Dali Afternoon Tea at Le Meurice, Paris

The Afternoon tea adventures continue: This time at Le Meurice, one of Paris’ oldest and most renowned hotels. We enjoyed tea in the Restaurant Le Dali, a vast moody space with eclectic furnishing and a canvas-style ceiling.

I found the restaurant too big and as you can see from the images, very dark. In fact, there are no windows so the only natural light coming in is via the lobby, which is very pretty, and the Restaurant Le Meurice (which looks like something from a film – amazing!). The service was fine yet somewhat distant.

When the waiter explained that they were serving apple scones, I was a bit put out as I don’t believe messing with the classics but I was wrong. The texture of the scones was as it should be – soft yet crumbly, and the very delicate balance of apple with a pinch of cinnamon was sublime. I was pleasantly surprised. The only downside was that they committed a cardinal sin of serving a British woman cold scones. The cream with vanilla was the stuff dreams are made of – decadent and fluffy. So delicious. The little pastries – strawberry and pistachio, tarte au citron and raspberry were flawless. Say what you will about France, you cannot come to this amazing country and find fault with the cakes. Phenomenal.

One thing I really didn’t like was that a couple walked through the restaurant with their dog and sat down to eat. A dog people! I know this is very common in France, but a dog in a restaurant, is just wrong, unsanitary and inappropriate, particularly in a restaurant of such high standing. Fortunately, by this time we’d finished eating, because I doubt I would have been able to stay.

Have you been to Le Meurice? I’m keen to know what you thought.

Le Meurice
228 Rue de Rivoli
75001 Paris
+33 (0) 1 44 58 10 10


  1. Sarah
    29 August 2011 / 13:36

    Good to read about more afternoon tea places. I say it again though: I want your life!!!
    I’m not British but I also believe it a sin to serve scones cold! If I ever put the effort into making scones, I will make sure I reheat them if there are any left over the next day-scones were not meant to be eaten cold! However, as we’ve previously discussed, french pastries and cakes can save any day!
    A dog in an inside beautiful restaurant?! That is ridiculous! How was it even allowed?! It should only be considered okay if you’re eating al fresco and only it you’re on the edge of the outdoor cafe, not in the middle of it!

    • Milla
      29 August 2011 / 14:21

      You’d be surprised at how simple my life is! I’m a real home-body and don’t go out much so when I do, I prefer somewhere nice.

      So would I! Pop them in the oven for a few minutes and everybody’s happy!

      I don’t mind dogs on the terrace or sitting outside a café, but it is quite normal for people to be sitting in a resto with a dog. That scene from SATC is spot on. What I don’t get is that if you know you’re going to a restaurant, why take your dog? Surely the dog will be bored. I don’t know… it’s all very bizarre to me. Do people do that in Australia?

      • Sarah
        30 August 2011 / 08:27

        Oh I’m definitely a home-body myself so I get how nice it is to have an indulgence like that!
        Yes exactly-why take the dog if you know you’re hungry and/or might be stopping to eat! I feel the same way about people who tie their dogs to a pole outside a shop-why take the dog if you’re going shopping! ugh! They definitely do not take dogs into restaurants here….you’ll see them at outside cafes but that’s it.

        • Milla
          30 August 2011 / 16:53

          Exactly – poor dogs! They must be so bored and frustrated at being marched around only to be tied up or left hanging out on the floor of a 5-star hotel. People are selfish.

  2. 29 August 2011 / 14:02

    More tea? I’ll need to get a job asap so I can enjoy the finer things in life asap!

    Le Meurice looks really beautiful and I think I would have driven both the guests and servers mad with the incessant clicks from my camera. I would be kicked out before the dog!

    • Milla
      29 August 2011 / 14:37

      You have a job! It is a little monthly treat with my friends. Beautiful surroundings, friends and delicious cakes make for a lovely catch-up. Its also a great way to see the inside of stunning hotels! 🙂

      Most of these places don’t mind you taking photographs, the only thing is not to take the other patrons.

  3. 29 August 2011 / 16:05

    You had me with the first picture! The whole tea looks so delicious judging from the pictures.
    I almost went to the Meurice once; indeed their room is huge and I prefer smaller, more intimate spaces.

    • Milla
      30 August 2011 / 16:25

      How you left France knowing the best food is here is beyond me! Lovely tea pots and no tea bags in sight!!

  4. 29 August 2011 / 18:17

    This all sounds so delicious and wonderfully sophisticated … apart from the dog! I thought those weren’t allowed inside. Well, they are everywhere in Antwerp, but I don’t remember seeing a dog inside a restaurant.

    • Milla
      30 August 2011 / 16:31

      I have to say, it is a cultural thing. People treat dogs like babies here.

      It is a very sophisticated place which I’d like to see more of. The interiors from lobby to the two restaurants seem very different.

  5. 29 August 2011 / 18:59

    Milla the photography on your site is amazing (new camera?)! I have two dogs and I agree, dogs in a restaurant are yuck and wrong.
    Beautiful afternoon, thank you for sharing lovely!

    • Milla
      30 August 2011 / 16:52

      Thank you lovely Cupcake! Welcome back! Oui, new cam (birthday pressie).

      It is yuck!


    • Milla
      30 August 2011 / 16:50

      Welcome to my world! It was delicious, though froid. I feel rather bad because after our tea on Friday, it is going to be seriously hard for anywhere to measure up.

      You and I are in-sync: I go by this Japanese shop all the time (on the same street as my favourite chocolatier…) and emailed them last night about tea events! Thanks for thinking of me. Some good suggestions – George V is next 🙂 I don’t care for Colette much and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon is one of my favourite restos (we’re so going there when you come!).


  6. CinZilicious
    30 August 2011 / 19:01

    Wow….looks yummers! I just had high tea over the weekend as well so feel free to drop by to check out the pix! Of cuz my pix are nowhere as mouth watering as yours!!! And agree with cupcake, great photography and congrats on a new cam, hehe

    I really wanna try that apple cinnamon scone you talked about. and the strawberry and pistachio pasterie…omg!!! Divine!!!

    Funny how u said u dont mess with the classics because in HK, they always mess with it, esp food! They always love creating new flavors. We even have fizzy Ribena and grape fanta with grape jello in the drinks. Not sure if they have it in the UK now tho? But yeah, you get the picture 😉

    hahaha i couldnt help but laugh when you wrote about the dog. I was really imagining it and just cracked up. So it’s normal to bring dogs into restaurants in France? Gosh, that is a tad bit weird and super unhygienic!


    • Milla
      2 September 2011 / 16:39

      In the UK, we don’t really eat cakes with pistachios so discovering such cakes has been one of the best part of my life in France. I’m sorry to say Cinz, but you are missing out!

      I haven’t had Ribena since I was a child and haven’t tried the other stuff you mentioned. Sparkling Ribena sounds strange – how dare they mess with a classic!

      Dog in restos: normal and vile. I take it in HK it is not?


  7. 30 August 2011 / 22:05

    These pictures make me want to weep, it all looks so utterly, utterly beautiful.

    Napoleon is getting closer to the end of his PhD and, theoretically, the time when it will be necessary to move to Paris for his career.

    With pretty cakes and pastries like these, the day can’t come soon enough… but keep the dogs away from me! ;0)

    Hope you’re well, lovely.

    Sarah x

    • Milla
      2 September 2011 / 16:26

      Moving to Paris is well worth waiting for. I’m sure you and Napoleon with enjoy and appreciate every second of it. I often think of moving back home but Sarah, as one British woman to another, you will never find desserts like these in London town.

      Almost time to mark one more day off the calendar : )

      Have a nice weekend!


  8. 1 September 2011 / 04:21

    ah so lovely! One of my favorite things to do is to sit and have tea (or coffee) at a cafe with a croissant or baked good in hand and just people watch. I wish I was in France right now!

    • Milla
      2 September 2011 / 15:52

      France, and Europe in general, is a great place to just sit and watch the world go by. You can enjoy a pot of tea and sit in a restaurant for 4 hours without buying anything else. Coming from London, it is still hard for me to adjust to this chilled out lifestyle, but I’m learning to appreciate it more and more. Have you been to France before Naina?

  9. 1 September 2011 / 12:06

    It sounds and looks so delicious and that glimpse of the restaurant, with that amazing ceiling just gives me the idea of the wonderful place this is. However I am also not one who would allow dogs in a restaurant, especially this kind of restaurant. xo

    • Milla
      2 September 2011 / 15:49

      The ceiling canvas is atypical of anything I’ve ever seen in Paris and as you say, is very interesting. Paris is obsessed with Dali and Le Meurice is no exception.

      The dog “situation” is unfortunate and baffling. I have to remind myself that this is the French way…

  10. 2 July 2012 / 10:47

    Gawd I would love to go there
    Your pics are FAB – so paintable
    I’ll be there on Friday…maybe I’ll splurge..
    Heavenly post

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *