If you know me, then you’re familiar with my love for Paris. So it may come as a surprise to you that this summer was the first time I made it a priority to visit the famous French bakery and restaurant, Ladurée in SoHo. Known for their rainbow-hued macarons in beautifully decadent boxes, they now have two locations in New York City alone and are rapidly moving across the globe, expanding their brand into Asia and the Middle-East most recently. You can visit Ladurée in New York via their quaint little boutique in the Upper East Side neighborhood on Madison Avenue for on-the-go macarons, or you can dine at their location in SoHo on West Broadway for a full, fancy French dining experience, best enjoyed al fresco on their beautiful garden patio. Read on for a look into our magical Sunday brunch at Ladurée SoHo!
The garden is very spacious, and it also has a bar with a menu full of Instagram-worthy cocktails (lots of them are topped with a macaron skewer!). I came for drinks earlier in the summer and even my plain glass of champagne was garnished with a rose petal! Our original plan was to have afternoon tea in the garden, but they don’t allow you to make tea reservations on the weekends and wouldn’t sit us in the garden for tea on a Sunday (they have a small dining area inside, as well), so we asked for the brunch menu and begged for a table outside (there were plenty when we arrived at noon). If you’d like to have afternoon tea al fresco, I’d suggest making a reservation during the week.
But first, coffee (and tea!). My friend Kristin and I sat under the gorgeous tree-filtered sunlight and caught up while waiting on our meals. I believe presentation is a large part of the formula of Ladurée’s success, so of course our caffeinated beverages were delivered in adorable striped china with saucers, mine with my own silver teapot, and Kristin’s coffee with the cutest serving creamer. It was the perfect sunny Sunday and we couldn’t have asked for better patio weather.
Kristin ordered the Ladurée Style Eggs Benedict, while I had a sliced sweet potato topped with avocado mash and an egg. We both enjoyed our dishes and they were light enough to save room for the most important part of any meal at Ladurée- the macarons, of course!
I ordered the “Ispahan” rose, raspberry, & lychee pastry while Kristin ordered a round of macarons. I talked her into trying my favorite flavor, the rose, but the vanilla won her vote for best flavor. It’s funny- I’m always tempted to make my box as colorful as possible and often forget how good the plain old chocolate and vanilla are. The chocolate reminds me of the perfect brownie- crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside. We planned on saving half of our treats to take home, but obviously they were too tasty to make it off the patio! We left with full bellies and refreshed moods after our sunny Sunday brunch at Ladurée SoHo.
Tips for Dining at Ladurée SoHo
- Make reservations through Open Table, especially if you’d like to dine in the garden. Note that reservations for afternoon tea are only accepted Monday through Friday.
- If you are unable to reserve a table in the garden, a good way to still take full advantage of the lovely patio is to order a cocktail and sit at the bar. Drinks are pricy (average between $20 and $25), but I think the experience of enjoying the patio is worth the expense.
- If you’re only interested in the pastries, order from the boutique and enjoy them in the small seat-yourself booths inside. They’re actually slightly up-charged on the dine-in menu, so you’ll save a few bucks, too!
- While our food was beautiful and tasty, Ladurée isn’t known for their entrées and although this was my first experience dining in their restaurant, I would recommend it for pastries & coffee, afternoon tea, or brunch over lunch and dinner, especially if you’re trying to stick to a budget. The presentation of the food was definitely Instagram-worthy, but for me, the taste wasn’t anything special (my poached egg was a little water-logged) and the prices are pretty steep.
“Sunday Brunch at Ladurée SoHo” Photographed by Emily Davis
Ahh summer… Vacations, barbecues, pool parties… and work??? While I don’t work in an office environment, my FOMO (fear of missing out) seems to multiply as the temperatures rise. Being in New York City over the summer hasn’t helped my productivity at all, either, as I long to be in the sunshine every day, exploring every corner of a city that I love dearly. I’ve always had a soft spot for summer since I enjoy being outdoors, so it’s been a real struggle for me to be motivated to get anything done online (i.e. inside) lately. One of my goals for this season was to practice intentionality, especially being more intentional with my time. I started introducing habits to manage my time more efficiently and while I don’t put them to use every day, I can say I’ve noticed such an increase in my productivity and energy to complete the tasks at hand when I do implement them. The biggest game-changer for me has been writing out “to-do” lists. But here’s the catch- I write manageable tasks down for the day ahead. For example, I don’t set myself up for failure by including things like “write new blog post” since I know that from start to finish, it takes me about 3 days to prepare a post. I’ve recently found a few creative entrepreneurial podcasts that I love (like The Laptop Lifestyle and Don’t Keep Your Dayjob), and I’ve realized that lots of successful people have a deep understanding of who they are and have discovered how they work best. If they’re an author who is easily overwhelmed, they don’t put “write book” on their to-do list. Instead, they break it down into bite-sized, manageable pieces, such as “brainstorm topic/story ideas”, “create outline”, “write chapter one”. Building blocks are everything. Another thing to think about when making a “to-do” list, is the importance and urgency of each task. Even if they’re harder to complete or more daunting, dealing with the highest priority tasks first takes such a huge weight off your shoulders and helps you check the rest of the list off more quickly. “To-Do” lists aren’t just for entrepreneurs. Everyone who feels a sense of anxiety from an overwhelming schedule can benefit from taking time each evening to evaluate their intentions and set their priorities for the day ahead. The biggest impact I’ve noticed from utilizing “to-do” lists is that even if I don’t check every single thing off my list, it feels pretty good to be able to cross tasks off and I’m able to move onto the next one with a renewed focus. Do you have any tips that have helped you enhance productivity at work? Share them below in the comment section, if so!
I was wearing;
Forever 21 Black & White Blouse (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here
LC by Lauren Conrad Black Blazer (no longer available, similar options linked) Also worn here
ASOS Tailored Pants in Dusty Pink (a few sizes left, similar options also linked) Also worn here
ALDO Bellone Shoes with Block Heel in Bone (linked above, similar options also linked) P.S. Go down a 1/2 size in the Bellone! Also worn here
“Business in Blush” Photographed by Luke Bowes
While New York City has a reputation of being one of the most expensive cities in the world, there are still a lot of cheap and even free sights to see and things to do. One at the top of my list is to take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve only ever been during the day, and I imagine it would be especially peaceful in the morning or evening, but I love the contrast between the bright blue skies and the bridge’s brown brick arches. Slather on some sunscreen, throw on a pair of sunnies, and head to the bridge with a friend (or a good playlist), and experience the contrast of the Brooklyn and Manhattan boroughs. If you’re staying in Manhattan and walking across to Brooklyn, DUMBO is a chic little neighborhood off to the left side of the bridge exit. If the trek over the bridge leaves you famished, DUMBO boasts popular New York area restaurant chains such as Westville and Bluestone Lane. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to go to Brooklyn Bridge Park and take a whirl on Jane’s Carousel, then peruse south and walk along the edge of the East River for a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline.
View of downtown Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge pedestrian walkway.
The Manhattan Bridge as seen from Brooklyn Bridge Park. The DUMBO area of Brooklyn stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. See what all of the NYC neighborhoods stand for here– I had no idea until recently!
I was wearing;
Nordstrom BP 55MM Cat Eye Sunglasses in White/Pink (linked above)
Forever 21 White Crochet Crop Top (no longer available, similar options linked)
Sam Edelman Rowan Mary Jane Flat in Natural Naked (linked above) Also worn here
“Summer in the City; Walk the Brooklyn Bridge” Photographed by Emily Davis & Niki Hicks
© Emily Davis