Montreal enjoys a solid reputation in North America for anything that is food related. There is a plethora of cafés and restaurants, each with a charm of its own. As old habits die hard, let’s start by reviewing the Bar à Beurre afternoon tea:
The Bar à Beurre Montréal Setting ★★★★☆
The Bar à Beurre is located in the heart of Old Montreal. It is both a small Italian pastry shop and a gorgeously decorated tea room. The homemade cakes, food products and various teas & coffees are prominently displayed and it would be perfectly possible to grab an afternoon tea to go, both for food and beverages.
I especially love the front window decoration and the tea room’s general feeling of cosiness. The max capacity is for a dozen people at most, with no more than 5-6 people per table. It’s perfect for a friends hangout as long as you’re not too many.
Do note that there are no lavatories (!), so go easy on the tea drinking.
The Tea & Beverage selection ★★★★☆
It’s a bit odd but there are more teas to buy to take home than there are teas available to drink on the spot. However, the choice is very decent for a tea room of this size: black, green, oolong and white tea, as well as infusions, herbal teas, fruit juices and several types of coffees.
I chose the “Perfectly Pear”, a good flavoured white tea despite a strange aftertaste and a slightly high temperature (by a few degrees at most).
The afternoon tea set is very cute and could even belong in a British tea room.
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The Bar à Beurre is a pastry shop first and foremost, so the savoury selection is rather limited. Each guest gets a “salmon & cream toast” and a “cucumber & avocado sandwich”.
Both savouries were tasty and refreshing, with a slight preference for the salmon toast. It’s a pity that there are only two savouries. the chef is obviously very good with savouries and I believe a bit more savouries and fewer sweets would bring more balance to this afternoon tea.
The Scones & Brioches ★★★☆☆
The cranberry & almond scones’ taste reminds me of bread, rather than proper scones. There were still fairly tasty and the size was perfect as well.
The homemade blueberry jam was delicious but the traditional clotted cream was missing. It’s not a major issue but it’s considered sine qua non for a proper scone!
The Italian brioche and the biscuits are also a nice touch, as it adds originality to the afternoon tea and reminds us that were are in an Italian pastry shop.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
If you have a sweet tooth, the Bar à Beurre afternoon tea is made for you. The cakes and pastry selection are very generous: “Vanilla” and “Red Velvet” cupcakes, “Pistachio” and “Lavender” macaroons and sweet “butterballs”. Kudos to the chef for the latter, the pink butterballs are deliciously soft and tasty.
Conversely, the macaroons were a tad disappointing: too much cream and not enough crunch, while the lavender flavour felt way too artificial.
Whether it’s the icing on the cupcakes or the cream filled macaroons, this afternoon tea is very creamy, very sweet and very rich. This to be expected from a place called “Bar à Beurre” but consider yourself warned!
The Service ★★★★★
The staff is friendly, efficient and highly responsive via email. Special thanks to the chef who gave us some extra salmon toasts, it’s highly appreciated.
Booking is highly recommended and afternoon tea is served for groups of 2-4 people minimum. Do keep in mind that the biggest table is for 5-6 people at most!
Conclusion and Overall Mark ★★★★☆
At 15$ per person including taxes, the price/performance ratio of the Bar à Beurre afternoon tea is most excellent. The servings are so generous that you’re quite likely to bring a few cupcakes home.
It’s the perfect venue for a first afternoon tea in Montreal, especially if you’re a small group of sweet-toothed friends!
+: The cosy atmosphere
+: Good choice of beverages
+: The generous servings
+: Afternoon tea is served all day long
+: Excellent price/performance ratio
-: For 2-4 persons minimum
-: Few tables
-: No lavatories
-: For sweet tooth only
-: The macaroons
Phone: +44 (0)207 518 9388
Adress: 350 Notre Dame Est Local 2