AFTERNOON TEA IN LUXURY HOTELS IN LONDON AND PARIS
As we discussed in one of our previous blog articles, the tradition of afternoon tea was invented in the mid-19th century and seamlessly integrated into the established lifestyle of British aristocracy. But what about today?
The refined afternoon tea experience adds a special charm to the time spent by guests in the company of loved ones at these five-star hotels in historic locations in London and Paris.
So, let's embark on a gastronomic journey and compare where the best afternoon tea is served.
AFTERNOON TEA AT THE RITZ LONDON
One of the iconic events in the world is Afternoon Tea in The Palm Court, Michelin-starred and renowned, where traditional English tea holds a special place at The Ritz London.
This tradition has hosted kings, Edward VII, celebrities such as Charlie Chaplin, Winston Churchill, General de Gaulle, and many others. Here, a variety of tea blends are offered with fresh pastries and exquisite snacks. Ritz London is the only hotel in the UK with a certified tea master, Giandomenico Scanu, who travels the world visiting various tea plantations in search of exceptional teas.
Why not try the exclusive Ritz Royal Blend tea? It's available only at The Ritz.
The elegant atmosphere is complemented by piano music, the final ingredient that will make your afternoon tea at The Ritz unforgettable.
HOTEL SAVOY LONDON
Located in Covent Garden, the hotel is one of the most famous and glamorous hotels in Britain, known for its afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea at The Savoy is served in The Thames Foyer, allowing you to be in the heart of one of London's iconic hotels. A stunning glass dome fills this cozy space with natural light, and a pianist serenades guests from a garden gazebo while they enjoy the world-famous afternoon tea.
A vast assortment of over 30 tea blends is accompanied by classic sandwiches, homemade scones with clotted cream, jam, and lemon curd. However, the highlight of The Savoy's afternoon tea must be the Wildflower Afternoon Tea pastries, adorned with silver luxury on a silver tray, featuring exquisite cake designs. The assortment includes Pure Dark Chocolate with salted caramel filling, lavender eclair, the delightful "Savoy" almond cookie filled with rose-scented jelly, and the "Bittersweet Raspberry" shortbread cookie with chocolate mousse and fresh raspberries.
The atmosphere is refined yet relaxed, and the tea service is accompanied by a delightful pianist. The service is impeccable and unobtrusive, anticipating all your needs.
To this day, The Savoy adheres to the traditional style of serving afternoon tea.
HOTEL CAFE ROYAL LONDON: TEA AND DESSERTS WITH VANILLA, ROSE, AND VIOLET NOTES
In 2017, at the Afternoon Tea Awards ceremony, Cafe Royal hotel received the prestigious award for "Best Traditional Afternoon Tea."
Once a frequenter of this place was the aesthete, fashionista, and famous English writer Oscar Wilde. Later, Princess Diana enjoyed spending her afternoon time at Cafe Royal. Today, the tea is not just served with desserts, but sweet creations.
The traditional ritual takes place in an incredibly cozy historical setting. And if the desire to take a stroll arises after tasting the delicious Victoria sponge or lemon curd, Westminster and Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Regent's Park, Covent Garden, and the Royal Opera are all nearby.
RITZ PARIS AFTERNOON TEA IN FRENCH STYLE
Imagine indulging in a luxurious and delicious afternoon tea in an ambiance reminiscent of the Belle Époque period at one of the most famous Parisian hotels. Sounds wonderful? Well, read on about the Ritz Hotel Paris and their special "French-style tea."
French tea, typically consisting of small pastries and light snacks, is usually enjoyed in the evening among friends and is associated with a refined lifestyle. Therefore, it's easy to understand why the Ritz Hotel offers its own special French-style afternoon tea.
The Ritz's tea is served daily in the renowned salon, now known as "Salon Proust," where famous figures like Ernest Hemingway and others often frequented. It's a haven of peace and tranquility, and home to some of the softest lemon meringue pies I've ever tasted.
I also appreciate the serenity of the salon and how I can relax, enjoy French-style afternoon tea, and even read a book with a hot cup of Ritzy Earl Grey tea – the hotel's signature tea.
AFTERNOON TEA AT LE MEURICE PARIS AND BERNARDAUD PORCELAIN
Isn't this place magnificent? This is Le Dalí Tea at Le Meurice hotel.
Looking around for celebrities, it seems appropriate to opt for "Tea Time with Champagne": a glass of Pommery Apanage Rosé champagne followed by a selection of five incredibly delicious finger sandwiches, served in three servings.
Two-tiered plates with a distinctly British taste and appearance, yet very French at the same time! After all, the table is set with porcelain from the renowned and luxurious Bernardaud.
The head pastry chef, Cédric Grolet, offers a wide range of truly exquisite dishes, such as his artistic interpretation of Paris-Brest, Mont Blanc, Saint-Honoré, and éclairs. Here, you can understand why he was awarded the "Best Pastry Chef of 2016" by Relais Desserts, a prestigious French group of exceptionally talented pastry chefs.
An extensive tea selection allows you to browse the menu, including Fleur de Thé, which can be replenished as desired. Hot chocolate is undoubtedly an excellent alternative during the winter months.
AFTERNOON TEA AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL GEORGE V PARIS
The Four Seasons George V Paris hotel is undoubtedly one of the finest luxury hotels in Paris. This splendid palace, located just steps away from the Champs-Élysées, in the golden triangle, is a place where all your senses will be pampered to the fullest. This elegant, classical, yet modern hotel offers much to even the most discerning guests – impeccable service, stunning decor, impressive rooms, a relaxing spa, and genuine self-care for even the most refined tastes.
Five Michelin stars under one roof in three restaurants, Le Cinq***, Le George*, and L'Orangerie*, promise exquisite culinary experiences.
We had the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea in their La Galerie lounge. And let me tell you, it was an unforgettable experience...
When you enter the Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, the first thing you notice is the wonderful floral displays that lead to the La Galerie lounge, adorned with 19th-century paintings, incredible Flemish tapestries, and carefully selected furniture. While a pianist plays in the background, you are greeted by highly professional staff. At that moment, time stands still, and we savor the subtleties of taste.
Afternoon tea "À La Française," starting with a glass of Pommery champagne, offers an assortment of exquisite snacks, followed by a choice of pastries, Bordeaux cannelés, madeleines, financiers, and buns served with condensed milk, cream, and strawberry jam.
Chef David Bizet and Maxim Frederic have signed this exquisite creation, which offers a perfect balance of strong and delicate, traditional and experimental, powerful and simple flavors.
So, we've embarked on an unforgettable gastronomic journey to legendary and iconic hotels around the world to see how they serve afternoon tea. This royal tea tradition is sure to leave an impression in your memories of the wonderful time you'll spend enjoying afternoon tea.