London's best macarons

Delicate and delicious, more refined than the standard macaroon, these tiny bite-sized French almond cookies are notoriously difficult to make and so command a high price. Time Out finds the best places in London to indulge in them

  • London's best macarons

    © Jonathan Perugia

    • Café On; check website for stockists and market locations.

      The tagline here is ‘French cuisine, Asian flavours’. At the moment, Loretta Liu’s inspired macarons are primarily sold through her website, but an increasing number of cafés in south London (such as Couleur Café and Le Petit Boulangère in Clapham) are stocking her creations; she also does the food-market circuit, including the Real Food Festival on the Southbank. Flavours buck the trend, and little embellishments (a sprinkle of crushed pistachios here, a vibrant paintbrush slick of colour there) elevates each treat from plain to outstanding. Recent flavours include mango with yuzu and lychee martini. Prices vary, but on our last visit, it was £5 for 4 (£1.25 each) or £12 for 10 (£1.20 each).

  • Ladurée

    Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Rd, SW1X 7XL (020 3155 0111/ Knightsbridge tube; 71-72 Burlington Arcade, W1J 0QX (020 7492 9155). Green Park or Piccadilly Circus tube.

    At the London flagship of the revered Parisian patisserie bigwig, tourists and ladies of leisure alike descend daily to take tea and pastries. The dainty macarons reflect the jewellery-box interiors, though the flavours are more on the conventional side (rose, lemon, raspberry and so on, but there’s shocking black liquorice and orange blossom, too). Ladurée’s macs are definitely on the sweeter side. Each macaron is £1.50 to take away, or £1.80 if you’re eating them in the tea room. Read more

  • Lanka

    71 Regent’s Park Rd, NW1 8UY (020 7483 2544/ Chalk Farm tube.

    This prim little Primrose Hill patisserie and café showcases French pastries with Japanese sensibilities. The macarons are pale and pretty, delicately flavoured with oriental favourites such as green tea and black sesame. At 90p a pop (£1.10 if you eat in), these beauties are the best value macs in town. Read more

  • Photo for “Pierre Hermé”

    Pierre Hermé

    13 Lowndes St, SW1X 9EX (020 7730 3663/ Knightsbridge tube. Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford St, W1U 1AT. Bond Street tube.

    Pierre Hermé is known among fanatics as the master of macarons and the Picasso of pastry, and his creations are unlike many others (reflected in the lofty pricing of £1.85 per sweet). Simple flavours are not his forte: off-the-wall combinations are often released in the manner of haute-couture collections, with editions such as white truffle and hazelnut or strawberry and balsamic vinegar sending fans into a froth. If anything, the fancy French names for each flavour will delight: Mogador (milk chocolate and passionfruit); Arabella (milk chocolate, banana, ginger confit); Métissé (carrot, orange, cinnamon). Visit the clean-cut counter at Selfridges Food Hall or the shop proper in Belgravia.