Afternoon Tea at the Bristol Hotel Paris – Review ★★★★★ (English/Anglais)


The French oddly renamed the afternoon tea tradition “tea-time”, perhaps as an excuse to take a few liberties and make it “à la française”. The Bristol Hotel Paris Afternoon Tea has recently been revamped after being in place for a few years. Let’s see if the new tea time is as good as it used to be:

Pour la version française, cliquez ici

Tea Time Hôtel Le Bristol Paris (2018) / Afternoon Tea Bristol Hotel Paris (2018)

Tea Time / Afternoon Tea – Hôtel Le Bristol Paris (2018)

Tea Time Hôtel Le Bristol Paris (2018) / Afternoon Tea Bristol Hotel Paris (2018)

Tea Time / Afternoon Tea – Hôtel Le Bristol Paris (2018)

Afternoon Tea / Tea-Time
Hôtel Le Bristol, Paris

Overall mark: ★★★★★

Le Bristol afternoon tea price: 60€/person;
Le Bristol Champagne afternoon tea price: 80€/person;

Tea refills: Yes (2 Choices per person); Food refills: No (2018)

Service: 3 pm to 6 pm in Café Antonia or Jardin Français
(No bookings possible)

Les Armoiries du Bristol Paris / The Coat of Arms of the Bristol Hotel Paris

The Bristol Hotel Paris Setting ★★★

Located near the “Palais de l’Elysée”, the Bristol Hotel Paris is a magnificent establishment, one of the best five-star hotels in the country. Everything is tastefully decorated in the 18th-century style, for your enjoyment whether you’re having your tea at Café Antonia or simply walking around the hotel corridors.

The staff is very welcoming and will happily share a few anecdotes which may remind you of the movie “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. Remember to ask about the story behind the lift/elevator and to meet the Bristol Hotel Paris resident cat: Fa-raon, who peacefully enjoys his five-star hotel cat life.

I could write a whole article on the beauty of the Bristol Hotel Paris but a few good pictures are better than a thousand words (these pictures were taken ibetween 2015 and 2018, hence the discrepancies in decoration):

Whether you’ll take the tea indoors in “Café Antonia” or outdoors in the courtyard/garden “Jardin français”, this tea will be perfect for guests who enjoy art, luxurious hotels and tranquillity. I strongly recommend to visit the “Jardin français” and weather permitting, to have the afternoon tea there.

The Café Antonia (2018)

The Café Antonia is named after Marie-Antoinette and it does succeed in making you feel like royalty. The atmosphere is on par with the hotel: grandiose and luxurious.

If you fancy a bit of privacy, I suggest sitting in the red salon, which is located at the back of the Café Antonia.

Le Jardin Français (2018)

Spring is upon us and the Jardin Français is now open for afternoon tea. The flowers are blooming and the corner behind the Epicure restaurant is more beautiful than ever (pictures 1 & 2 below) so do take a stroll around the whole garden.

I especially enjoy the quaint feeling of the courtyard. You may even meet the Bristol’s resident cat Fa-raon, who is often seen roaming the garden in the late afternoon.

Click here to read about/see the Jardin Français back in 2015-2017:

Twice a year, a famous French artist contributes to the hotel’s decoration, including the Jardin Français. As of now (mid-2016),  it’s “Daniel Buren” who is one of the most famous conceptual artists in France. The first picture was taken last Christmas so the artist’s contribution is not visible. Back then, it was just a few discrete bronze statues.

I am a profane when it comes to conceptual art, therefore, I will refrain from commenting on Buren’s work. I will let you form your own opinion from the pictures below, the colourful structure is unmissable.

Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★

There is a generous selection of teas: black, green, white, oolong and infusions. Each guest can choose two beverages with the tea-time menu, which can then be refilled at will. An extra beverage will cost you 15€.

I especially recommend the “Sencha Yamato”, a deliciously refreshing green tea, as well as “Paris est une Fête” and the “Jardin des Poêtes”, both excellent choices. The hot chocolate is a marvel, however, I do not suggest ordering it too early, it will kill your appetite!

The “two beverages per guest” limit may be a problem thus it’s preferable that each guest orders a different beverage, as the unlimited refills will allow you to easily share it with your party.

Click here to read about/see the teas and afternoon teas back in 2015-2017:

The Food: The Bristol Hotel Paris afternoon tea (2018)

The chef Eric Fréchon and the pastry chef Julien Alvarez took on the challenge of designing the new Bristol Paris afternoon tea, which hadn’t changed in years.

The bar has been set very high, as the 2015-17 version was simply marvellous in every aspect. Let’s see if the new afternoon tea can hold its own:

The Savouries ★★★☆ (2018)

Back in 2015, the savoury bites were the strongest aspect of this afternoon tea. I’m afraid that they are now the weakest. Each guest is served three sandwiches:

  • Chicken club sandwich (egg, tomato, lettuce and chicken)
  • Vegetarian club sandwich (avocado, aubergine, tomato confit and tzatziki)
  • Veal sandwich (parmesan, roquette salad and veal)

The sandwiches are tasty but feel very run-of-the-mill compared to what I was expecting. Then again, the previous ones were among the best I had ever tasted.

Click here to read about/see the Savouries back in 2015-2017:

The Savouries ★★★★★ (2015-17)

More often than not, the savouries are merely made a few ordinary sandwiches but at the Bristol Hotel, they are original and varied: “Vegetables and Cumin Financiers”; “Veal, Rocket and Parmesan Sandwich”; “Smoked Salmon Feuilleté” & “Chicken Club Sandwich”.

My favourite was the croissant shaped “Smoked Salmon Feuilleté”, a delight for the palate.

FInd below a video detailing the afternoon tea selection (in French) which should stimulate your appetite, regardless of your mastery of the language:

The Scone ★★★★★ (2018)

Each guest is served with a single scone but it should be more than enough as is is huge! The “Orange Peel & Yuzu Scone” is so delicious and moist that it can be eaten whole without any toppings.

Each scone is served with crème fraîche and three different sorts of jam (apricot, strawberry and blueberry).

Click here to read about/see the Scones, Muffins & Madeleines back in 2015-2017:

The Scones, Muffins & Madeleines ★★★★★ (2015-17)

While most afternoon teas serve scones alone, The Bristol Hotel tea-time also comes with muffins (chocolate and raisin) as well as madeleines. It’s delicious, but you will probably have to ask for a doggy bag as all of these are rather huge.

The scones are served with clotted cream and three sorts of jam: blueberry, strawberry and orange marmalade. It’s a pity that these are not homemade, but that’s probably the only qualm I have about this afternoon tea, at least food wise.

The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★ (2018)

The Afternoon Tea Cakes

Sweet-toothed guests will be happy to see that the new cakes are as mouthwatering as the previous edition’s petits-fours.

The middle plate is home to the most elaborate cakes with flavours that will please even the most demanding gourmets:

  • Corsican Cervione Hazelnuts & Praline Cream Eclair
  • Blood Orange & White Chocolate Streusel cake topped with a mixture of fresh Blood Oranges & Nepalese Pepper
  • Caramel & Chocolate Sablé cake topped with torrefied cacao

The top-plate features three French specialities which are now internationally famous:

  • Pink Praline & Apple Brioche
  • Canelé Bordelais
  • Honey & Lemon Madeleine

The à-la-carte Pastries & The Pastry Tray

Guests who do not wish to go with the full afternoon tea can order à-la-carte (one beverage and one pastry costs 30€)

The pastries (which are refrigerated) are brought on a plate from the kitchen while the cakes are displayed on a tray in front of the bar.

  • Chocolate Pearl Cake with Raspberry Coulis
  • Raspberry Tartlet
  • Yuzu Puff pastry with Vanilla Chantilly Cream and Pear Coulis heart
  • Chocolate Black Forest with Chocolate Sablé, Amarena Cherry and Vanilla Chantilly Cream finish
  • Mango Cheesecake on a Parmesan Sablé coated with raw Mango
  • Strawberry Tartlet
  • Cakes, Canéles, Madeleines…

I only sampled the mango cheesecake, which is as heavenly as it is inventive. Every pastry looks gorgeous and sounds even more appetising once you hear about the contents.

Tea & pastry: 30€; Pastry: 22€ Cake: 18€

Click here to read about/see the Petits Fours & Pastries back in 2015-2017:

The Petits Fours & Pastries ★★★★★ (2015-17)

I would love to give these a sixth star as they are so delicious. The Bristol Hotel Paris has its own bakery and that has a significant impact on the quality, both in taste and appearance: “Malagasy Vanilla Pastry Cream Chouquettes”; “Wild Strawberries Tart”; “Tarte au Citron”; “Pistachio/Raspberry Macaron” & “Hazelnut Financier”.

I cannot even begin to express my preference for either of these… However, my afternoon tea companions went with the “Hazelnut Financier” going as far as to say that this was one of the best cakes they ever had.

Finally, some extra pastries can be ordered straight from the cart (see the pictures below). I’ll make sure to try them out next time in order to update this article, and also to properly photograph the “Bristol Hotel Paris resident cats”.

The Service ★★★☆ (2018)

The Bristol Hotel Paris is quite welcoming for a Parisian luxury hotel: the atmosphere is quite laid-back compared to what you might see at the Ritz or at the Meurice.

The Café Antonia team is professional, courteous and knowledgeable about each aspect of this tea time. Below is a presentation of the afternoon tea and the à-la-carte pastries by our amazing waiter, Guillaume (in French):

Click here to read about the Service back in 2015-2017:

The Service ★★★☆ (2015-17)

It’s surprising for a five-star hotel, but the service is the weakest part of the tea-time. Everything about this tea is amazing, so the bar is set rather high. One of the waitresses was a bit rude and the staff was not very accessible, despite the fact that our table was very visible from the bar.

in England, the staff always makes sure you have enough tea, spontaneously offering refills. I’m well aware that this is a French hotel but for a British tradition, you must learn from the best!

I did not notice this flaw last Christmas, maybe it’s due to summer season or simply to that specific waitress… I would like to thank Nathanel who took great care of us as well as Simon, Morgane and the whole Front Office team.

Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★ (2018)

The Bristol Hotel Paris Afternoon Tea has changed drastically since last year and even though it isn’t as good a deal as it used to be, it’s still a fantastic experience that is bound to delight both gourmets and tea lovers.

I recommend going on a beautiful day so you can sit in the Jardin Français: this garden seems to get more and more beautiful each year.

+: A magnificent Hotel at a great location within Paris 8
+: The Jardin Français, a gorgeous garden
+: Solid tea & beverage selection
+: The food, original and delicious
+: Good service

-: The 2015-17 tea time will be missed
-: The Savouries
-: No bookings

Official Website

Afternoon Tea Menu

Phone: +33 (0)1 53 43 43 42

Email: cafeantonia.lebristolparis@oetkercollection.com

Address: 112 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris, France

 

Pour la version française, cliquez ici

Click here to read the article’s Conclusion back in 2015-2017:

Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★ (2015-17)

I cannot let the slightly weaker service waste this tea experience, this tea-time is fitting of the hotel’s reputation: marvellous.

Do not look any further, it’s one of the best afternoon teas in Paris, along with the Hôtel de Crillon.

+: A magnificent Hotel at a great location within Paris 8
+: The Jardin Français, a gorgeous garden
+: Solid tea & beverage selection
+: The food, original and delicious

-: Service is not five-star hotel worthy
-: No bookings
-: Expensive (2018 update)


About Sam

My name is Samuel, I’m a French-British foodie, teaholic and serial traveller. I especially love afternoon tea as it combines everything I love: lovely venues, plenty of tea and lots of delicious food. In my never-ending quest for perfection, I make sure to try out at least one afternoon tea a day whenever I spend a weekend in London, Paris, Dublin, Hamburg, Vienna... Keep calm and bon appétit!

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