marshmallow was very interesting. It had sugar on the outside and gooey marshmallow in the middle.
|Chocolate Macaron $4|
Unfortunately, despite their sophisticated attire and friendly manner the staff were a let down. They were trying hard and were extremely friendly but horrendously inefficient. Everyone around us was waiting for either their take-away macarons or the bill. It took three times for them to get our bill right. The first time it was not our bill and the second time they forgot our take-away macarons. Third time lucky! Meanwhile the people next to us, who had ordered their take-away macarons before us, still had not received them when we were leaving. The icing on the cake was that their eftpos machine was not working and we had to go to the front counter to pay.
Overall, the macarons themselves were lovely and maybe slightly (just slightly) better than 'Zumbo's'. However, Zumbo defiantly wins on creativity. Laduree's are very traditional. Despite the tasty macarons the lines, the service and the lack of any real ambiance let it down. With so many people to serve the staff were moving at snail pace both dine in and take away. It was a nice experience but definitely not worth the price. I am more than happy with my $2.50 'Zumbo' macaron and hey every time I go I can be guaranteed some new, wacky flavour! Maybe I will return to 'Laduree' for a sneaky macaron whilst shopping when the hype and crowd dies down.
|Eight Assorted Macarons in Soft Shell Box $25|
Level 3 Westfield
100 Market Street
Sydney NSW 2000