I’ve always enjoyed the pomp and circumstance of afternoon tea – even though I prefer to drink coffee. This most British of gracious rituals has come to Paris. Four fabulous hotels are now home to very high-class afternoon teas. Champagne, delectable pastries, and green tea in the flowered courtyard of the Mandarin Oriental; scones, finger sandwiches, and a whole armoire of delectable pastries at the Meurice; millefeuille, cocktails and Earl Grey tea at the Jardin français at the Bristol; and the Gouter Gourmand (Food Lover’s Snack Time) at the Lancaster. And afternoon tea isn’t just for those who are taking a break from the rigors of shopping on Avenue Montaigne. Tea time is edging out business breakfasts and drinks after work as the place for deal making.
The draw is accessible luxury. Even if a suite at one of these hotels is out of reach, afternoon tea is feasible. Les petits moments de plaisir (lay puhtea mohmehn duh playzeer), or “little moments of pleasure” are still in the budget. Social networks are playing a role too. One of the little pleasures is using your cell phone to snap a picture of the beautiful spread and upload it to Facebook or Instagram to show everyone what a great life you’re having. What fabulous free advertising; even a five-star hotel has got to love that! And if they treat the tea-time clients well enough, they just might book one of those suites, too.
Le Mandarin Oriental, 251 rue Saint-Honoré. Sweet Camélia Menu for 39 €. Tel. : 01-70-98-78-88. www.mandarinoriental.fr
Le Bristol Paris, 112 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. Hot beverage and pastries at 27 € or “high tea” during a fashion show on Fashion Saturdays 70 €. Tel. : 01-53-43-43-00. www.lebristolparis.com
Le Meurice, 228 rue de Rivoli. Tea Time in the Dali Room at 46 €. Tel. : 01-44-58-10-10. www.lemeurice.com
Hôtel Lancaster, 7 rue de Berri. Goûter gourmand (Food Lover’s Snack Time) at 22 €. Tel. : 01-40-76-40-76. www.hotel-lancaster.fr
I think I might have to work my way through all of them and give you my definitive answer on which one is best!
- New high point for teas in London (telegraph.co.uk)
- for the love of afternoon tea (veronicaarmstrong.com)
- Travel Insight: Reconnect over Afternoon Tea (skimbacolifestyle.com)
- We Try the New Les Plaisirs Purs Teas from Le Palais Des Thés (drinks.seriouseats.com)