Let’s face it: sightseeing, even under the best of conditions, is hard work. So make sure when you’re planning your days in Paris that you set aside time for a bit of repose between boutiques, museums and other sights. And what better place than a Parisian tea salon? Morning or afternoon, these spots are the perfect place to regroup, rehydrate and reinvigorate yourself for more of what Paris has to offer. Our list passes by the big names, like Ladurée and Mariage Frères, and instead suggests half a dozen special places in different neighborhoods around town.
4, place du Trocadéro, in the 16th. 01 47 27 98 85.
Open seven days a week, 7 a.m.–midnight.
People-watching doesn’t get any better than sitting on the terrasse at Carette at the Place du Trocadéro. And while the prices suit the location in the 16th Arrondissement, the pastries are delicious, the coffee strong and the hot chocolate rich. Carette recently opened a second Parisian tea salon on the north side of the Place des Vosges, in the Marais.
La Charlotte de l’Isle
24, rue St.-Louis-en-l’Ile, in the 4th.
01 43 54 25 83. Wed–Sun, 2 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
When you’re on the Ile-St.-Louis, a cone of Berthillon ice cream is de rigeur. But if it’s rainy or wet or ice cream’s just not your thing, duck into this little spot on the island’s main street. A dozen or more teas are on offer, as well as chocolates and cakes, all made on the premises.
Les Deux Abeilles
189, rue de l’Université, in the 7th.
01 45 55 64 04. Mon–Sat, 9 a.m.–7 p.m.
This charming spot in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, in the understated 7th Arrondissement, is the perfect setting for a ladies’ lunch or a cuppa in the afternoon. (It even haa the scones to go with your tea!) White linens but never stuffy.
La Fourmi Ailée
8, rue du Fouarre, in the 5th. 01 43 29 40 99.
Open seven days a week, noon–midnight.
The cheerful blue storefront of La Fourmi Ailée is just two steps from Notre Dame but light-years away from the tourist-trap spots around the corner. The decor combines the coziness of a library with diner chic. There’s a full menu, including a plat du jour, a long list of teas, plus some really good gooey desserts.
Le Loir dans la Théière
3, rue des Rosiers, in the 4th. 01 42 72 90 61.
Open seven days a week, 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m.
While the rest of the Marais has gone upscale, this funky little Parisian tea salon remains true to its origins, with mismatched tables and chairs, and a menu that can’t miss: savory tarts, salads and homey desserts. If you want lunch, get there early or be prepared for a line out the door. At other times of day, a cozy armchair is the perfect spot to curl up with a hot cup of tea.
A Priori Thé
35, Galerie Vivienne, in the 2nd. 01 42 97 48 75.
Mon–Fri, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sat, 9 a.m.–6:30 p.m.; Sun, noon–6:30 p.m.
When you’re simply worn out from hitting the boutiques, regain your strength with an elegant lunch or an afternoon snack at A Priori Thé. Located in the true fashion central of Paris, the gorgeous covered passage Galerie Vivienne, the tables on the terrasse are perfect rain or shine.
Anne Schwartz left behind a public policy career in Washington, DC, when her husband got a new job assignment in Paris in 2007. She blogs about her adventures in the City of Light at Just Another American in Paris and provides practical information to Anglophone expats at Posted in Paris.
Editor’s note: If you’d like more than several choices of gorgeous rooms to have tea in, why not book yourself into the new Shangri-La Hotel for your next trip? The renovation of this palace-turned-hotel is sublime, and the various dining, tea and meeting rooms are cozy and luxurious.