Please wait, the site is loading...

The Mandarin Oriental hotel in Paris serves up France's answer to the classic English afternoon tea. I went along with two friends to sample a soupçon of the challenger, with its miniature sandwiches, rich chocolate treats and intricate pastries. Was it better than classic British fare? In my opinion, you really can't beat a freshly baked scone with clotted cream and jam – but I'll let you make your own minds up...

The restaurant

It feels incredibly chic but still quite cosy, as we were seated in a little pod-like booth. We were slightly bedraggled after walking all day, but weren't made to feel uncomfortable about our slightly less-than-glamorous clothing choices.

The menu

The French know how to deliver small but flavoursome portions of loveliness without making you feel fit to burst and unable to move. The menu is incredibly simple but was helpfully explained by our charming waitress. The sandwiches are smaller then the British version; the avocado, tomato and cured beef one was a favourite. The beef melted in the mouth, was beautifully fresh and I loved the delicately toasted bread.

One of my friends, who doesn't really like sweet things, fell in love with the tiny canapé-sized desserts – especially the bitter dark chocolate tart, which suited her palette. The sweet treats were served on an elegant cake stand and there were enough for us all to try everything. (pictured above)

Finally, you can make your own sweet creation by choosing between choux, puff or brioche filled with your choice of flavoured cream. I went for a puff pastry feuilletage with pistachio cream and sweet caramel. There was lots of cream, lots of chocolate and lots of praline – but with just a couple of mouthfuls of each, it wasn't too much and we escaped any pangs of guilt as we finished every last crumb.

This was all accompanied by a fantastic tea selection (I had the rooibos, a personal favourite) served in a very elegant modern teapot that I fell in love with. Or you can, of course, choose to have a glass or a few of Bollinger or rosé.

The verdict

French afternoon tea felt more romantic than the English version: chicer, more intimate, and with that unmistakably charming Parisian atmosphere. You probably wouldn't take your partner to eat a scone in London, but I'd definitely recommend a date at the Camélia restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Paris for French afternoon tea. Bon appétit!

 

About the author

Sarah Alcock

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years