When researching the various chocolate tours available in London I discovered that the name "Pierre Hermé of Paris" kept cropping up. Having read the reviews it transpired that whilst the chocolate goes down very well it's the macaroons that go down even better. Even though I was on the hunt for chocolate shops I made a short detour.
Pierre Hermé only has one branch in London (with the exception of a kiosk at Selfridges in London) at the moment and that can be found in Lowndes Street, a short walk from Harrods which was my second stop!
I arrived not long after it had opened for business and was greeted by a friendly assistant. The store looks bright, fresh and modern with products laid out very accessibly. I could spot plenty of boxes of chocolates but not boxes of macaroons. These are stored loose behind a glass counter and are made up freshly. Bamboozled by the choice of flavours I chose a box of 12 and opted to fill it with a random assortment from their collection.
I paid £24 and spent all day carrying them as delicately as possible, given that macaroons are inherently delicate objects.
I couldn't identify all 12 flavours thanks to the omission of a flavour card and delicate flavouring, but think I have identified around half of them thanks to pictures on the Internet.
This had a very delicate flavour when you bit into it which then lead to a more powerful but incredibly perfumed after-taste. I love all things rose based (it all started with Turkish Delight...) and this was my favourite of the lot.
This featured a dark chocolate cream that was very intense and oozed of quality and luxury.
This wonderful flavour combination fused together a creamy milk chocolate with punchy and zingy passion fruit. This was a very refreshing macaroon and was one of my favourites.
This was a floral option and was very delicate but noticeable. Jasmine flower and jasmine tea were combined in the recipe and the result is a very delicate macaroon flavour that just nods to Jasmine flavours. It's not overpowering (it's not like being hit with a bouquet of flowers) rather it's a very subtle aroma.
Les Jardins Macaron
This unusual flavour fuses olive oil with mandarin orange & cucumber water. It's an unusual combination but was very pleasant. The olive oil is the main vehicle with a strong orange accent. The cucumber was very muted but helps to balance everything out. It's definitely one to try as it's one of the more unusual flavours available.
Infiniment Caramel Macaron
This was a salted butter caramel with the salt being quite noticeable. I got more of a buttery flavour than caramel though as with the rest of the macaroons this was delicate and not overpowering whatsoever.
This macaroon fuses together peach, apricot and saffron. For me the peach was the dominant flavour thought I think I detected subtle apricot notes coming through though these were very weak indeed, seemingly overpowered by the peach.
I wish I could have identified more flavours but the profiles weren't strong enough for me to form any sort of conviction. This was slightly disappointing, especially given the price.
The macaroons were all delicious, with some flavours more bland and less distinguishable than others. Personally I preferred the fruity flavours as they seemed more pronounced than some of the others.
I wasn't keen on the round tub packaging and would have preferred some sort of square box. Whilst the plastic tub was sturdy and practical it didn't really scream "exclusive gift" as much as some of the larger (more expensive) box options. Also, it was disappointing not having a flavour card included as it's always nice to know beforehand what flavour the chef created for the macaroon you are eating. Personally, if I was going to buy another box I would opt for the stronger and more perfumed flavours.
Nevertheless, I can certainly understand why they are raved about though at £2 a macaroon it's not an everyday item. It's definitely a luxurious indulgent treat or a special gift for a loved one.
Disclosure: I paid £24.00 for a box of Pierre Hermé Macaroons from their London store and wasn’t asked for a review.