The Royal Monceau Raffles Paris afternoon tea is modestly named “The Royal Tea Time by Pierre Hermé”, a possible reference to its very generous pastry buffet that wouldn’t feel out of place at Versailles palace. Let’s see if it’s as good as the Peninsula:
The Setting ★★★★☆
The Raffles Paris sits in the 8th district, between the Arc de Triomphe and Parc Monceau. The hotel is fairly recent compared to its counterparts: it opened in 1928 and quickly became a hit with French artists.
It was heavily renovated from 2008 to 2010 and has since been bought back by French hospitality group AccorHotels. It is among the 11 five-star hotels that are certified “Palace”, an official distinction granted to the most luxurious establishments.
Phillipe Starck redecorated the hotel and those of you familiar with its work will quickly be able to tell. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the fifties, albeit with a modern art twist.
The Raffles Paris brands itself as a palace of arts and culture (the Plaza Athénée does the same with Haute Couture): there are several works of art on display, some of them even for sale.
The hotel’s façade is even prettier at night. I recommend taking a stroll around the inner courtyard once it’s lit up ♥
The Bar Long at Royal Monceau Raffles Paris ★★★★☆
Afternoon tea is served in the Bar Long. The atmosphere is cosy and relaxing, perfect for a french “goûter”.
If possible, I suggest sitting at the tables located on the left side of the Bar Long: you’ll enjoy more privacy and maybe even a view on the inner courtyard.
The Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★☆
The tea selection is made up of 17 teas and infusions from the prestigious supplier Dammann Frères. The tea quality is good although it’s a pity that the teapots do not come with an hourglass or a recipient to regulate the brew. I also would’ve wished for at least one choice of white tea or oolong tea on offer but that’s to be expected, as Damman specialises in flavoured black/green teas.
I was able to try the “Pierre Hermé” Hot Chocolate and the very bitter Matcha Latte (abnormally so for Matcha). Good job on the staff that will graciously refill your glass with Evian water ♥ for the duration of the afternoon tea.
Guests who will go with the Royal Tea Time with Champagne can choose between Ruinart and Moêt champagne (brut or rosé).
Classic teas offer 17 (7 black, 5 green, 5 infusions)
Brewing method: At the table; in a cast-iron teapot containing a removable tea bag
One beverage per person; Price for an extra teapot: 12-14€
The Savouries ★★★★★
The afternoon tea starts with three savoury bites. Some of them are named to reflect the Royal Monceau Raffles’ history as the hotel of arts and culture, as well as the intellectual and artists who called it home:
- Chicken Galantine Club Turkey Sandwich “Jean Cocteau”
- Artichoke Tartlet “à la Montansier” ♥♥
- Avocat Farci et Crispy de Tacos ♥
The savouries are delicious and original, though they’re also a bit hard to eat due to their size and fragility (I’m haggling, I love it when the portions are generous ^^).
I’m really that the chef took the time to design savouries worthy of a five-star afternoon tea!
The Scones ★★★★★
Each serving of afternoon tea comes with one plain scone and one orange scone. They’re excellent but I would have preferred to have them served separately (or at least wrapped in a serviette) in order to eat them warm.
They are served with cream (not clotted cream I’m afraid…), three sorts of honey ♥ (acacia, spring, chestnut tree) and two scrummy homemade jams designed by the Raffles Paris’ pastry chef: “Ispahan” ♥ (Lychee & rose) and “Satine” (Passion fruit).
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
The Royal Monceau Raffles Paris serves one of the few Parisian afternoon teas comprised of a pastry buffet. Sweet-toothed gourmets will be thrilled as long as they save their appetite for the cakes so long as they stay away from the hot chocolate and don’t go all-out on the scones 🙂
The buffet varies daily but here is the list of cakes and sweets that were on offer on the day of the review:
- Sacristain/Chocolate torsade
- “Infinitely Vanilla” Cake ♥
- Vanilla & Raspberry-Litchee Madeleines
- Chocolate Eclair
- Chocolate Mousse
- Rose-Raspberry Macaroon Cake
- Homemade Cake (Chocolate, Caramel, Vanilla) ♥
- Chocolate-Raspberry Cake
The cakes and sweets are great but they’ll feel a bit run-of-the-mill. Still, each cake was tasty and we all had a blast!
Fruits are also available, should you wish to go for something light or for a nice addition to a lovely Rum-Baba 😀
Sweet-toothed guests will especially love this buffet, though it’s a tad inferior to the Peninsula Paris.
The Crêpes Station
The crêpes (or French pancakes) are tasty and the toppings plentiful: chocolate spread, nut spread, jams (including the chef’s special jams), etc…
Almost everything is homemade and palm-oil-free. Needless to say, it’s a lot better than your average Nutella pancake 😉
The Service ★★★★★
The staff is friendly and efficient, though we had to wait a little while to place our first order (probably because we all arrived at different times)
Once we ordered the afternoon teas, Sarah and Marie took good care of us, they regularly came to the table to refill our drinking glasses and take our orders.
Below is a video detailing the Raffles Paris afternoon tea as well as the cakes and sweets buffet:
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★★★
Afternoon tea at the Royal Monceau Raffles Paris is a brilliant combination of French Goûter (cakes buffet) and English Afternoon Tea (savoury bites and scones). The setting is relaxing, the tea selection is great and the food is excellent (both the savouries and the sweets).
If you consider that the price is more than decent for an afternoon tea of this calibre (52€ per person), I believe it’s the best French Goûter in Paris: a must-try!
+: Magnificent Hotel
+: The Dammann Teas
+: The original savouries
+: The Scones and Homemade Jams
+: The Cakes & Sweets buffet
+: The service
+: Excellent price/performance ratio
-: The tea selection could be better