My blog post in September about my niece staying at The Ritz Paris prompted two invitations to the hotel for lunch and tea. Lucky me!
My friend Cheryl is a retired French teacher from St. Louis and comes to Paris at least once a year. This year she came twice and two weeks ago she invited me to tea, since she hadn’t been to The Ritz since the renovation was completed in June.
The newly designed Salon Proust is in honor of writer Marcel Proust, who was a frequent guest at the hotel and said "At the Ritz, nobody pushes you”.
The décor certainly reflects Proust's lavish lifestyle with its library of books behind rich wood doors, plush lounges and club chairs, elegant sconces, a marble mantle with a roaring fire below and an oval portrait of handsome and moustached Proust watching over us.
We were seated on a mustard gold tufted velvet sofa and given a menu almost as thick as an encyclopedia. With over 17 pages, the menu had more than twenty varieties of tea including black, green, white, fermented and herbal from India, China and South Africa. There is also a selection of Grand Cru teas from China. As tempted as I was to try some tea, I desperately needed caffeine. Cheryl had a tough time choosing a tea flavor and ended up having what the waiter recommended.
The first dish to appear was a Madeleine in a bowl, which we both thought was a peculiar presentation until the waiter came back and poured fresh cream over it.
Next up was an over the top, beyond decadent multi tiered tray of pastries. Mind you, English tea, which serves savory tea sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam, is different than French tea which serves only sweets. Working our way slowly through the tiers, pacing ourselves so we wouldn’t crash and burn from all the sugar, we savored almost every morsel. A butter cookie with a chocolate topping resembled a Pepperidge Farm Milano but that’s where the comparison ended, as it sublimely surpassed our taste expectations. I declined eating the pretty pink meringue but used it as a prop for my photos but devoured the wafers with cream, the gingerbread man stuffed with marshmallow, delicate butter cookies and paper-thin almond tuiles. The chocolate infused bread, which I saved for last, was the most satisfying.
Our departing pastry was a pair of sugar glazed Madeleines,which probably pushed my blood sugar levels to new highs.
The cherry on the cake, saved for the end, was an adorable souvenir, a tiny tin filled with tea packaged in a blue box embossed with an illustration of The Ritz and their emblem.
When Cheryl asked for the check, they cleverly put it inside a book by Proust.
As we were leaving, we were introduced to the tall, good looking and thin (that’s just not fair!) pastry chef Francois Perret. We praised him for his decadent pastries but I later cursed him when I got home and stood on my scale.
After tea, I gave Cheryl a tour of the hotel, now that I know it like the back of my hand. We peered into the Hemingway Bar, which neither of us had ever been inside before and watched the glamorous crowd have cocktails.
15 Place Vendôme, 75001
Open 2:30PM to 6PM daily
Eye Prefer Paris Postcards
I am thrilled to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Postcards, a 3, 6 or 12-month subscription service where the subscriber receives three physical postcards of my iconic Paris photos every month. Each month will have a specific theme, from architectural street scenes to romantic outdoor cafes to beautiful gardens to unique shots of iconic monuments. Each mailing will include two postcards in color and one in black & white or sepia, beautifully packaged in a special French Blue postcard holder with a custom designed seal.
Each 6” X 4.25” traditional size postcard is printed on thick matte coated card stock, similar to traditional vintage postcard stock that enhances the vibrancy of every image.
Only $30 for a 3-month subscription plus shipping or
Only $60 for a 6 month subscription (plus shipping)or
$110 for a 12-month subscription (plus shipping)
Click here to order a 3-month subscription from my Etsy store
Come experience Eye Prefer Paris live with Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I personally lead. Eye Prefer Paris Tours include many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes, food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks and gardens and much more. In addition to my specialty Marais Tour, I also lead tours of Montmartre, St. Germain, Latin Quarter, in addition to Shopping Tours, Gay Tours, Girlfriend Tours, Food Tours, Flea Market Tours, Paris Highlights Tours, and Chocolate & Pastry tours.
Tours start at 225 euros for up to 3 people, and 75 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 195 euros per person (about $210)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.