A year after the flagship Ladurée boutique along Paris’s famed Champs-Elysées went up in smoke, the luxury tea house has reopened for business.
It took a year to restore the café to its original glory after a fire broke out and engulfed the cafe, which has been a landmark since 1997.
To serve the throngs of tourists and local Parisian fans alike, a pop-up store was erected alongside the gutted boutique in the meantime.
The renovation of the boutique, meanwhile, was an exercise in patience as everything from the carpets to banquettes, chairs, mirrors and banisters were restored to their original state in painstaking, meticulous detail by the same artists who helped build the first store.
The only new addition is an extension of the main boutique at 13 rue Lincoln, which will serve as Bar Ladurée for those who may not have the luxury of time but are still looking for a quick, sweet hit.
The world owes Ladurée for the invention of the macaron, which sandwiches a ganache filling between two airy, meringue-like cookies, usually presented in a rainbow of pastel colors and flavors.
It’s not the first time the 150-year-old company has suffered the ravages of a fire. In 1871, the bakery was destroyed by flames –- a tragedy that led to its conversion as a cake and pastry shop.
In Paris, macaron fans are divided in loyalties between Ladurée and famous pastry chef Pierre Hermé, who is known for creating inventive, unexpected flavors.