The Plaza Athénée Paris afternoon tea had been on my to-do list for a long time, especially after having had such a wonderful time at several of its sister “Dorchester Collection hotels” such as the Meurice Paris. Let’s see how Angelos Musa’s afternoon tea fares against Alain Ducasse’s:
The Setting ★★★★★
The Plaza Athénée is located on Avenue Montaigne, in the so-called Golden Triangle (triangle d’or) of the 8th district. This area is renowned as the epicentre of French luxury.
This palatial hotel is a perfect fit for the area, a place of “Haute Couture” designed to perfection. I recommend you to visit the Alain Ducasse restaurant, especially if you enjoy impressive interiors (third and fourth pictures below).
The hotel courtyard’s tables are for the exclusive use of the Alain Ducasse restaurant and afternoon tea is not served there. There currently is an ice-skating rink, which is photographed in the pictures below:
La Galerie ★★★★☆
Afternoon tea is served in La Galerie, a long corridor with only few people coming through. While the venue isn’t as well-suited as a restaurant or a dedicated lounge, it is still cosy and comfortable.
The Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris Afternoon Tea
The Plaza Athénée afternoon tea is made up of three options, all rather similar:
- The “Goûter d’Angelo Musa”: cakes and sweets, served with one hot beverage; 60€ per person ♥♥
- The “Goûter de la Galerie”: cakes and sweets, served with a “Rose Cocktail” (champagne with homemade red fruit coulis); 70€ per person
- The “Goûter du Plaza Athénée”: Club Sandwich or Croque Monsieur, cakes and sweets, served with one hot beverage; 80€ per person ♥
I’m usually not too keen on afternoon teas that feature no savouries (no matter how tasty the sweets) but Angelo Musa’s sweet afternoon has my preference due to its superior value for money.
Do note that none of the options includes scones, which shouldn’t be an issue considering the generous selection of sweets 🙂
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The Plaza Athénée sources its teas from Betjeman & Barton. The tea selection is good and the tea is very well brewed. The tea is made in the kitchen and then transferred to another teapot so it doesn’t overbrew. I recommend the hotel blend “Mélange Plaza”: a fruity green tea with a soft and pleasant flavour (figs, grapes & quinces).
It’s a pity that the afternoon tea won’t allow for more than one tea per person (the champagne cocktail afternoon tea doesn’t even come with a hot beverage). You will have to pay 14€~ per extra teapot. You may also order the “Alain Ducasse” hot chocolate but you’d risk losing your appetite and/or a sugar overdose.
Choice of teas: 16 (black, green, white, oolong, pu-erh and infusions); (14-20€ per extra teapot)
Brewing method: Brewed loose-leaf by the kitchen team then transferred to another teapot to prevent over-brewing (best technique)
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The “Goûter du Plaza Athénee” afternoon tea lets you choose between the club sandwich (chicken, tomato, egg, salad) and the Croque-Monsieur. The Club Sandwich is tasty and served in generous quantities. You may even add a bit of a kick by using the four toppings: Whole-grain mustard, Dijon mustard, Ketchup and Tabasco.
I would assume that the Croque Monsieur is equally tasty but neither option is original or varied. I would’ve loved for the chef to create a few afternoon tea savoury bites such as those offered by the Crillon Paris.
While the savouries are the least important aspect of this afternoon tea (only offered with the 80€ option), I’m still happy to see they are on offer as many Parisian afternoon teas skip them entirely.
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★★
Since there are no Scones, you’ll start with the cakes straight away. It’s here that the Plaza Athénée shines; this selection is among the best in the French capital:
- Le Papillaud : Crusty chocolate and caramel ganache with passion fruit essences ♥
(cake for which Angelo Musa was crowned world champion)
- The Paris-Brest (praline cream pastry) ♥♥
- Les Tuiles de Monsieur Bourguignon
(the first cookie the chef has learned to make, as a tribute to his mentor)
- Almond and vanilla Mont-Blanc cake
- The Kumquat tart ♥
- The Lemon meringue Merveille cake
- The Tiramisu ♥♥
- The chocolate lollypop
- Grapefruit and Nepalese Timut pepper Marshmallow ♥♥
Whether it’s the classics such as the Paris-Brest, the reimagined cakes such as the crunchy Tiramisu or the deliciously sour marshmallow; Angelo Musa has designed the best sweet afternoon tea in the city.
Many of these cakes are typical French cakes that are not often found outside of France and yet they are also very original thanks to the creative use of ingredients (e.g. the Timut pepper). People who wish to sample the best of French pâtisseries should definitely give it a go, while people who favour something more traditional (with savouries and scones) should go elsewhere.
Last but not least, there are three chocolate biscuits glazed with hazelnut and white chocolate.
- The 100% Coffee
- The 100% Pistachio ♥
- The 100% Caramel
These cakes (first picture below) are both tasty and light. I suggest you save them for last; they are much easier to bring back home 🙂
If this afternoon tea is too much for you or if you plan to share it with your friends, you may also order à-la-carte pastries for a price 18-20€ each (fourth picture below).
The Service ★★★★☆
The staff is courteous and efficient, as you would expect from a five-star hotel. Below is a video detailing the contents of the “Goûter du Plaza Athénée” (in French):
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
The Hôtel Plaza Athénée serves the best sweet afternoon tea in Paris, as long as you don’t mind skipping the scones. I recommend the 60€ per person option unless you absolutely want to try the savouries or wish to have the champagne cocktail.
Angelo Musa was crowned “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (best craftsman) in 2007 and won the pâtisserie world cup in 2003 with the Papillaud cake, which is served with the afternoon tea. These distinctions are more than well-deserved: the Goûter du Plaza Athénée is vastly superior to the Ritz Paris, despite the inferior tea selection.
+: The Plaza Athénée’s magnificent setting
+: The tea selection
+: Angelo Musa’s sweet creations
+: Very good value for money (60€ version)
+: Probably the best sweet afternoon tea in Paris
+: Served every day from 2 to 7 pm
-: One hot beverage per afternoon tea
-: Only one connoisseur tea (white tea)
-: Savouries are tasty but forgettable
-: Full afternoon tea is expensive (80€ per person)
Phone number : +33 1 53 67 66 00