In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

Travel: The macarons of Europe

I tell myself (and others) that the purpose of the overseas trip was to see some new things, experience some new things, eat a few Michelin stars and chill out.

Reviewing my photos from the trip, I can’t ignore the shear number of macaron photos I took. I have decided to put them all together in one post, with special extra tasting notes from the bloggers.


Ladurée Tea Salon
Knightsbridge London
About AUD$3 each

I wasn’t expecting my first macarons to appear on day one of our holiday, in London, in Harrods! Searching for a cup of tea at lunchtime we were directed to the Tea Salon on the ground floor, only to behold a Ladurée shop! So I bought some macarons (of course).

Salted caramel, licorice, cassis, strawberry, citron, orange blossom and jasmine. I loved the licorice. The flavour just lingered on the back of my tongue, just long enough.

San Sebastian / Donostia:

Our next stop was Donostia – San Sebastian, in the Basque region of Spain. I wasn’t expecting to see macarons here either but as I was soon to discover, the Basque count the macaron as their own, originating from the French Basque town of Bayonne. These ones I bought from the oldest bakery in town dating back to 1699, Barrenetxe.

It’s a single shell and it’s covered in a raspberry toffee, like a melted raspberry pop is the closest thing I can think of. Not jammy, but delicious!

There were also Parisian style macarons all over San Sebastian…

Bordeaux turned out some very pretty macarons, but I bought some salted caramels and some caneles, and took these lovely pictures instead.


Across the street from our apartment on Rue Moufettard, Mason Morange Patisserie served up delicious bread and pastries, and 16 macarons one day (when I really only wanted 6 – darn my French/Spanish pronunciation). These were quite delicious Salted Caramel, Citron, Coffee and chocolate, maybe raspberry?

Mojito macarons at Angelina’s on Rue de Rivoli (Didn’t buy any, 5 cakes and 6 hot chocolates cost €74 phew!)

Fauchon – looking like the cover of Pierre Hermé’s book

We came across a Basque food festival one night near Notre dame, and here we found more Basque macarons. Not delicate, pastel Parisian macarons: hearty, rustic Basque macarons.

I decided to bring some macarons home to treat friends and neighbours.

Le Grande Epicerie
38, Rue de Sevres
75007 PARIS

I’m sure that these were better than average macarons, but frankly compared with the next two “take home packs” they faded to the background. Flavours were Salted Caramel, Apricot and White Balsamic, Chocolate au Lait, Cardamon and Strawberry, Gingerbread,

Patisserie Sadaharu AOKI
35 rue de Vaugirard
75006 PARIS.
€16 for 12 macarons
approx AUD$2.60 each.

By far the prettiest and best packaged macarons. All were a standard shape and size (small) with beautiful strong packaging designed to product the little darlings. The flavours were very restrained and subtle, with the wasabi and the licorice being favourites. They were a bit too crispy on the day we bought them, but by the time they travelled home to Australia – they were pretty perfect texture-wise. Second Favourite. I tried 3 times to buy from Aoki’s shop. It’s around the corner from Pierre Hermé so we went there at about 10:30, but all I got was a photo of the outside of the shop. We went and had a coffee down the street, and went back, still not open! Oh well, off we went to Le Grand Epicerie, giving up on the Japanese wunderkid! Luckily, we ended up back in the 6th later on in the day and I was able to pop in for my fix. I was told off for trying to take photographs in the shop though so you’ll have to trust me when I say that it was full of beautiful chocolates and dainties.

Here I picked up a copy of Printemps Desserts magazine and so now have a bundle of Pierre Hermé macaron recipes to try.

Pierre Hermé
72 rue Bonapart
75006 Paris
€30 for 20 macarons or €80 a kilo

The winner though, particularly for the texture and the delicious salted caramel flavour were the Pierre Hermé macarons. The packaging was completely useless, even if you were only taking them around the corner, let alone around the world; but the macarons were delightful. We arrived at about 9:45am and joined the already 10 strong queue outside the door. In true French style, they opened the doors at about 10:15am. By this stage the line was around the corner.

We brought the last three selections home to share with friends, and a bunch of food bloggers at the Gastronomica Slow Food Quiz night at Matteos.

Believe it or not – I even found frozen gourmet macarons at Picard – a store that purely sells frozen food. Apricot, pistachio, pain-d’epices and fig, and praline.
You could also buy a box of 16 salted caramel, or chocolate flavour. €4,95 for 12.

€6,75 for 15 macarons or approx AUD$0.80 each. Flavours were rose/peach, citron and green basil, yuzu/paline, spice. Pretty adventurous I thought for frozen food.

I’m left with the distinct feeling that I went all over Europe photographing macarons, but really – they just leapt out at me! And they are dear sweet pretty things.


17 thoughts on “Travel: The macarons of Europe

  • Hi Kat,

    Thanks for stopping by. I did share most of the macarons with the food bloggers at a Quiz Night. We won as well (secret power). There is another shop too, near Pierre Herme, but I can’t remember the name. Always evolving that macaron world!

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Wow you DID eat & shoot a lot of macarons, such interesting flavours as well. Thanks for sharing macaron goodness with us. Will have to go on a hunt next time I’m in Paris and will use this post as inspiration

    Comment from: Kat @CooksJournal

  • Thanks for that link – they look very interesting. I’ll add them to my list for my next Paris visit! Are you in Melbourne? I find that Duncan’s macarons are of that style, less intense, more subtle, and the best texture of any I’ve had in Australia.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Thanks for your answer.
    I tried Gregory Renard’s macarons last summer on a 3 days visit of Paris.
    What I liked with them was how different in texture and taste (less intense in flavor to my palate) they stood against their similars of Pierre Hermé and Ladurée. I still prefer the latest two, although GR is an interesting alternative.
    Here’s their web site:

    Comment from: S Lloyd

  • @S Lloyd – we tried Ladurée in London at Harrods. No I didn’t try Gregory Renard’s … can you tell me anymore about them?

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Did you go to Ladurée (not far from Pierre Hermé).
    Also: have you tried those of Gregory Renard?

    Comment from: S Lloyd

  • Oh yes! And lots of interesting flavours too!

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • frozen macarons- wow!

    Comment from: betty

  • Ah yes – I’ve been meaning to update all my tags for a while now! Thanks for the motivation. Glad you managed to find this post.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • great blog!

    just one suggestion! As macaron fever seems to be peaking in Melbourne, it might be worthwhile to re-file this post under your ‘Macaron’ section/folder, for easier browsing for macaron devotees.

    Comment from: ester

  • Thanks Yurim, hope you get there soon.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • These are great pic and review! I will note for my next trip to Paris!

    Comment from: Yurim

  • Miss M – I’m gradually getting some time back. Glad you enjoyed your Parisian macaron 🙂

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • You posted! The salted caramel macaron was excellently tasty. Thank you 🙂

    Comment from: Miss M

  • Injera: glad you liked it, we really weren’t looking for all these macarons (except for Herme and Aoki) the rest just happened!

    JB: you lugged well. I had visions of them being sat on several times!

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • Essjay
    OK no more whinging from me about having to lug a big bag of macs back – you were quite restrained really. we need to talk about you seeing macs “behind my back” though!
    Great pikkies.

    Comment from: jaybeen

  • How utterly gorgeous! Bookmarked for future reference in the event that we actually get our act together for the long-planned Europe adventure.

    Comment from: injera

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