I never had a bad afternoon tea in France until now. Every hotel had its own strengths and weaknesses but they were all good if not excellent. The Prince de Galles Paris afternoon tea was my first disappointment:
Pour la version française, cliquez ici
Afternoon Tea / Tea Time
Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Paris, France (five-star hotel)
Overall mark: ★★☆☆☆
Prince de Galles Paris afternoon tea price: 52€/person; 95€ for two
with Champagne or Cocktail: 62€/person
Tea refills: No, 1 choice per person; Food refills: No
Service hours: Monday-Saturday 3 to 6 pm; Sunday 4 to 6 pm
at Bar Les Heures or on the Terrace
The Setting ★★★☆☆
The Prince de Galles Paris is located on Avenue George V, right beside the hotel of the same name. I might as well say it straight away: it pales in comparison to its neighbour.
The interior colours are cold, both in the lobby and in the bar. The staff isn’t exactly welcoming either, which doesn’t help.
The Bar Les Heures ★★★☆☆
Afternoon tea is served in the Bar Les Heures. The interior has aged (poorly) and lacks natural light, despite the windows overlooking the courtyard.
It’s also a bar and therefore it’s quite noisy in comparison to a lounge or a salon.
Live music: No
The Prince de Galles Paris Afternoon Tea
The Prince de Galles afternoon tea costs 52€ per person or 95€ for two. It is comprised of savouries, scones, cakes and pastries from the tray, served with one beverage.
You can add a glass of Champagne or Cocktail, which brings the afternoon tea to 62€ per person.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★☆☆
The Teas ★★★☆☆
The Prince de Galles Paris sources its teas from Damman Frères. The tea is served in gorgeous Wedgwood cups.
The tea supplier is excellent but the tea isn’t prepared right and will overbrew quickly, even though that issue is hardly exclusive to the Prince de Galles. Add a few too many mistakes from the staff and the beverages as a whole will be a bitter memory.
I recommend the “Miss Damman” green tea to those who enjoy fruity flavours (ginger and citrus) but to remember to remove the tea bad before the brew becomes too strong and undrinkable. You’ll have to use your smartphone or your watch though, as the tea does not come with an hourglass.
Tea selection: 15 teas from the Damman Frères tea house; tea bags
Brewing method: At the table in a metal glass pot, with a removable tea bag
12-15€ per extra teapot
The Cocktails ★☆☆☆☆
You may have a cocktail with your afternoon tea. There are two choices:
- Afternoon Delight – Beefeater, Fresh Lemon juice, Mistra Liquor, Soda water
- Lemon Sherbet – Lemon homemade Sherbet, Soda water, Fresh Lemon juice
I tried the Lemon Sherbet which turned out to be as ordinary as an average lemonade. Go with the Champagne if you really feel like having a boozy afternoon tea.
The Savouries ★★★☆☆
The savoury bites are quite tasty but also rather ordinary:
- Mimosa-egg roll
- Salmon puff pastry
- Smoked-ham focaccia sandwich
- Dried tomato & olive Madeleine
The Scones ★★★★☆
Each guest is served one plain and one pistachio lemon scone. It is by far the best aspect of this afternoon tea. They come with strawberry jam, apricot jam and clotted cream.
Bonus point for the service: scones are wrapped in a napkin so they retain their heat.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★☆☆☆
The Afternoon Tea Cakes ★☆☆☆☆
The cakes are most disappointing despite their appetising appearance:
- Vanilla & Sesame seed Eclair
- Apple-kiwi Cake
- Chocolat-praline Millefeuille
The eclair has a strange salty taste. The other two cakes are okay but unworthy of a supposedly five-star afternoon tea.
You can always comfort yourself with the fresh fruits… or wait for the final course.
The Pastry Tray Cakes ★★★★☆
The afternoon tea ends with the cakes from the pastry tray, which guests can choose straight at the table (5 pieces per guest):
- Vanilla Cake
- Chocolate-vanilla Cake
- Crunchy chocolate Fondant ♥
- Pecan nuts Cookie
- Candied lemon Cake
- Spicy chocolate finger Cakes
These are good cakes but nowhere tasty enough to make you forget about the éclair.
The Service ★☆☆☆☆
Not very welcoming, clumsy staff, several oversights and icing on the cake: a surcharge during payment. Starwood members are normally entitled to a 10% discount but this wasn’t factored even though I had sent them my SPG number when I booked the afternoon tea. Impossible to rectify of course, since I realised that too late and a technical issue wouldn’t let us pay by card at the table (we had ot go to the restaurant in another part of the hotel). It’s almost too bad to be true.
I experienced a similar issue at the Peninsula Paris but the staff was very accommodating and professional despite the technical constraints (delayed refund).
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★☆☆☆
The Prince de Galles Paris afternoon tea could have been decent if it had a better service but as it stands: it’s below average, if not downright mediocre. The cold setting, the poorly prepared tea and the average (though plentiful) food cant save it either.
I don’t pretend to be fully impartial but we were four people when we had this afternoon tea and the disappointment was mutual. I can’t possibly recommend it when the Four Seasons George V serves a better and less expensive afternoon tea right next door.
+: The Damman teas
+: The scones
+: The pastry tray cakes
+: Plentiful food
+: Casts a favourable light on the George V
-: The setting
-: Poorly brewed tea
-: Tastless cocktail
-: The afternoon tea cakes
-: The service
-: Probably the most mediocre afternoon tea in Paris
Prince de Galles Paris Afternoon Tea Official Website & Menu
Phone number: +33 153237777
Address: 33 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France
Pour la version française, cliquez ici
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