Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
06 ARR: Mariage Freres Maisons de The (Rive Gauche)13 rue des Grand-Agustins , Phone: 01 40 51 82 50
Reviewed by: Jeannew from PA, review #3477
Great service, fabulous tea, excellent pastries. Lunch is also available but did not try.
We stopped in for afternoon tea at three different locations. Clientele appears to be mostly business or shoppers. If there were any tourists present, they did an excellent job of disguising themselves as French.
The Mariage Freres have been bringing fine teas to France since 1854, and the stores maintain that traditional ambience. See their website for sample menus. One can select from a seven page list of tea. Whatever the choice, it is measured into the strainer insert of a 2-3 cup teapot and steeped for the appropriate length of time. Then the white suited server encloses the pot in a metal jacket and brings it to the table to pour only when it is at the correct temperature. (I was once seated near the prep area and able to watch).
I believe most of the servers speak and understand English but prefer to converse in French. When the conversation went beyond our French language abilities they were more than happy to explain the finer points of the teas and pastries in English. I loved the Lung Ching d’Or and the Saphir Himalaya teas. I also had the Sakura 2010 tea, but not being a fan of flavored teas, thought the cherry was too strong .
The best pastries in my 14 days in Paris were had here. We asked the server to bring pastries that complement the tea. I had the Coup de Soleil with the Sakura tea. I can only describe it as a crème brulee pie, with a very thin layer of strawberries between a divine buttery crust and a crème brulee like topping, all very balanced but barely 1” deep. With the Saphir Himalaya which is light and fresh they served what is listed on the tab as Viennoiseries, two slices of a marbled green and brown cake, a tad lighter and less moist than pound cake. The green part was flavored with green tea, and the brown with a rose flavored black tea. Two dabs of tea jellies accompanied this beautifully understated but supremely appropriate dish.
Pastries? about 9 Euro. Pot of tea? 6 Euro and up. Pot of Saphir Himalaya? 12 Euro. A serene retreat from the crowds, exhaust and second hand smoke on the street? Priceless.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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