La Belle Miette is an adorable French patisserie that looks like it just dropped out of the set of Sofia Coppola’s movie Marie Antoinette.

The shop is beautiful to behold, a tiny jewel box awash with candy pastels, embossed and beribboned packaging in the windows and fine china cups (my quick snapshot doesn’t do it justice). You can almost expect court ladies in huge silk dresses to come swishing down the brick path of Hardware Lane to their favourite tea salon.

La Belle Miette specialise in macarons and the counter holds a rainbow of them, ranging in traditional flavours such as chocolate to more avant-garde ingredients such as cherry blossom and sake. They are $2.50 each but I recommend buying 6, 12, 18 or more, just so you can take your macarons out of the shop tucked neatly into the most delightfully Baroque gift boxes. Plus once you try one you’ll want more!

Are these the best macarons in Melbourne? Hard to say – but they are very, very good. We tried a range of six and found them to be admirably consistent in quality. Biscuits with the most delicate eggshell surface and a moist (but not sticky) interior, a consistent rise with even ‘feet’ at the base, no air pockets inside and a balanced proportion of biscuit to ganache in every bite. Our picks were the French Earl Grey (presumably fragranced with the Mariages Freres tea which they serve on site), the punchy salted caramel and classically elegant pistachio.

One more reason to visit La Belle Miette? I applaud anyone who forgoes corporate life to follow their passion and La Belle Miette is the joint work of yet another ex-lawyer getting out of the rat race. There seems to be a quite a trend of that happening (such as Helados Jauja, Famish’d and St Ali)!

Where are your favourite macarons in Melbourne?

La Belle Miette, 30 Hardware Lane, Melbourne

Mon – Thu:10:00 am-6:00 pm
Fri:10:00 am-9:00 pm
Sat:10:00 am-5:00 pm
Sun:11:00 am-4:00 pm

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