Sugared & Spiced

pâtissière in paris, now shanghai

[Paris] Tea Time at Shangri-la

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La Bauhinia, Shangri-la Paris

Add: 10 avenue d’Iéna, Paris 75116
Tel: 01 53 67 19 91
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 3:30-5:30pm [Sat-Sun] 4-5:30pm
Website: www.shangri-la.com
Price: [tea set] 39/one person, 70/two persons [a la carte] 12-14/pastry, €12-16/tea
Visited: Jan 2015

I kind of fell in love with La Bauhinia at The Shangri-la the moment I stepped in. Crowned with a gorgeous glass cupola, the entire two-story space is bathed in soft natural light, its mint green walls and royal red sofas in soothing harmony with one another. The tranquil ambience has an immediate calming effect, and when paired with the perfect service – warm, attentive, but not in the least bit intrusive – this has got to be one of the loveliest venues for afternoon tea in Paris.

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As it is January, François Perret (head pastry chef of Shangri-la Paris) has galettes des rois ready for guests. I didn’t try any this time, but there was a clementine marmalade galette that sounded very tempting.

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We started with a tea time classic (€39/one person, €70/two persons), which includes a selection of pastries, finger sandwiches, scones, and a hot beverage of choice. For tea, we tried a silver tips white tea (€16) from Kataboola Estate, which was subtle with notes of pear and honey, as well as a jasmine green tea (€12) from Hunan, China, both lovely choices.

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The pastry selection was more or less classic. The first tier consists of mini versions of opéra, raspberry cheesecake, meringue chestnut tart, cassis chocolate tart, and chocolate éclair. For the second tier, I vaguely remember a lot of chocolate-flavored things. The third tier is a selection of finger sandwiches that involved cucumber, smoked salmon, foie gras, and bresaola. Everything well-done, but not especially memorable.

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I was personally more drawn to the a la carte pastries (which all had such attractive descriptions!) and eventually settled on the following two. First was the pink grapefruit cheesecake (€12). The cream cheese mousse was light and ethereal, and the sablé base deconstructs in the mouth like fine sand, but was not at all dry. A delightful one.

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Then, “marron en cage” (€12), literally “chestnut in cage”, is the combination of biscuit de savoie (a soft sponge cake) with glazed chestnuts, light meringue, and chantilly cream. The whole thing is surrounded by thin strands of chocolate decorations for the “caged” effect – I imagine this must take quite a while to assemble, but the finished look is indeed quite pretty. The taste is also light and delicate, not too sweet despite the meringue and the glazed chestnuts. My preferred kind of flavor profile.

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I’ve heard many good things about chef François Perret from my current pastry chef and colleagues, all of whom have very demanding palates. I would love to come back again to try more of his creations, probably going à la carte next time instead of tea sets. All in all, afternoon tea at The Shangri-la Paris was a very pleasant experience, and I highly recommend it for those who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle.

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Written by sugarednspiced

January 8th, 2015 at 10:36 am