Visitors to the Visitors to Versailles exhibition shop at The Met can discover a wide assortment of jewelry, scarves, home decor, and other gifts inspired by 18th-century France. More surprisingly, they can also shop macarons and other superb delicacies that look to the ancien régime for inspiration, all from the iconic French maison Ladurée. We chatted briefly with owner Elisabeth Holder Raberin to find out why the chic patisserie and tea room is the ideal match for this exhibition.
Even though Ladurée was founded in 1862, it fits right in with the ancien régime splendors of Versailles. What makes this partnership feel so right?
The French lifestyle, the decor—it’s our Ladurée DNA. Also the incredible movie, Marie Antoinette by Sofia Coppola, where Ladurée was a partner. So, of course Ladurée will forever be linked with Versailles.
Is there any one element associated with Versailles—a building, a painting, a piece of furniture, a sculpture, or even a garden—that inspires your vision for Ladurée today?
Le Petit Trianon, because it is so Marie Antoinette and feminine. She had her garden, flowers, milk, fresh produce: the ingredients for Ladurée quality today.
How does Ladurée dream up new macaron flavors?
The seasons of course—but also a scent, the beauty of a fruit, a color. Everything could be an inspiration.
Which macaron would have been Marie Antoinette’s favorite?
It would be Rose, for sure.
Ladurée now has 85 shops in 27 countries (not counting the Visitors to Versailles exhibition shop at The Met). What’s next?
Actually, it’s around 100! E-commerce will be the next step.
Can you share the recipe for your macarons? (Just kidding.)
Ha! But yes, actually: We have a book for our recipes. We love to share our passion—but don’t forget the secret ingredient…
In honor of the French queen’s well-known love of flowers, Ladurée’s Marie-Antoinette collection features boxes adorned with delicate rosebuds. The collection celebrates the grace and zeal of great French women throughout history. Shop the collection and much more at the exhibition shop at Visitors to Versailles (1682–1780), on view at The Met until July 29.