If you are a lover of tradition, of art, of history and, of course tea, then you must visit the most beautiful tea rooms in Paris. Here are three divine tea salons – Angelina, Jardin d’Hiver and Mariage Freres, each originally built more than 100 years ago and each a little decadent; but what else would you expect, after all, it is Paris.
Angelina Tea Salon
Angelina tea salon, founded in 1903 by an Austrian pastry chef, should be on the must do list of every new visitor to Paris. Upon entering this shrine to sweet (and savoury) elegance, you are ushered back in time to an ornate world of gilt moldings and gentle landscape murals. A place where writer Marcel Proust upon visiting would be transported back to his childhood with the famous Madeleine teacake and Coco Chanel would frequent in risqué style unescorted by a man in at a time when it was not respectable for a woman to dine unaccompanied.
Even at the doorway you are mesmerised by the gateaux that abound in the takeaway area including the signature Mont Blanc (Meringue, whipped cream, chestnut cream vermicelli) but it’s the Angelina hot chocolate that is the piece de resistance. Les Chocolat Chaud Africain is deemed the best in Paris and so so rich, it almost slides out of the teapot. Only spoonfuls of Chantilly cream can save you from its sweet potent taste. Angelina is a great meeting place for friends because it is a rendezous meeting point for the world. I really can’t think of anything better than idling away a few hours having a delectable tea party, with your loved ones or besties. It’s certainly worth visiting once in your life.
Little French Heart
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Le Jardin d’Hiver: Hotel de Crillon
Perhaps not a traditional tea room in the same way as its companions mentioned in this blog, Le Jardin d’Hiver is equally enchanting because it is simply beautiful. The Hotel de Crillon where Jardin d’Hiver is found is both a place of absolute style, a “cocoon” of comfort and divine fitouts with a menu that offers champagne pairing with high noon tea options, simple teas and delicious gateaux.
The tableware has been made to coordinate with the decor intricately and exquisitely. Flower installations blend with side plates, that blend with seat cushions that blend with the flooring and walls. All in superb subtle hues of aubergine and lilacs, it’s a place where you can just sit and dream of Paris … and know that for this moment you are part of the dream.
Along a quiet back street nestled in Le Marais lies the gorgeous establishment of Mariage Freres, the oldest maison de the in France, having been founded by two brothers Henri and Edouard in 1854.
At Mariage Freres, you will be greeted by a bustling crowd of tea polgrims, tourists and Parisians all vying for the attention of the tea purveyors in the tea emporium. Here wide-eyed customers are enchanted by the assortment of more than 800 teas from 36 countries stored in beautiful tin jars shelved on a backdrop of dark wood. It feels like you are in and 18th century tea apothecary, and you are. Even as you enter Mariage Freres, the tea affair begins as you quietly queue past a selection of beautifully designed tea pots theieres and gifts such as tea canisters that if purchased can serve as a beautiful reminder of another era.
At the back of the boutique is a salon bathed in a buttery antique light of a colonial styled dining area you can sample a large array of teas all served using purified water from the menu along with delicious gateaux and pastries that make up the French Art of Tea. Here proficient waiters will guide you among the tea varieties from Grand Cru teas to those perfumed with delicate sweet fragrances such as the Blue Tea to the hardy and robust kinds we may be more familiar with at least by name. After, you can stroll upstairs to the little Musee de The, which is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon soaking up the history of a tradition that remains with us.
A Love of Paris begins at birth
See Little French Heart’s gorgeous range of French and Parisian Tea Sets for little ones.
A love affair with Paris can start at any age but it’s best recommended from birth so it can be enjoyed for a lifetime ♥
Can you suggest a tea room that our Little French Heart guests should visit? Please let us know.
A big thanks to Ellen Williams, author of The Historic Restaurants of Paris for her research and inspiration to visit these wonderful places.
Have a lovely day.