Upstairs are the tea rooms, with starched white table linen. There we each selected a different type of tea and all opted for brioche (of course) with the company's very own gelee. But the gelée! Oh my goodness! The gelée is made from their most fragrant teas, it is fine, almost liquidy in texture and absolutely bursts with flavour! We greedily sampled marco polo and pharaeon both of which were absolutely divine. Of course we all plunged straight down stairs after sipping our beautiful tea and bought jars of it. Back at home I gave some as gifts and kept two delicous jars for myself. But it wasn’t long before it had all gone, however hard I tried to stretch it out. I keep telling myself that I will go back to Paris to buy some more but sadly I have not got round to it yet. It is with great excitement then that I have recently discovered that they have an online shop – hooray! You can visit it at http://www.mariagefreres.com/. So I am going to place an order and that should keep me going until I can arrange that trip…
Monday, 8 September 2008
Tea with jam (and bread)
My favourite confiture is very special indeed. I was introduced to it by an American friend when we took a girls weekend to Paris a couple of years ago. We were all about to finish our training as Chefs de Patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in London and we thought it only right that we should go to Paris to do some serious sampling. Which of course we did … with great gusto. We tried many beautiful patisseries from the very special Ladurée to an ordinary (but amazing) local patisserie in Montmatre. And then our friend took us to Mariage Frères. Mariage Frères on the rue du Bourg Tibourg, is a wonder. It is one of the finest well- known tea companies in France, founded in 1854. Downstairs the walls are lined with tea caddies (they have literally hundreds of varieties of teas) and tea accessories.