Paris - Part Une

Afternoon Tea at The Peninsula Hotel

Last year to celebrate my 30th birthday I took a trip to Paris with my mum. During our stay we went to the Peninsula Hotel for afternoon tea. The hotel is on Avenue Kléber, the 16th arrondissement, close to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees. 

Image by   Felipe Dolce

Image by Felipe Dolce

We visited shortly after the hotel had opened following a four-year restoration of the classic French-style building in which it is set. Inside the hotel is stunning with an elegant white marble entrance and a sweeping black and gold-trimmed ornamental staircase, which consists of over 40,000 pieces of gold leaf and was created by Schwartz & Meurer (who constructed the Eiffel Tower).

We dined in the Lobby, a grand room full of chic Parisian ladies dressed in their finest. In the centre of the Lobby we admired the spectacular Dancing Leaves installation, a series of cascading flower bouquets made from over 800 hand-blown glass leaves, each one took an artisan three weeks to make. The attention to detail throughout The Peninsular is amazing and makes for the most perfect setting to experience afternoon tea. 

To begin, we ordered our choice of tea (English, naturally), which was served with fresh lemon to really enhance the flavour of the tea leaves. Some considerable time later (there’s no rushing a Parisian waiter) we were presented with a silver cake-stand full of delectable sandwiches and small patisseries.

Although somewhat insubstantial, perhaps why "French women don’t get fat”, the sandwiches were full of flavour and were presented slightly differently to the usual finger sandwiches served with most afternoon teas, with the filling also on the top of the sandwich. We had a small selection of cucumber with cream cheese and eggs ‘mimosa’ with mayonnaise and rare peppers. Salmon sandwiches were also on the menu but we skipped these since I’m vegetarian. 

Next we were served French scones with creams and jams (not exactly like an English scone, a fluffier version with more of a doughnut texture). Finally we had a selection of mini pastries including delicious macarons... nothing too heavy. 

Once we had finished our cakes, we went up to the top of the hotel to the L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant which has an open air rooftop terrace with 360 degree views over the city (I believe that the terrace opens at 6.00pm). We sat outside drinking Champagne while watching the Eiffel Tower light-show in the distance. It was a truly special moment which I’ll remember forever.

What better way to spend the final hours of your twenties than sipping Champagne with your mum while watching one of the world’s most iconic monuments sparkling away?!

Before heading back to our hotel, we decided to jump into a taxi to Trocadero to see The Eiffel Tower lights up close. The light-show is on every evening, on the hour every hour, for just 5 minutes. The perfect end to the perfect day!

Afternoon Tea is served daily in The Lobby between 3:00pm and 6:00pm and costs approximately €40 per person (£30).