The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme afternoon tea is among the most frequently updated in the city, earning it quite a bit of press coverage. Speaking of which, their menu has already changed as I am publishing this article and thus this review will be a bit less thorough than usual.
Pour la version française cliquez-ici – February 2020 update: afternoon tea price changed to 55€ and 70€.
The Setting ★★★☆☆
The Park Hyatt Paris is located between Opéra Garnier and Place Vendôme. There is no impressive façade (unlike the neighbouring Ritz Paris), only a rather unremarkable entrance bearing the name of the hotel.
This unimpressive feeling will stay once you enter the hotel lobby. If you enjoy a plush environment and warm colours, you risk being disappointed.
The restaurant “Sens” (below) and the terrace (undergoing renovations when I came) offer plenty of natural light but afternoon tea isn’t served there.
La Cheminée restaurant ★★★☆☆
The Afternoon tea is served in la Cheminée (“the fireplace” in French), which is luxurious but lacks warmth (no pun intended), pretty much like the hotel as a whole.
I recall a similar feeling when I reviewed the Mandarin Oriental Paris, albeit to a lesser extent.
Tea & Beverage Selection ★★★★★
The beverage selection is excellent: it’s most probably the strongest point of this afternoon tea.
There are 21 teas and infusions from the Nunshen tea house. Each afternoon tea comes with a single hot beverage, I only tried the “Kangchenjunga” flavoured black tea ♥
I’m very happy with the brewing method: the tea is brewed in the kitchen and poured into another teapot so the tea can be enjoyed straight away. The staff will also refill your glass with Evian water, which is much appreciated.
Classic teas: 21 (7 black, 6 green, 1 white, 2 oolong & 5 infusions)
Brewing method: Brewed loose-leaf by the kitchen team then transferred to a cast-iron teapot to prevent over-brewing (best technique)
One hot beverage per person; Price for an extra tea: 12-14€
The Savouries ★★★★☆
The Paren(the)se afternoon tea starts with three savoury bites:
- Brie de Meaux and nut Crunchy
- Foie gras truffle with bitter cocoa and balsamic vinegar ♥
- Carrot, star anise and orange Verrine ♥
The savouries are tasty but too frugal. This would’ve been easier to forgive if this afternoon tea didn’t skip the scones altogether…
The Cakes & Sweets ★★★★☆
The Afternoon Tea Cakes & Pastries
- Chocolate-croissant styled Brioche
- Chocolate and hazelnut spread
- Pain perdu (french toast) dessert ♥
- Entremet à la poire, sirop d’érable et pécan
- Mini-Pavlova (creamy yuzu and meringue shell)
- Chocolate soufflé tartlet with caramel and hazelnuts ♥♥
- Dulce Eclair
Some of these are excellent (the chocolate tartlet) while some are forgettable (I still fail to see the point of a chocolate spread on its own…).
The Pastry Tray
If you’re not hungry enough for the full afternoon tea, you may also order from the pastry tray.
The Service ★★★★☆
The staff is polite and effiicent, as expected from a Parisian hotel of this calibre. Below is a video of the afternoon tea (in French):
Conclusion & Overall Mark ★★★☆☆
The Park Hyatt Vendôme afternoon tea will please both tea lovers and sweet-toothed foodies, as long as they don’t mind skipping the scones (though it’s theoretically a must…).
The cold atmosphere and the lack of natural light are the most disappointing aspects of this afternoon tea; this would’ve been much better if it had been served in the “Sens” restaurant, on the Terrace or even at the Bar.
+: The fireplace must feel very nice in the winter
+: The teas
+: Chef Jimmy Mornet’s creations
+: The afternoon tea offer changes frequently
-: The cold atmosphere of La Cheminée restaurant
-: No Scones