Iconic French bakery Ladurée first opened its doors in 1862 and, some 100 years later, invented the pillowy, two-bite meringue pastries known as macarons. Recently, macarons have been dubbed heirs to the cupcake craze, and Ladurée has gone global. When Ladurée first opened in New York’s Upper East Side, people reportedly lined up for hours for a bite of those perfect little macarons. Fortunately for us in Seoul, that’s not an issue we have—yet. Korea’s first Ladurée shop arrived on December 7 at Shinsegae Department Store, even before Singapore’s, which opens next year. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your macaron experience at Ladurée Seoul.
1. Take the subway.
It’s best to take the subway to Ladurée because the major streets around the Shinsegae next to the Express Bus Terminal are chronically congested with traffic. The basement level of Shinsegae is directly connected to the metro so you won’t even have to leave the building. Get off at Express Bus Terminal station (line 3) and follow the signs to Shinsegae.
2. There are two Ladurée shops at Shinsegae.
Many shoppers mistake the sizable Ladurée kiosk at the main entrance of Shinsegae as the actual Ladurée store but that’s just “Ladurée Express.” While it’s conveniently located for a quick grab and bite, the actual shop is nestled among the Jo Malone, Hermès and Cartier stores on the second floor of the new annex building aka “shin-gwan”(신관). It’s one escalator ride up and about three minutes of meandering through luxury shops. Here, you can shop for candles and little accessories in addition to macarons.
3. Take photos before you go in.
Photos are not allowed within the shop premises (and in most retail spaces within Shinsegae in general), but who can resist capturing these sweet little indulgences? Snap a few inconspicuous shots of the exquisite window displays from outside before going into the store.
4. Determine if these are gifts for others or for yourself.
All macarons are 3,500 won a piece. Starting with eight macarons, they will box them up for you in a long, somewhat flimsy box. If you’re purchasing these as a gift, opt for the gift box wrapping. The box adds an additional 6,000 won to your order, but it’s dressed to impress and wrapped with a bow (27,000 won).
5. Order in Korean (or point).
While the macaron menu is written both in French and Korean, we found that the employees are only familiar with the Korean names. An order for the Cassis Violette (Blackcurrent Violet) was confused with L’Incroyable Guimauve Violette (Violet “Guimauve”), because the former doesn’t have the word “violette” in its Korean translation. To be safe, order in Korean if you can, or point at the actual macaron or the photo menu at the counter.
Written by Yaeri Song and Sonja Swanson. Photos by Jiyon Ha and Yaeri Song