Laduree Store, Rue Royale, 75008 Paris
A long line formed outside Ladurée, rue Royale, Paris

I have long worked right next to the Ladurée, the famed French patisserie, on rue Royale, the site of the company’s very first store at its founding in 1862.  If there is one place which incarnates Paris in its best and its worst, this may be it.  It is a site loaded with history on a luxurious street.  With its headliner double-decker macaron (invented by Ladurée), the quality of the pastries is certainly above par (as is the price: (3.40 for a big macaron, 1.35 for the bite size).  And, on the service side, this site is particularly exemplary for Paris.   The reception area is cramped and often very confused in that the doorway and the reception space basically sit on top of one another.  Secondly, the servers are practised in the art of frowning, rolling the eyes and muttering under their breath.  I would go so far as to say that, in order to become a server at Ladurée, there is a very serious hazing process that scrutinizes one’s dark side.  And, even on days when there is no queue of tourists formed outside — stuck like flies moths in a flame — the service is abominably slow.  In any event, Ladurée is worth visiting if you want to know what the worst of the Parisian service feels like.  And, of course, the Royale service is included in the regal price.

In short, I can think of many other better place to go to… where quality need not rhyme with incivility.

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