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How to Create a Laduree Inspired Table at Home Part II
12 / 05




This is Part II of our blog on how to create a Ladurée inspired table at home. Great for your next girl’s get together, Holiday Tea, French inspired brunch, etc. Below is the table we created. See our source list at the end of this post.



© Copyright Sugar et Cie


It seems that every “Ladurée” table setting includes the following fundamentals 1) their Iconic Ladurée China/Porcelain 2) plenty of silver 3) a tiered silver stand on which to display their macarons, pastries, and other fabulous french Ladurée treats, and 4) don’t ignore the linens.


Pictured above: 1) pastel blue, gold rimmed porcelain salad plates, and two-tiered tray, both from Fitz & Foyd, Versailles, Bleu, at 2) Gold Rimmed, dinner plates by Fabergé, Chaine d’Or, personal collection. 3) Mother of Pearl Dessert Set of 12, available for purchase, Sugar et Cie. 4) Limoges Teapot Set, sugar bowl, and creamer with gold greek accents, Athena, by Jean Pouyat (vintage), available for purchase, Sugar et Cie.




I’ve heard more than a few people wonder about whose china Ladurée uses in their salons and where to get it. If you are familiar with Bernardaud (which also had an amazing Tea Salon in Paris, no longer open), you will not be surprised to find out that they are the creators of Ladurée’s signature pastel plates, cups, saucers, etc. Side Note: I suspect that the china used in Ladurée’s Tea Rooms is not as fine or as delicate as Bernardaud’s typical line for the home, as it has to survive a commercial environment.


You can see the gold edges wearing off of some of their pieces, which is a reminder not to put your china edged, in silver and gold, through the dishwasher. Hand wash only, if you want to keep the metal details looking nice.


Perhaps Ladurée or Bernardaud will someday make this pattern available, but in the meantime there are a number of great alternatives out there and in a range of price points. Any of which can help you create your own Ladurée inspired look. The key is to choose pastels that are sophisticated and not sickly sweet, with a touch of bling in the form of a metallic edge. Stick to clean, modern lines and shapes.


Choose one pattern in one color, or choose a pattern that offers multiple shades and mix the colors as Ladurée does. If you want to see more Ladurée and Ladurée inspired tablescape’s visit our Pinterest Board or check out Ladurée’s Instagram feed.


For example, within Fitz & Foyd’s Versailles pattern, there are three colors which are a good fit, light blue (Versailles Bleu – very fitting name no?), a very pale green (Versailles Mint Sherbet), and a cream (Versailes Crème). The blue and green are featured in the image above. Raynaud’s Serenite also has three that work well: Light Blue, Light Green, and Rose. And of course Bernardaud. They have a striped version, Gallerie Royale (in pale green “Armande” and in light blue “Wallis Blue”).


There are a number of other patterns that have single colors that could work: Haviland’s Arc Ciel in Rose Opale, Pickard’s Color Sheen in Blue (with a gold trim or platinum trim).





Images courtesy of and William Sonoma, compilation Sugar et Cie



1 – Fitz & Foyd, Versailles, Bleu, found on (the least expensive option).

2 – Raynaud, Serenite, Blue, found on

3 – Pickard, Color Sheen, Blue, found on William Sonoma. You can have it monogrammed!

4 – Also from Pickard Color Sheen, Blue.


My two favorites in this group are the Fitz & Foyd. The blue is a a sophisticated shade of pale blue with a thick gold band. I also like Bernardaud’s Gallerie Royale (in Wallis Blue) with its platinum trim (not pictured here).





Images courtesy of, Bernardaud, and Smith’s China & Gifts, compilation by Sugar et Cie



1 – Raynaud, Serenite, Light Green

2 – Bernardaud, Gallerie Royale, Armande

3 – Fitz & Floyd, Versailles, Mint Sherbet

4 – Bernardaud, Cronos, Armande




Images courtesy of, Bernardaud, compilation Sugar et Cie



1 – Bernardaud, Cronos, Rose

2 – Haviland Arc Ciel, Soft Pink/Rose Opal




If pastels aren’t your thing, you can still get the look by using a pattern with gold and\or silver. Stick to stripes and geometric patterned trim.




Silver seems to be another key element to the Ladurée Table. Lots and lots of silver. Silver tea pots, silver creamers, silver sugar bowls, silver trays…Since sterling silver isn’t conducive to commercial, high-volume use, I suspect that theirs are base metal or silverplate. You can go either way or mix and match.


I’m a big fan of mixing. For the “workhorse” silverware, I like to use a stainless steel made to look like a set of Sterling Silver, (so I don’t spend hours hand-washing my silver) and then add a few special sterling silver touches (a dessert set, dessert spoons, ice tea spoons, a silver tray, or Art Deco silver tea pot).


The Victorians had specialized silverware for everything from ice cream spoons (part fork and part spoon) to special tongs and servers for Bon Bons. Below is a mother of pearl dessert set (also known as cake forks, “fruit eaters”, a fruit service) that we recently acquired for the boutique. The fruit course, which came at the end of the meal, had a dedicated set of silverware. I am in love with these mother of pearl dessert sets. This one came to us from England, with each individual piece wrapped inside in tissue, as if it had never been used. The set is in pristine condition with small stars engraved on the edge of the blade and horizontal striped collars around the handles.


They are luminous and will up the game of your entire place setting. Perfect for tea or placed above the top of the plate, as part of a traditional setting, for the dessert course. The set of 12, pictured below is available in our boutique, in its original velvet lined wood box (circa late 19th c. early 20th c.)



© Copyright Sugar et Cie




If you are going to serve afternoon tea, it is nice to have a tiered tray. The one below is Fitz & Foyd, Versailles Bleu, from Replacements. They have this really fun service that converts some of the china patterns on their site to two or three tiered trays. Look for a particular pattern you like and see if it is offered.



© Copyright Sugar et Cie


If you are looking for an all silver version, the two below are great options. The two tier stand, the Cambridge Collection, is silver plate over steel from Sur La Table on sale at the moment ($90.96). The three-tiered is also silver plate and it is from Christofle (Three-Tier Dessert Stand ALBI, $1,280).



Images courtesy of Christofle and Sur La Table, compilation by Sugar et Cie




How does Ladurée create its look of continuity and elegance? The backdrop is is simple: bare wood, bare marble and/or fine white linens. Monogrammed linens, especially white on white, add elegance and a touch of custom luxury to your table setting. It’s not too hard to find Antique linens with monograms that are in great shape and high in quality, but a little bit of knowledge is helpful. We’ll dedicate another post to this topic.


We have some amazing antique linen coming to our site shortly from Italy, purchased on a recent buying trip (Italy & England): a set of 6 white linen napkins, hand stitched with the initials “C” or “G” and “L”. They are 100% linen, of excellent quality, circa 1900. A pair of white linen pillow cases (100% linen) also circa 1900, monogrammed with the initials “W.S.”. And set of vintage Irish Double Damask (100%) Linen tablecloth and napkins, original with labels, never used, white on white – stunning!




Baccarat – Crystal

Cristofle – Silver

Madeleine Castaing (distributed by Edmond Petit distributed by Codimat) – Fabric

Royale – Limoges

Saint Louis – Crystal

Sèvres – Porcelain

Wedgewood – Bone China




Tableware –, Bernardaud, eBay, Ruby Lane, Etsy, Tabula Tua

Silver – Gryphon Estate Silver, eBay, auctions, antique markets

Macarons – Ladurée (opening a U.S. eCommerce site soon, call a U.S. store in the meantime and place a phone order. Or Chantal Guillon, pictured above and can be purchased online.

11 / 06




Sugar et Cie is branching out into the home. Well sort of. From time to time when we are are out scouting the antique markets, we find beautiful decorative items and accessories for the home. A bit like jewelry, they add that finishing touch or color that completes the look.


We aren’t launching fully into the home, nor are we forsaking gems and jewelry. But we would like to give you access to our secret stash: a few special pieces of silver (e.g. rose bowls, ring boxes), linens (antique monogrammed linens), crystal lighting fixtures and other decorative accessories that will make your home sparkle – jewelry for the home!




I know that I am not the only Ladurée crazy out there. I am confident that many of you exist. We love everything Ladurée. It’s more than just the macarons and the pastries. It’s the colors, the table setting, the decor. I have to say that I agree with Ladurée’s Co-President Elisabeth Hodler who recently said “…we are—more than a pastry shop, we’re a lifestyle.”



Courtesy of Ladurée


My first experience with Ladurée was more than a few years ago. The Ladurée on Rue Bonaparte happened to be down the street from my hotel. I just sort of just “discovered” it. The pastries and macarons drew me in, but the decor and the tea salon made it a place that I wanted to visit again.


While there are many Ladurées outside of Paris, sadly, there is not one in every city. Even if they did open one in SF (hint hint) tomorrow, sometimes I want to enjoy the look and feel of Ladurée in the comfort of my own home.


That’s how this three-part blog post started. We’ve studied, dissected, pondered, and insta-stalked the Ladurée look. We wanted to create our own version to share with our family and friends, and with you! So read on to find out how they created their look and get inspired to create your own version. We will reveal some of their sources and some of ours. Nothing frustrates me more than blogs and instagram posts that show pretty pictures, but never tell you what it is, whose it is, or where you can get it. We will!


Part 1 – How to Make Your Table Look Like Ladurée’s: Design Influences for those of you that are interested in the details

Part 2 – How to translate it to your own home and where to get it




There is an entire book on the topic of the decor of their Tea Salons: DECORATION & INSPRIATION LADUREE PARIS. They say they pull their inspiration for the décor of their Tea Salons and their overall aesthetics from three female tastemakers, from three different eras. Each, a design star in her own century: Madame de Pompadour 18th c., Empress Eugenie (a Marie Antoinette fanatic) 19th c., and Madeleine Castaing 20th c.



Courtesy of Ladurée


So much of Ladurée’s style philosophy can be directly traced back to Madeleine Castaing. An eccentric Diva who’s antique shop/design salon, is now occupied by Ladurée in Paris’ St. Germain de Pres neighborhood. Many of the Ladurée’s have at least one room which incorporates some of Castaing’s design trademarks (Rue Bonaparte, Harrods London). In those rooms, her influence is proudly on display.


The New York SoHo location is the perfect example. The blue velvet chairs with braided fringes, the striped wall covering and the Leopard print carpet, all classic Castaing. What I love most about her design philosophy is that it was not necessarily about the pedigree of the pieces themselves, although some were museum pieces. It was about creating a beautiful and comfortable environment. She mixed pieces from a variety of her favorite periods and of varying degrees of quality. She was a proponent of what we call today, mixing high and low.




If you have seen a few pictures of Ladurée or purchased one of their products, you are probably familiar with the colors they favor. They remind me of the colors associated with Marie Antoinette. Officially they list them as Pink (really a pale pink to be precise), Violet, Black & White, and of course the Ladurée Green. “Green was the original shade chosen for the walls of the first salon on the Rue Royale, founded in 1862. This basic colour, in its many variations, has symbolized Ladurée ever since….” The green has certainly evolved. Originally more of a Celadon green it has evolved to what I would call a pale apple green (very pale on the boxes to a more saturated green on the bags).


They also favor the rich jewel tones, another influence of Madeleine Castaing’s “I use three colors: red, sky-blue, and the green of the gardens,” she explained. Saturated blues, greens, and reds can be seen in their salons and purple, turquoise (perhaps Castaing blue) and orange have been featured on their packaging.



Courtesy of Laduree


It seems that at many locations one room is decorated in a mix of pastels and/or neutrals and one is usually in darker jewel colored-tones. Everything they do is trimmed with or highlighted by a touch of gold, silver or platinum. Very fitting for a brand that refers to their salons as modern day jewel boxes.


Next post. How to create your own Ladurée tea salon at home!


08 / 29





Courtesy of Sotheby’s


Even those of us who write about jewelry on a regular basis sometimes lack the words to describe the beauty of the gems and jewels sitting right in front of us. When I find a quote or a passage so vividly written that I can actually visualize the piece, I save it. The only downside is that I usually end up wanting something I can’t have.


If you too love a good literary jewelry reference, read on, but at your own risk!




Pliny The Elder:

There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald – all shining together in incredible union. Some by their splendor rival the colors of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil.




20,000 Leagues UnderThe Sea, Jules Verne:

“My worthy Ned,” I answered, “to the poet, a pearl is a tear of the sea; to the Orientals, it is a drop of dew solidified; to the ladies, it is a jewel of an oblong shape, of a brilliancy of mother-of-pearl substance, which they wear on their fingers, their necks, or their ears; for the chemist it is a mixture of phosphate and carbonate of lime, with a little gelatine…




My Antonia, Willa Cather:

I used to imagine that the nobles’ of whom Antonia was always talking probably looked very much like Christian Harling, wore caped overcoats like his, and just such a glittering diamond upon the little finger.


The Diamond As Big as the Ritz, And Other Stories, F. Scott FitZgerald:

“That’s nothing.” Percy had leaned forward and dropped his voice to a low whisper. “That’s nothing at all. My father has a diamond bigger than the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.”




The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde:

On one occasion he took up the study of jewels, and appeared at a costume ball as Anne de Joyeuse, Admiral of France, in a dress covered with five hundred and sixty pearls. This taste enthralled him for years, and, indeed, may be said never to have left him. He would often spend a whole day settling and resettling in their cases the various stones that he had collected, such as the olive-green chrysoberyl that turns red by lamplight, the cymophane with its wirelike line of silver, the pistachio-coloured peridot, rose-pink and wine-yellow topazes, carbuncles of fiery scarlet with tremulous, four-rayed stars, flame-red cinnamon-stones, orange and violet spinels, and amethysts with their alternate layers of ruby and sapphire. He loved the red gold of the sunstone, and the moonstone’s pearly whiteness, and the broken rainbow of the milky opal. He procured from Amsterdam three emeralds of extraordinary size and richness of colour, and had a turquoise de la vieille roche that was the envy of all the connoisseurs.


05 / 12


© Copyright Sugar et Cie




Did you recently purchase your first piece of English antique jewelry? Would you like to know what the marks stamped on your jewelry mean? We’re here to help! While most of this post is for those new to the English hallmarking system, there is at least one piece of information that I guarantee you will be news to a number of collectors and perhaps even a few dealers, read on to find out.




A hallmark identifies the type of precious metal and the fineness or purity of that metal. Today a hallmark is a legal requirement in the U.K. If an article contains precious metals and is described as such, it must be hallmarked.




Hallmarking in England dates back to 1300 when King Edward I, passed legislation to prevent fraud by goldsmiths. Silver had to be .925 (the same standard as sterling silver today) and at that time, gold was required to be 19.2 carats. (Source: Assay Office, London)


As the years passed, the standards required for gold changed and vairous Assay Offices were established. Some opened and closed more than once over their long history. See the list of Assay Offices and their dates below.




Here is an example of a fully hallmarked ring. Meaning (from left to right) it has a maker’s mark, a duty mark (not always part of a full set of hallmarks), a metal mark (gold), a purity mark, a city mark, and a date mark. The ones to focus on that will give you the basic information are the last three. The purity mark, what carat gold is it? The city mark, this will help you when looking up the date mark, and the date letter so that you can look up the year the piece was assayed.


A note on the metal mark. I am so familiar with what they look like, that they are almost invisible to me. But if this is new to you, visit the sites mentioned below, to get to know the marks for sterling silver (the Lion) and for gold (a crown). There are also marks for silver plate and platinum, but they are not covered in this post.



© Copyright Sugar et Cie




This ring above is a mourning ring, black enamel over gold, made in England from the Georgian period (and at the time this post was published, available for purchase) Sugar et Cie. It is 18Ct, 750 parts gold per 1000 or 75% gold and 25% alloy metal. Other purity marks are:


22 = 91.6% or 22Ct gold

18 = 75.0% or 18Ct gold

15 = 62.5% or 15Ct gold

585 = 58.5% or 14Ct gold

375 = 37.5% or 9Ct gold

925 = 92.5% or Sterling Silver




The second mark is the town/city mark, where the piece was assayed (tested and marked). This one is for the London Office. Some you will come to know, some are more obscure, and some changed over time.




A date mark is a good approximation for when a piece was made, although it is possible it could have been made in one year and hallmarked in another (later) year. The reference I like to use (easiest to navigate) when looking up a date mark is an online site called British Sterling.


Each Assay Office has its own date chart. So the easiest way to look up the date is to identify the city/office first and then look for the letter on that city’s reference sheet.


This is where a sharp eye and experience comes in. Sometimes it can be challenging to identify the correct letter/year.


Believe it or not, one letter for example, a “J” from one year can look like an “L” from another.


You need to look for a match to the shape of the letter. Don’t focus on the background shape/cartouche (read on for more on this little known tidbit). Sometimes it is obvious, and other times it is not quite as clear. After I think I have identified the year/letter or at least or narrowed down the possibilities, I take a second look at my printout of the date charts directly from the Assay Office, Birmingham. They have historical date charts by City. I use my loupe to study both the mark itself, and the version on the printed date chart.


If you are hunting for antiques in the field and are concerned you may not have wifi or a cellular connection, you can take your printout or purchase pocket guide on Amazon.




You may also occasionally see other marks.


Commemorative marks: (20th c.) to celebrate an event e.g. Silver Jubilee.


Duty Marks: The Sovereign’s Head indicated that Duty had been paid on an item. They were used December 2, 1784 to April 30, 1890. During this period a variable tax was levied on all silver and gold assayed in Great Britain. Duty marks are less common and keep in mind the mark or symbol did not always change with the change of a Monarch.


A law was passed in 1842 to make it illegal to sell imported gold or silver in the UK unless it was assayed (tested) at a British office. However, the Foreign Mark was not added until 1867.




Here’s one of the interesting facts about dating your piece of antique jewelry (or anything with an antique British Hallmark). The cartouche or background for the date letter, are for silver. When it comes to looking up your mark for gold, the most important thing to match is the letter (as mentioned). The background may and can be different for gold. Here’s what the Assay Office says “The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked in Birmingham since 1824, but with a background of a square with cut corners. There may be some variations in backgrounds during the late 19th century, especially on watch cases.” This may seem like a small detail but it has a big impact and I am guessing has led a number of people astray.




Myth or Fact? (1): Everything in the 18th and 19th centuries was hallmarked. If it doesn’t have a hallmark, it’s a fake or a reproduction.


This is a MYTH. Many pieces from this period were not hallmarked. However, if it is not hallmarked you either need to develop the skills to assess the piece on your own or ask an expert. An expert will look at the style, the materials used, the cut of the stones, the findings, and a variety of other factors to date it. Hallmarking gives you a bit more certainty (although even hallmarks can be faked) and helps you date it within a year (or two) rather than a range of time.


Myth or Fact? (2): Date Letters ran consecutively and repeated every 26 years


This is part MYTH and part FACT. Yes, the do run alphabetically and consecutively. However, the font can make it possible to confuse certain letters. Because of this, it is possible that a the letter i, j or l is skipped. As a result, the date letter cycle is usually 25 years.




This is a complete list of U.K. Assay Offices. the second block are ones that are Historic and now closed.




Birmingham Assay Office

Edinburgh Assay Office

London Assay Office

Sheffield Assay Office






Assay Offices Now Closed


Chester: 15th c. Officially opened 1700 – closed 1962

Exeter: Mid 16th c. Officially opened 1701 – closed 1883

Glasgow: Closed March 31, 1964

Newcastle: 17th c. – closed 1884

Norwich: Mid 16th c. – closed 1702. Note: The town marked changed over time.

York: Opened in the middle of the 16th c. closed in 1700, reopened 1701, closed 1714 and closed permanently in 1858. The town mark for this location changed and evolved over time.


10 / 17




The fall runways were full of rich jewel toned colors which happen to be the perfect backdrop for statement jewelry for Fall. Ellie Saab featured standout, oversized chandelier earrings, but only on one ear.



Elie Saab Fall 2016 Couture Fashion Show Courtesy of Vogue




Elie Saab Fall 2016 Couture Fashion Show Courtesy of Vogue



Versace sprinkled their show with layers of chains, large link long chains and chunky chokers.



Versace Fall 2016 Courtesy of Haper’s Bazaar




My favorite show for jewelry was John Galliano Fall 2016 Ready to Wear. His catwalk was full of gold medallions and pocket watches hanging from gold chains in an array of lengths, from Choker to Opera.


It perfectly illustrates our mantra: Making Antique Jewelry Wearable. Combining today’s fashion with antique jewelry (or what looks to be) to create a one-of-a-kind look.



John Galliano Fall 2016 Courtesy of Vogue



John Galliano Fall 2016 Courtesy of Vogue



John Galliano Fall 2016 Courtesy of Vogue



John Galliano Fall 2016 Courtesy of Vogue




Here are some of our pieces, actual antique pocket watches and chains that you can combine with your fall cashmere and silk to create your own one-of-a-kind look.




This is a heart-shaped Antique Demi-Hunter pocket watch in 15 Kt rose gold.



Copyright Sugar et Cie


The versatility comes from the fact that there are two distinct sides to the Demi-Hunter or hunter pocket watch one. With the dial side out, you get the classic look of a pocket watch. With the cover side out, it looks more like a gold locket. We are showing it with an Antique Victorian rose gold guard chain. At 57 inches, you can double or triple it to get the layered chain look. The chain has a dog clip/swivel clip which makes it really easy to change what you wear on the end of it.



Copyright Sugar et Cie




if you love the chain and pocket watch Galliano shown on the model wearing the sheer skirt and white angora sweater, you will love our version. Below is our antique shooting stars demi-hunter pocket watch paired with our antique Victorian mid-length gold link chain.



Copyright Sugar et Cie


For more details or to make a purchase see our Pendant and Charms collection for the pocket watches and our Necklace and Chains collection, to browse our antique gold chains and other items.