Post-shopping, my friend Ashleigh and I headed to the fabulous Plaza Athénée for a spot of lunch and people, let me tell you: it was a lunch to remember! As if the beautiful scented flowers in the lobby weren’t enough, the sound of the harpist gently playing drew us to La Galeries de Gobelins, where we were greeted by a welcoming hostess for our 15h30 reservation.
As we sat in awe of the sparkling chandeliers, our attention was being pulled in all directions from the delectable, taste-bud feast of a dessert trolley to La Cour Jardin teasing us with shades of summer. I have to say, this is pure glamour! After hitting the shops, we were famished though spent 20 minutes trying to choose. “There’s too much choice!” Ashleigh declared. She was right; how could we be expected to choose just one item from the we-want-to-try-everything menu? We opted for one set of each of the canapés on offer including fois gras, parma ham & cornichon, succulent crab and cucumber, melt-in-your-mouth smoked salmon and gazpacho. The latter was a revelation to me since I have never liked this cold soup, until this day! If the chef’s reading, send me the recipe already!
As if the food wasn’t enough, the glimpses of the La Cour Jardin completely captivated us and we just had to have a look. Please excuse the crinkled linen dress – yet another reason not to shop on the High Street. But I digress… In perfect sync with the hotel’s understated elegance, the vividly coloured geraniums, whilst pretty and enhancing, do not overwhelm. There’s something fairytale-like about this garden. I simply must go back.
We chatted away and nibbled on our canapés, the desserts were flying by and we had our eye on the strawberry and pistachio cake. Much to our horror, a fellow patron took the last slice. As you can imagine, we hated her for a split second: don’t come between a woman and her cake! Our waitress assured us that there was more to come all while tempting us with a religieuse à la fraise . Next time! As our dessert was placed before us, silence descended on our table. There were no words as our taste buds experienced pure bliss and the harpist soothed us with her tunes. The crunchy base, soft sponge, cloud-light pistachio cream and oh those strawberries… Finally Ashleigh spoke up as I continued to devour my plate of heaven. “You can tell these are Gariguette, you taste the sweetness”. She was right! If it wasn’t bikini session, I probably would have ordered another piece to go. And by “another piece” I mean an entire cake! Unfortunately, by the time we had finished dessert, our waitress had left so I couldn’t get her name, but we both agreed that she was fabulous: very knowledgeable about the menu and so friendly, without being intrusive. We were treated like regulars. I felt as though I could happily spend the entire afternoon there being very well looked after. Alas, reality came creeping back…
Most recently, I have been asked where to have the best afternoon tea. Of course, it depends what you’re looking for. However, I can tell you will complete certainty that whatever you think constitutes to a good experience, the Plaza Athénée has it all. If you’re visiting Paris, let me know and I’ll join you there – I need more of that cake!
Hôtel Plaza Athénée
25 Avenue Montaigne
+33 1 53 67 66 65
Let the cake adventures continue…
Not Just Another Milla was a guest of Hotel Plaza Athénée.