What could be more quintessentially English than afternoon tea? A great location helps, and they don’t come much more iconic than London’s Covent Garden. Add a little French je ne sais quoi and one is looking at a rather delicious package.
Covent Garden was buzzing with life before it became such a tourist hub. The central square is often called “Covent Garden Piazza” and was designed in 1630. A produce market started, and 200 years later the present market hall was built. These days Covent Garden is popular with street performers, and visitors looking for antiques and London souvenirs.
Prime location in Covent Garden
The story of the famous Parisian tea is part of the Ladurée family legacy. It started 1862, when Louis Ernest Ladurée created a bakery in Paris. Now, Ladurée has a prime location in Covent Garden at 1 The Market. The ground floor terrace has a spectacular view of the area’s magnificent architecture as well as those who have come to enjoy this picturesque and historic neighbourhood – people-watching is, after all, an international pastime.
Ladurée has a chic patisserie on the ground floor of its property. It tempts with ranks of their celebrated macarons as well as other beautifully presented pastries; patrons wait to have gift boxes filled with sweet delights. But those who are looking for a treat for themselves will head upstairs for afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea in England has a formula. Ideally there should be a three-tier stand with finger sandwiches on the bottom plate, and scones and in this case, macarons, in the centre. The crowning glory is usually the array of cakes and pastries on top, and Ladurée do it well.
Refined tradition of afternoon tea
Rose Religieuse Generous is a regal fancy of delicate rose custard cream and raspberry. Its pastel pink exterior is appealing to those ladies who enjoy the refined tradition of afternoon tea. Plaisir Sucré is made with chocolate lovers in mind. Dacquoise Cake with hazelnuts, praline and milk chocolate, topped with milk chocolate whipped cream, will gladden the heart of gentlemen who accompany those aforementioned girls. Both will appreciate the Mélange Ladurée tea, which is a delicious partner to both sandwiches and sweet treats.
The Ladurée tearoom is somewhat hidden up an anonymous flight of stairs, but it’s well worth seeking out. It’s a small and intimate space but the decor just speaks of gentler times, an extravagant cake and a nice cup of tea.
Ladurée Covent Garden
1 The Market
London WC2E 8RA