The Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris is known in the industry for being the most demanding “Palace” in the French capital when it comes to quality of service so I had very high expectations when I came to review their afternoon tea:
Pour la version française, cliquez ici – Latest update: February 2020
The Setting ★★★★★
The George V is a flagship in the Parisian luxury segment. It sits on the avenue of the same name, which is adjacent to the Champs Elysées. While most luxury hotels in the French capital have a complex history, the George V Paris has existed ever since the building was constructed in 1928 and has never ceased to be a luxury hotel. The name “George V” is meant to be a thank you to the eponymous British king, for his continued support of France during the First World War.
Its exterior aspect is typical of the 1930s Art Deco style while the interior decoration combines classicism (King Louis XIV to Louis XVI) and modernity. Flowers are everywhere in the hotel, from the lobby to the terrace. They are the mark of Jeff Leatham, the hotel’s artistic director.
The George V Paris has been under the management of the Four Seasons hotel group since 2008. It is among the best hotels in the world and is the recipient of many prestigious awards (a total of 5 Michelin stars, Condé Nast Traveller prime rankings…).
Galerie lounge ★★★★★
The afternoon tea is served in the Galerie, a grand lounge decorated with Flemish tapestries, 19th-century furniture, several works of art (clocks, sculptures, paintings …) and many flowers (Geraniums, Orchids, Rhododendrons and Forsythia).
Matea Maras is an excellent pianist, whose diverse repertoire should please all kinds of tastes (Classics, Disney songs, Games of Thrones, etc…).
When it comes to luxurious environments, this is the nicest atmosphere I have ever experienced when having afternoon tea in Paris.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The George V works with two tea suppliers: 25 teas and infusions are sourced from Betjeman & Barton and 3 Sencha teas are sourced from Jugetsudo. Even though there are no connoisseur teas on offer, this tea selection is excellent.
The staff is very attentive and will always make sure that each guest has plenty of tea (even though the brewing method itself does not reach the level of perfection of the Ritz Paris). The service team is also very well trained and will be able to assist you if you need any help for choosing your beverage.
For those of you who are not afraid of trying out a more bitter tea, I recommend the Japanese Matcha. You can admire the tea brewing skills of Nicolas (The Galerie lounge manager) in the video below (in French):
Choice of teas: 28 (black, green, white, oolong and infusions); tea-bags
Brewing method: Brewed in the kitchen or at the table, then adjusted by the staff in the kitchen or at the table using hot water
1 choice of tea with refills with each afternoon tea, 15-18€ per extra teapot
If you believe your appetite can stand it, the “Hot chocolate grand cru” is worth trying. It is served with milk, cream and chocolate pearls for guests who may wish to make it softer or even more chocolatey. The chocolate itself is delicious so I recommend drinking it pure, at least for starters.
It is the staff’s expertise which enhances the experience: guests who order the hot chocolate are served with “Abatilles” mineral water so they can prepare their palates for the precious beverage. The devil is in the details!
For an extra 10-20€, guests may choose to complement the afternoon tea with a glass of Champagne “Tête de Cuvée” (below). The staff is very accommodating and offered to replace the Champagne with a cocktail, a fruit juice or even an extra pastry. This flexibility is very good news for us teetotallers!
The Savouries ★★★★☆
If you wish to pair your tea with the savouries, I recommend choosing one of the Sencha teas as Japanese green teas go very well with fish and seafood:
- Blini with cauliflower cream, salmon and Sologne caviar
- Lobster brioche with lemon jelly
- Lobsters with lemon emulsion and condiments
- Shortbread biscuit with condiments, black olives and truffles ♥
The shortbread biscuit is my favourite: the flavours are subtle and perfectly balanced. However, if you are not fond of lemon and/or condiment induced flavours, some savoury bites may seem a bit strong.
NB: Guests with dietary requirements (vegetarian, gluten-free diet…) are required to specify so at least a week ahead
The Scones ★★★★★
2020 update: on my last visit, the scones were extra (18 € both) and the afternoon tea was comprised of a delicious Gâteau Nantais instead.
The George V afternoon tea comes with two scones: plain and almond/raspberry. They are served with clotted cream, raspberry jam and an Alsatian white cherry jam.
The Alsatian white cherry jam is so delicious that it may even be the best jam I have ever tasted, the flavour is really one of a kind.
I recommend eating the plain scone with the jams, while the almond & raspberry scone is so good that it’s possible to eat it without any topping, or maybe just a drop of clotted cream.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★
The Afternoon Tea Cakes & Sweets
Pastry chef Maxime Frédéric went the extra mile: the George V afternoon tea offers a great choice of cakes and sweets, for the delight of sweet toothed guests:
Middle plate first (picture below)
- “Rum Baba” Brioche with passion fruit syrup and non-sweetened cream (alcohol-free)
- Rhubarb, wild strawberry, clove and borage Cake
- Chocolate & Yōkan Tart
- Chocolate & Piémont hazelnuts “Religieuse” Pastry
Top plate (second picture below)
- “Gugelhupf” Brioche with almonds, orange blossom and vanilla
- Caramel and chocolate Macadamia nut Cookie
- Chestnut honey smoked Madeleine ♥
Just as with some savoury bites, do expect many strong flavours (Yokan, clove, borage…). Gourmets with a thirst for adventure will be pleased but you may find that some cakes have quite a powerful taste.
The Pastry Tray Cakes & Sweets
2020 update: on my last visit, the pastry tray was no longer on display.
If you choose the “Celebration” afternoon tea at 70€, you may choose one cake from the pastry tray. The cake selection varies but here are the contents of the pastry tray on the say I had the afternoon tea: Guanaja chocolate Eclair Wild strawberry and fresh mint “cheesecake like” Tart Banana, vanilla and lime Cake “All about lemon” tart Red fruit and Sicilian pistachio Tart ♥ Chocolate & vanilla marble Cake Lemon Cake I had the opportunity to try two different pastries. It took me quite a while to choose as literally everything tickled me fancy… The red fruit & pistachio tart gets my vote; it’s the perfect way to end the afternoon tea! (second picture below). Price for a single pastry: 22€
Price for two slices of cake: 18€
Price of the “Célébration” Afternoon tea with a glass of Champagne and a pastry: 70€
The Service ★★★★★
A friend who works in a Parisian hotel told me that the George V is the most selective hotel when it comes to recruiting staff members. This did not come as a surprise: the whole service team is highly professional, whether it’s Salomé from the terrace or Charles and Nicolas from the Galerie lounge.
It’s quite difficult to put into words but the George V Paris offers the best from both worlds: it’s luxurious and yet, warm and welcoming towards everyone. You’ll feel so good and relaxed that you will not want to leave.
Below is a video detailing the contents of the afternoon tea and the pastry tray (in French):
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
The Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris serves an outstanding afternoon tea. Its strongest points are the Galerie atmosphere and the stellar service, which are on par with what the Ritz Paris has to offer.
Chef David Bizet and pastry chef Maxime Frédéric worked together to create an extraordinary experience. It combines the best of French and British traditions and will be a delight for gourmets who are keen on new flavours.
+: A Parisian landmark
+: The Galerie lounge
+: Great tea selection (Matcha)
+: Delicious food
+: Impeccable service (best in Paris)
+: Special sense of serenity and quietness
-: No connoisseur teas
-: Certain flavours may be a little too powerful for some tastes.
Phone number: +33 (1) 49 52 70 00
Address: 31, avenue George V 75008 Paris