Top Picks... Paris Tea Shops
What’s better than a Parisian pastry? Why, a selection of the sweet treats, bien sûr! And there’s no more refined way to sample all manner of macarons, petit fours and other tastebud-tantalising delights than via l'heure du thé, the French take on afternoon tea.
Here are seven of the best salons and patisseries in the City of Light to get your fix, sugar...
But a skip from Paris’ most iconic tower lies this chintzy and charmant nook mercifully undiscovered by the visored hordes. Overseen by a mother-daughter duo, it’s a twee treasure with floral wallpaper, antique furny and a wide selection of grandmère-approved savouries and sweets, such as quiches, gateaux and tarte tatin, perfectly paired with a variety of teas.
The mammy of macarons has shops all over the city but undoubtedly the loveliest is its crowning Champs-Elysées branch. The surrounds are as pretty as the long counter of exquisite baked goods with lashings of crown molding, painted walls and statuesque light fixtures. Upstairs are several regal dining rooms where guests can make like Marie-Antoinette and nibble on delicate sandwiches, vol au vents, layer cakes and, of course, seasonal and special edition macarons. Magnifique!
This quiet Latin Quartier lovely is the perfect respite from the bustle of the surrounding streets with a table heaving with clafoutis, crumbles, rhubarb tarts and citrus-meringue pies. You can choose a trad tea to take with your cake, but why would you when there’s a deliciously rich hot chocolate served the traditional way in a quaint copper pot?
If you’re more of a brew-ser, there’s none more cha-ming than the salon of France’s oldest tea importer. Pass through the wood-lined shop, where the walls are stocked with over 600 masterful and rare blends, and settle in the colonial-esque parlour for tea-flavoured mini-desserts and an expertly steeped cup.
Un Dimanche à Paris
One for the minimalists, Pierre Cluizel’s sleek showcase of all things cocoa has a simple sitting area where you can munch on mousse-stuffed eclairs and decadent ganache-topped couverture discs. Then, once you’re finished eating, amble upstairs, past the cooking class kitchen, to the lounge bar for some seriously sinful choc-tails.
La Maison du Chou
Meilleur Ouvrier de France recipient Manuel Martinez has perfected the puff at this small n’ simple shop, tucked behind the abbey of St-Germain. Perfectly light and flaky pastry bulges with fromage blanc filling in flavours ranging from classic (vanilla, coffee and chocolate with praline crust) to contempo (mango-passionfruit and blueberry-tonka bean). Take them to go, or sit and savour with a cuppa on one of the little wooden tables. Choux-tiful!
If you’re looking for that real-deal English feel, trot over to this cute Pigalle canteen for a weekend feast of scones, organic salads and healthy slow-food fare, plus perf puds like carrot cake, banana bread and daily muffins. Jolly good.
Les Deux Abeilles / 189 rue de l’Université, 7th / +33 1 45 55 64 04 / 9am-7pm Mon-Sat
Laduree / 75 ave des Champs-Elysées, 8th / +33 1 40 75 08 75 / 7.30am-11.30pm Mon-Fri, till 12.30am Fri, 8.30am-11.30am Sat-Sun, till 12.30pm Sat / laduree.com
L’Heure Gourmande / 22 psge Dauphine, 6th / +33 1 46 34 00 40 / 11.30am-3pm daily, till 7pm Tue-Sun / facebook.com
Mariage Frère / 30 rue du Bourg-Tibourg, 4th / +33 1 42 72 28 11 / 10.30am-7.30pm daily / mariagefreres.com
Un Dimanche à Paris / 4-8 cour du Commerce St-André, 6th / +33 1 56 81 18 18 / 3-6pm daily / un-dimanche-a-paris.com
La Maison du Chou / 7 rue de Furstenberg, 6th / +33 9 54 75 06 05 / 11am-8pm daily / facebook.com
Rose Bakery / 30 rue Debelleyme, 3rd / +33 1 49 96 54 01 / 11am-4pm Tue-Fri, 10.30am-4pm Sat-Sun