You might not think that tea is very Parisian, but the city is packed with places to indulge your senses after a long day of trekking around the Louvre Museum or climbing up the Eiffel Tower. Here’s our pick of the best places to enjoy afternoon tea in Paris, with more madeleines and macaroons than you could possibly imagine.
Mariage Frères is a legendary tea brand that has been serving Paris since 1854, making it the oldest seller. They offer some of the highest quality tea in Europe, and their tastes range from classic green teas to sweet floral blends from the most obscure of sources that can easily exceed 100 euros or more. Whilst their ‘tea salon’ is ideally nestled by Musée du Louvre for a sit-down pause, the greatest selection is stored in their shop on the famous Rue Cler, which is widely acknowledged to be the most authentic market street in Paris and possibly even in France. Their luxury tea fits in perfectly with this street’s nickname, “Paradise of Parisian food and drink”, for their tea is absolutely delightful.
Ladurée tearoom is renowned for its delicate macarons, whose recipe hasn’t changed since Pierre Desfontaines invented it in the middle of the 20th century. They make the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea, and their Saint-Honoré pastries are also incredibly popular too. Though the interior is just as gorgeous as the tea. This very unique tearoom encapsulates the French Art de Vivre, created in 1862 and decorated with wainscoting and original frescoes depicting sweet muses. There are seven stores of various sizes and specialties dotted around central Paris, as well as locations at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports for a last-minute souvenir.
Angelina is world famous for its hot chocolate, but that doesn’t mean they don’t excel at teas as well. Founded in 1903 by the Austrian confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer, this Paris tearoom has built a reputation as a place of sophistication and indulgence for over a century, selling its products exclusively in Paris. Make sure to order the delicious macarons with your tea – you won’t find such treats anywhere else. If you need further convincing, you just have to look at the clientele it attracts. It’s always been associated with Parisian aristocracy, from Proust to Coco Chanel and the biggest names in fashion. What’s great is that you can buy tins of tea to take home, starting from 12 euros.
Supernature restaurant was founded by Clémentine and Christophe, who are passionate about healthy eating while delighting in creative invention, and so you’ll find an impressive range of herbal teas with proven health benefits on offer here. But the ultimate gem on their menu is the coconut milk dessert, deliciously made from natural coconut milk, then seed-topped to promise an explosion of deliciousness with every spoonful. They’ve also pioneered a fabulously filling chocolate brownie made of granola and a miel de châtaigner dessert (chestnut honey), topped with goji berries. It would be a crime to stop here for afternoon tea and not try some of these incredible yet healthy desserts.
Le George restaurant | Courtesy of Le George restaurant / Gregoire Gardette
Tucked away on the Champs-Elysées is the gorgeous Four Seasons Hotel George V, reigning with luxury since 1928. Whilst most famous for its Michelin-starred restaurant Le George*, the lounge area offers a spectacular afternoon tea menu that is truly a once-in-a-lifetime delight. In addition to a range of luxurious teas, finer than you could possibly imagine, you can also order madeleines and macaroons, or home-made scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam to go with the tea. The desserts on this menu start at 16 euros, but do increase in price quite easily.
Le Meurice is one of the most elegant hotels in the world, oozing 18th-century opulence at every turn. They serve an incredible afternoon tea between 15:30 and 18:00 and their desserts are simply sublime. If you get the chance to stop by this palace for an afternoon pause, then make sure to order their ‘Rubik’s Cube cake‘. It’s the masterpiece dessert made by Cédric Grolet, the chef Pâtissier, and consists of individual, millimetre-perfect cakes. Such a unique, complex cake is found no where else in the world. Once you’ve finished, you’ll completely understand why this restaurant has won no fewer than two Michelin stars over the years.
If you’re a fan of dining in the most delightful art deco elegance, then deciding to go for afternoon tea and then dessert at L’Orangerie in Paris should definitely be on your cards. The cakes are artistic masterpieces in themselves, almost too good to eat, and priced at a set rate of €23 each. From their crunchy Tahiti vanilla to Meringue Flower or chocolate soufflé, there’s certainly something to excite your taste buds whilst enjoying a well-deserved pause.