Among the highly prized little 5-star luxuries: afternoon tea , a chic sweet and savory combination, remains an absolute must-eat. Especially when this so British ritual inherited from Queen Victoria is revisited and visited by the most coveted Parisian pastry chefs in the food world, and when they can be enjoyed in the cozy lounges of the palaces with attentive service.
The most conforting
The pastry chef: sweet tooths are in a tizzy. The Shangri-La's pastry chef Maxence Barbot has just changed the sweets of his palace afternoon tea. Head for La Bauhinia at the back of the lobby, in a superb turquoise and red decor with a glass dome and balcony overlooking the room.
On the server: a divine walnut pie to share, highly foodporn popcorn cookies, coffee and chocolate desserts, exotic passion fruit rolls, apple turnovers and Bordeaux cannelés, to be accompanied by a hot drink of your choice or a homemade iced tea.
The extra touch: a live singer who sings our favorite French hits on his guitar. Sentimental crowd...
Tea time served on Saturdays and Sundays from 3pm to 6pm, reservations recommended at 01 53 67 19 91 or on shangri-la. 100 € for two people, 140 € with champagne.
The most Downton Abbey: François Perret at the Bar Vendôme
The pastry chef: he is the famous Chef in a Truck , an international hit on Netflix but above all the sweet incarnation of the Ritz, whose marble and madeleines nourish the myth of the palace on Place Vendôme . And that's good, François Perret , who unleashes passions (you should have seen the queue when the Comptoir du Ritz opened) offers to taste his iconic creations every afternoon in the spectacular winter garden of the Vendôme bar , bathed in light.
On the servant nature scones and chocolate pudding served with jam and whipped cream, a selection of 3 sandwiches with brioche with smoked salmon and dill cream, finger sandwiches Brillat Savarin with truffles, veal ham to bone and mustard and parmesan shortbread covered with a butternut purée, roasted hazelnut.
The extra thing: after this feast, second round with the chef's iconic pastries presented on the tray. The choice will inevitably be tough between the famous marbled cake, the madeleine entremet, the caramel tray, the éclairs and seasonal tarts...
€68 for the tea time formula, served every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Reservation highly recommended on 01 43 16 33 74 at the Bar Vendôme du Ritz Paris , 15 place Vendôme, Paris 1er.
© Thomas Dudan and Bernhard Winkelmann
The most bankable: Cédric Grolet at the Dali
The pastry chef: we won't do you the offense of introducing you more to Cédric Grolet , rock star of cakes with 2.2 million subscribers on Instagram, voted best pastry chef in the world thanks to his sweet residency at Le Meurice and pioneering chef of the new gen' who popularized haute couture pastry on social networks. His signature ? Its famous sculpted fruits , a technical and gourmet prowess, which changes with the seasons... And good news: you can test them in small format in the snack formula developed by Grolet , to Instagram of course and taste, nestled in the cozy armchairs of the Dalí , the brasserie of the palace on rue de Rivoli .
On the server: finger sandwiches and lobster roll , 3 mini fruits (currently: pistachio, lemon and the cult hazelnut), a peanut cookie, plain scones still warm, mandarin marmalade with a British clotted cream, and jams sour.
The added plus: the little food happening every afternoon, with the pastry chefs who come out of the kitchens with a surprise still steaming out of the oven, depending on the mood and the season, like the galette des rois in this moment.
€68, served Monday to Saturday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Reservations highly recommended on lafourchette.com
The most Parisian: Angelo Musa at La Galerie du Plaza Athénée
The pastry chef: World Pastry Champion (2003) and Meilleur Ouvrier de France admired by his peers, Angelo Musa took over the sweet spot at the Plaza Athénée in 2016. Since then, at snack time, the chef fills the trolleys with its wonders of colorful and balanced creations, to be chosen with children's eyes. Among the three formulas for tea time , the Goûter du Plaza Athénée is the most complete, served at La Galerie facing the mythical patio of the palace in large armchairs… and to the sound of a real harpist. The dream !
On the waiter: for each, a hot drink of your choice accompanied by a selection of fine pastries according to the chef's inspiration. At the moment, due to the season, citrus fruits are in the spotlight with very sweet rum baba , soft rock cake , gingerbread stuffed with citrus fruits, orange chocolates and yuzu truffles , kiwi pastry, olive oil and even an icy chestnut …
The added bonus: to be enjoyed in the formula, before or after the sweets, the couture finger sandwiches , accompanied by your choice of a truffle Plaza croque or the divine chicken egg mayo club . The must: take one of each and share.
The Snack at the Plaza Athénée €90, served every day from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at La Galerie. Reservations recommended on 01 53 67 66 00. Plaza Athénée , 25 avenue Montaigne, Paris 8th
The most gastronomic: Maxime Frederic at Limbar
The pastry chef: after having made headlines for his genius at the George V , Maxime Frederic made a most remarkable entrance at the Cheval Blanc Paris , as evidenced by the prestigious distinction of Gault & Millau which elected him Best Pastry Chef of the Year. His extraordinary know-how is particularly evident in the Limbar, a gourmet and intimate lounge, where he serves cuisine in the service of bakery creations with the complicity of starred chef Arnaud Donckele .
On the server: a delicate mix and match of savory and sweet bites to savor like a tasting menu and served on a very poetic wooden piece that signs a remarkable high pastry performance. To complete the snack experience, we serve a regional cake re-enchanted by Maxime Frederic's team to celebrate French excellence. Depending on the mood of the day: Parisian flan , Nantes cake, white cheese tart. And to go further with a “ great snack ”: a plated dessert (profiteroles, pear douillon…).
The added plus: the herbalist , a virgin forest of fresh herbs on the bar to compose tailor-made and minute herbal teas and enchanting decoctions. Special mention also to the menu of specialty coffees offered for afternoon tea.
The Small Snack: €65, The Big Snack €75.