Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tea Time Magazine's French-themed issue: A celebration of all things past (and repast)

Tea Time Magazine's March/April issue focuses on all things French, including tea rooms, china and tea!

French tea rooms, French tea and French china - the March/April issue of Tea Time Magazine is devoted to thé a la francais and nous l'aimons beaucoup! While learning about tea places in Nantes, it also brought back many wonderful memories of our visit to several favorite Paris salons du thés in the fall of 2008.

Afternoon tea at Angelina's

Bruce Richardson's article in this issue of Tea Time, "An Introduction to French Tea", highlights some of the top tea rooms in Paris including Angelina's anMariage Frères, two of my all-time favorite tea venues. The former is across the street from the Louvre and the century-old tea room creates its own delicious works of art in the form of French pastries which go so well with Angelina's Earl Grey. Bruce Richardson also notes Angelina's hosted many of the rich and famous, including Marcel Proust. So appropriate, while we're remembering all things past! 

And, while we couldn't bring back the scrumptious desserts, we did stock up on Angelina's tea and lined our travel bags with a number of the signature tea tins.

One of the Mariage Frere locations in Paris

And to this day, I still say Mariage Frères is where I had the best cup of tea ever. There are so many varieties to choose from, but it's not just the selection that makes this tea room so remarkable. The servers are schooled in expert brewing and each cup is a delight to sip. 

To this day, still the best cup of tea I ever tasted!

Bruce R. also talks about great day-trips from Paris, such as Giverny and Versaille. We were fortunate to experience both and take in some tea at each city, bien sur!

Giverny, the ponds and gardens where Monet painted and drank tea

Giverny is the home of Monet, where he painted all those beautiful lilies in ponds. We learned the artist enjoyed not only painting his his cultivated gardens, but having a cup of tea there as well.

Outside Versailles Palace, once home to Marie Antoinette

In contrast to Giverny's natural beauty, Versailles, the great French palace, and once home to Marie Antoinette, is over-the-top excess, but impressive down to every gold and crystal detail   We saw where Marie Antoinette slept and dined and the table where her custom-designed china resided.

Tea Time Magazine's French-themed issue also spotlights the country's exquisite china manufacturers, including Limoges and Bernardaud's. And, oui, I do have a tea cup from the Bernardaud's Marie Antoinette tea service collection (shown on page 53 of Tea Time's latest issue). It is a replica of the china used by the ill-fated Queen. It incorporated a few of her favorite things: pearls and cornflowers. (I purchased my tea cup back in 2007 at Bernardaud's on Park Avenue while on a New York tea tour with Elizabeth Knight.)

My Marie Antoinette china tea cup from Bernardaud's

The March/April issue of Tea Time Magazine, c'est merveilleux! It is full of fascinating details of the French way of tea and also a lot of great French-themed tea party recipes. A great read of new experiences, and, for some of us, of times past as well.

For the full, Proust-length blog of our trip to Paris, see Tea Tour in Paris, September, 2008

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