26 february 2016
The tea-time coming back
We all have childhood memories of gargantuan snacks, whether at home when returning from school, after an afternoon of skiing or simply to be pampered by our grandmother. The lost taste of these buns, cakes, spreads and jams delights our memories. So why not going back to childhood enjoying a delicious tea-time? Our British friends have well understood it: there is no age for enjoying ourself and quietly regressing in a tea-room!
While the famous Parisian palace celebrates its 180th anniversary this year, the young pastry chef Cedric Grolet has imagined a tea-time with freshness to celebrate the arrival of spring. His snack declines fruits and pastries in a surreal and colorful manner, in tribute to famous artists who frequented the hotel, including Salvador Dali. Original creations and classics pieces from “French pâtisserie” rub shoulders with, again, still warm scones and traditional finger toasted sandwhichs, with unmatched crisp. And whether you prefer to accompany these delicacies with a tea or champagne, you are the only one to decide. You are at the Meurice!
The new pastry chef of Shangri-La Paris, Michaël Bartocetti, chose an “100% vegan afternoon tea « . Faithful to the seasonal and regional cuisine, initiated by the two-stars executive chef Christophe Moret, the creations of this snack respect the values of the house: freshness, proximity and ethic. The chef has also chosen to use only vegetable protein, unrefined sugars. A long research that is beautifully expressed with light pastries, tasty while remaining sophisticated. As if we needed another argument to be tempted by the creations of Bartocetti …
“Feeding ourselves with the happiness that we offer to others,” this could be the motto of the pastry chef of the Bristol, Laurent Jeannin, elected by his peers as “Pastry Chef of the Year” in 2011. Everything here is excellence, whether fluffy scones, pastries, biscuits and other cakes. Particularly complete, the Bristol tea-time does not forget lovers of savory flavors with a wide selection of mini sandwiches: club sandwich, lobster, vegetarian, chicken, smoked salmon, York ham … not to mention more rustic toast. And for the pleasure to be complete, let’s get tempted by the delicious, smooth and powerful chocolate. Who said regression?
At the Peninsula Paris , we do not talk about tea-time, but the Tea Time. Whatever the name is, this magnificent snack is served in the Lobby under the golds and the frescoes of the grand salon of the hotel. Here, Laurent Poitevin, the pastry chef of the house, works in full discretion to the creation of genuine marvels. His pastries are all in finesse and delicacy, while magnifying the best seasonal products. Mixing sweet flavors tinged with Asian notes, this afternoon tea is gargantuan. But you can easily let yourself go as his cakes are light, tasty and, for some imagined with some humor. For Easter, the chef has devised a variation on the theme of the egg which is reflected both in original salty than fun sweet, such as this gastronomic Oreo biscuit or egg biscuit, topped with whipped cream and wood strawberries. To take yourself for a big kid.
This is a real dip in childhood that the pastry chef of La Réserve Paris invites us to with his snack. Cake chocolate, lemon eclairs, crêpes, tarts and waffles are waiting for you. Nod to the English tea-time, the best served scones, of course, with double cream and jam, plus some savory pieces to keep in mind. On the « tea » side, the Dammann house offers some of its best teas and a great selection of infusions. To regress in peace by the fireplace of the cozy lounge.
The Buddha-Bar Hotel plays on contradictions. What to awake tea-time and enroll in a spirit of rupture that sticks to it so well. Here pastries are salty and sandwichs are sweet. The club sandwich is mango, lychee and white chocolate. The burger combines chocolate hazelnut and blood orange, crunchy shiso leaf. The Ham butter combines a delicate vanilla spoon biscuit, lemon, guava while the Croque Madame, in conventional air, proves to be a light biscuit with roasted coconut, decorated with a bergamot-scented sphere . On the salty side, the pastries are equally misleading. The nun is scented with smoked salmon and whipped cream, chocolate pie consists of bacon, water chestnut and Japanese mushroom. To end upside down.
At the heart of this discreet but must-go address in Montmartre, it is nice to sit in front of the fireplace with a crackling fire and enjoy an original snack. From the 7th of March, for a Private Month, an opportunity to reinvent the tea-time in a beauty break version. For four weeks, from Wednesday to Sunday, the tea room house will turn into a beauty parlor with manicure, makeup and brushing by My M.E.C. for ladies and barbers break by les Maîtres Barbiers for gentlemen. And for those who wish to keep a lasting memory of this original tea-time, l’Asile des Tatoueurs will offer a tattoo parlor. At the end of this (very) particular month, afternoon tea will remain. Without the animations …
In this nineteenth century mansion, built by Henri Parent, home to the discrete Jacquemart-André Museum, the Café immerses you in a Second Empire atmosphere. With its gold and frescoes, the former dining room of the hotel is certainly one of the best tea rooms in the capital. Ideal to enjoy some pastries after admiring the works of the permanent collection or the temporary exhibition. Here, you forget the noise of the city and let yourself go by the delicacy of the exhibited works of art.
Luxury and refinement, this could be the motto of the Hotel de Nell. A spirit that is of course found at the tea-time with a « Parisian snack” conceived by the chef Guy Savoy, who offers his flaky buns here. In a refined and warm decor by Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the tasting can be extended by the fire, in the cozy atmosphere of the library or under the canopy. In any case, it’s nice to curl up in the comfortable chairs and take the time to enjoy these very tasty buns, with gourmet hot chocolate created by Bruno Doucet, the chef of the restaurant La Regalade Conservatoire .
If you can’t make it to a tea house in Japan, you should to Saint-Germain-des-Prés. It is here that few years ago the most Japanese of Parisian tearooms has opened. In this tiny place, one enters another dimension: that of the art of tea service with Japanese codes, rituals and ancient tradition. The magical setting, designed by the great Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, is a “bamboo temple”, with exceptional refinement. Let introduce you to the art of tea, which leads to meditation and serenity. Anyway, it will be in very small committee: It can only fit five persons …