You can take the girl out of England, but you can’t take the English out of this girl… When we were in Paris I couldn’t resist a Tea Time at Le Meurice experience. Not only for the tea and perfect cakes, but to see another of the Dorchester Collection hotels.
Having stayed at The Dorchester in London earlier this year I was so excited to see another of this collection of luxury hotels. Set right on the edge of Les Jardins de Tuilleries, Le Meurice has one of the best addresses in Paris, and is certainly a hotel I would love to stay at next time I’m in Paris.
As soon as you walk into Le Meurice, you’re bound to be blown away by the mind-blowing beauty of this hotel…
Tea Time, which is Le Meurice’s take on the quintessentially British afternoon tea, is served in Le Dali, the beautiful restaurant at the front of the hotel. The main menu at Le Dali is overseen by Alain Ducasse, much like Hotel Plaza Athénée (another dream hotel) and The Dorchester itself.
Since it was holidays and… Actually, I don’t need an excuse. We started with a glass of Alain Ducasse Champagne to toast to our Parisian adventure and falling in love with one of Paris’ great hotels.
Although all the restuarants at Le Meurice are overseen by Alain Ducasse, Tea Time at Le Dali is Cédric Grolet’s masterpiece.
The first thing I fell in love with was the tea set…
So the story goes, that one day when picking strawberries Cédric knew that he would be a patissier! Today, Cédric Grolet’s work now revolves around, the reinvention of the classics, the modernity of the present and the vision of the future.
As soon as the tea service was brought out, we could see that this wasn’t a classic afternoon tea. And you all know I love a classic tea, but there’s something so fun about a tea that is a little different.
The sandwiches were served on lightly toasted, light French bread. My favourite was the roast beef, mustard and rocket sandwich was just incredible. Roast beef as thin as proscuitto parma ham, which had been perfectly cooked until it was tender and no more; it couldn’t have been better.
Mozzarella, sundried tomato and pesto, with the mozzarella slightly melted (aaalways better) because of the warm bread… As well as a heavenly tarragon chicken, and the classic coronation chicken.
And then there was the two tiers of sweets… Ever a girl with a sweet tooth this is usually my favourite part of an afternoon tea, but this time, it really was something else. Not only was every single treat perfect, but I loved the variety of the sweets and how Cédric has really brought his own tastes to Tea Time at Le Meurice.
Starting to work our way up (which is the only way to work through a tea service), there were plain scones as well as incredibly special cinnamon and apple scones.
Oh yeah, you read that correctly: cinnamon and apple scones. Each scone was as crisp on the outside and as fluffy and soft on the inside as they could have been. I loved our afternoon tea at The Dorchester and this tea brought back such happy memories.
I can see I’m going to fall in love with the Dorchester Collection again… And again…. And again…
The top tier was just as special as what had come before. After a sufficient break after my scone session, I tucked into the vanilla cream tart. Light, and perfectly crisp pastry, with the prettiest and tastiest vanilla cream imaginable.
There are few times when I’m genuinely lost for words over a meal, but Le Meurice had me speechless.
Never one to resist more chocolate and indulging my sweet tooth once more, I tucked into the chocolate and peanut cookie. Of all the afternoon teas I’ve had, I’ve never had a cookie at an afternoon tea – and after this experience, I’m really questioning why.
Finally, I saved what I expected to be my favourite ’till last. As a child, I spent every summer in France with my parents, and as a post swimming (also known as splashing in the pool) afternoon, I was allowed to pick one pastry from the patisserie. I’d vary between a tarte framboise (raspberry tart) and a chocolate eclair, and to this day both of them make me so happy and take my back to those very summers in France.
Tart, fresh raspberries with a sugar coated pastry case and filled with the most incredible crème patissière. Well, it’s safe to say that this tart blew my childhood memories out of the sweet, sweet water.
Tea Time at Le Meurice is the ultimate luxury experience. I’d highly recommend booking for a Sunday afternoon when Paris is nice and sleepy (and so are many of the restaurants), meaning you can enjoy your time at this stunning hotel and not worry that you’re missing out on anything.
But I may just have saved the best until last…
Instead of traditional tea, I ordered the Alain Ducasse hot chocolate, which again reminded me of my chocolate afternoon tea experience at The Dorchester.
Molten chocolate mixed with piping hot milk made for the best hot chocolate I think I’ve ever had… I might have been completely and utterly full, but I somehow made room for this magical drink. And I highly recommend that you do too!
I was more than a little sad to leave Le Meurice; not only is it stunning, the food exceptional and the staff attentive, but it has a magical quality that I can only describe as The Dorchester quality. It’s one that you have to experience to understand, and if you’re a luxury lover, this has to be at the top of your list.
Le Meurice has certainly been added to the top of my dream Parisian hotels to stay in, as well as its sister hotel Hotel Plaza Athénée. And maybe, okay definitely, Cowarth Park, too, which just happens to be closer to home…
228 Rue Rivoli