By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)
Pumpkin decorating, face painting, a haunted hay maze…Gucci Westman in full out geisha attire? Welcome to the Halloween of the well heeled New York City tot. On Saturday October 24th, the who’s who of New York gathered in the SOHO gardens of famous French eatery Laduree for a fall fete’ fit for Martha Stewart‘s grandchildren. Stewart and her beautiful blonde littles, along with a team of nannies, were among the guests who packed the gardens to enjoy gourmet candy and macarons for the kiddies, and champagne and spooky mixed cocktails for the grown ups. There were delights for sweet lovers and celebrity spotters of all ages.
When I first found out about this event while at Sonja Morgan‘s fashion show, I was excited at the prospect of having something fun for my children to do for an afternoon while indulging in the decadent chewy luxury of a Laduree macaron (or four). For those not familiar with Laduree, the company hails from Paris where the line to get in can wrap around the city for blocks. This is exactly what it did when I visited The City of Light in August 2010. Pregnant and hungry, I just couldn’t wait for over an hour on a line with no snack or bathroom to sustain me. I left France never having experienced the euphoria of a Laduree pastry.
Fast forward exactly a year later and New York finally got the answers to its macaron prayers when a tiny replica shop opened on the Upper East Side. I made the pilgrimage to finally sample these famed sandwich cookies with the hefty flavor and price tag and found they were indeed worth the wait. Biting into a Laduree macaron is like biting into a slice of heaven, worth every penny of the nearly three dollars you will spend on one. The tiny shop did so well that the company opened a full tea salon and restaurant in SOHO in February of 2014. It now has a line to get in reminiscent of the Paris shop.
Alas, no lines for my family the night of the party, as we went in through posh kids’ clothing shop Bonpoint which neighbors the tea salon at 398 W Broadway. Upon entering we were handed floral Bonpoint shopping bags with their glittery logo emblazoned on the fronts. These were used for the children to gather treats passed around on silver platters and glass candy jars. The gardens, transformed into a spooky themed space, had pumpkin decorating stations and a face painting table. A hay maze only big enough for the pint sized was the centerpiece. My sons went in and told me they saw a spider inside, “but it wasn’t real mommy,” they assured me, full on aware of my arachnophobia.
While the children enjoyed macarons and freshly made merengue and marshmallow candies, adults enjoyed champagne passed on silver trays. When I first entered I found myself standing next to Ms. Stewart. Having a friend who works high up in her company I shamelessly name dropped and we began to chat, only to be interrupted by a crying child at our feet. Stewart cooed at the little girl, asking if she was okay. A familiar voice began apologizing profusely, “Oh I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry…”. The voice belonged to Drew Barrymore, whose daughter cried most of the party (maybe she was scared of that spider.)
Later on I ended up next to Stewart again during a puppet show in the back room of Bonpoint. It was quite crowded and the two of us got jostled throughout the entire performance. At one point she tapped me on the shoulder to share with me something funny her three year-old grandson had just said. Meanwhile my son had the loudest laugh in the crowd. Both my sons, blissfully unaware of the kind of company they were in, had a blast. That’s what this party was about…the children, and whether celebrity children, or the offspring of regular folks like me, kids are just kids. Gucci Westman’s daughter was looking for her mom, Barrymore’s was still crying…celebrity or not, we all seem to have the same “mom problems.”
As the party wrapped up I stopped into a little hut at the front of Bonpoint for a tarot reading by veteran psychic consultant Tarot by Dante , who has advised major brands for over 30 years. After some good news about my husband’s career and my kids taking on more responsibilities around the house, it was back to Laduree for our little family to have some dinner (reservations are recommended, which we made online during the puppet show.) As we exited we were handed the familiar mint and gold Laduree bags containing Halloween themed boxes of macarons (which I have hidden from the rest of my family as these are to be savored and not inhaled overnight.)
It was a fantastic evening, and one I will never forget. After all, my tweet of the evening sums it up: