It’s not everyday one receives an invitation to “tea at Raffles, Paris” so when Carol from Paris Breakfasts wondered whether I might like to join her one sunny Wednesday afternoon last month, I jumped at the chance! Le Royal Monceau (Raffles, Paris) is a gorgeous building – as soon as you enter the lobby, you’re transported to a magical space…
Whilst luxury is definitely on a grand scale, the hotel itself is not – with just 149 rooms (including 61 suites and 3 luxury apartments), The Royal Monceau does not feel overwhelmingly large as some hotels can. It’s very intimate in fact, and all the public spaces, including the two Michelin-starred restaurants, (“La Cuisine” which serves classic French cuisine and “Il Carpaccio“, serving Italian cuisine), and “Le Bar Long” where afternoon tea takes place, feel comfortable at the same time as luxuriously elegant. The afternoon we were there, Le Bar Long saw a steady stream of people popping in for a coffee or tea and later on, apéritifs. Business meetings seemed to be taking place as well as girlfriends catching up – it’s all very convivial and not at all stuffy as you might expect a luxury hotel to be.
I’m sure the fact that the hotel was completely renovated between 2008 and 2010 (when Philippe Starck was hired to breathe new life into the 80 year-old establishment) has a lot to do with this modern feel of the hotel.
The amenities offered by the hotel are numerous: it has its own art gallery (with a dedicated art concierge), an art-focussed bookstore, a film screening room (where the World Cup was screened this past month and where, each Sunday night, they show a film and serve Pierre Hermé popcorn and a glass of champagne for €40 per person!), a Clarins spa, a kids’ club, a concept store offering clothes and jewelry as well as art and design objects.
Afternoon tea takes place in Le Bar Long...
At 47€ per person, the tea is definitely not cheap but after you’ve indulged, you won’t need dinner. So think of this as a meal! The tea-time menu includes a hot beverage, finger sandwiches and a selection of Pierre Hermé pastries, scones, macarons and chocolates. Sign me up!
This was an absolutely delightful selection of sweet and savoury treats (of course, the Hermé pastries were my favourites!). Even though we managed to make a large dent in most of the items, we didn’t leave there feeling overly full and, as I said, if you replace a dinner with this meal, it’s the perfect amount of food. The teas served with the food (by Pascal Hamour) are the perfect accompaniment and they were happy to make Carol an iced version of the mint tea. A wonderful way to experience the luxury of a Palace hotel if the rooms aren’t in your travel budget!
Le Royal Monceau (Raffles, Paris)
37 Avenue Hoche,
Thanks Carol for a wonderful afternoon – and if you don’t know Carol’s work and are a fan of all things Paris, check out her Etsy store – you’re bound to find a little piece of Paris to call your own!
Disclosure: Carol and I were guests of Le Royal Monceau for afternoon tea (you can read her post about our afternoon here). I was not asked to write about my experience and am not being further compensated for doing so. All opinions are my own.
Many of you will know I’m in France for most of the summer. While I will be slowly blogging about things I do here, the best way to keep up with me will be by following my photos which you can do on my Summer 2014 set on Flickr or Instagram where I am @eatlivtravwrite (if you don’t have the app on your phone you can still check out the photos online.