When I lived here before, my friend Emma and I were in the process of visiting and rating as many Parisian salons de thé (tea rooms) as possible. During this visit, we expanded our list to add several Emma has discovered in the interim. Though we have sadly arrived at the point wherein many of the salons we discover do not have scones, we nevertheless added 5 good salons de thé to our list. I have also been on a chocolat à l’ancienne kick (old fashioned hot chocolate, where you get a pitcher of super rich thick hot chocolate and you mix it with whipped cream), so that was taken into account at each location.
Les Deux Abeilles (189 Rue Université, 75007): Not only do they have scones and other wonderful desserts, but also the salon itself is adorable, with an interior room that has a tree and sky light ceiling. While we were innocently sipping tea, a German tourist got himself locked in the bathroom and then proceeded to mess up the lock so it couldn’t be opened. After a good half an hour of fiddling with it, the manager proceeded to kick in the door. This really has nothing to do with the tea service, but it did provide for entertainment.
Bonpoint (Rue de Tournon, 75006): Technically an upscale children’s clothing boutique, Bonpoint also has a magically hidden inner courtyard that serves delicious scones, desserts, and an array of beverages. Because we committed the sin of arriving after 3:30, they were naturally out of about half of the menu, but the remaining half was quite good. (Now is the moment where you pause an appreciate that this boutique is for the type of people who get hungry buying obscenely overpriced clothes that will be grown out of in several months so they go and buy overpriced snacks to rejuvenate them for more shopping).
Le Loir Dans le Théière (3 Rue des Rosiers, 75004): Less garden party atmosphere and more cozy/quirky, le Loir dans le Théière boasts an impressive selection of massive desserts, though no scones. The walls are covered with old photos, playbills, etc, giving it a trendy and yet quaint atmosphere.
Carette* (25 Place des Vosges, 75003): Located the colonnade of the Place des Vosges, Carette is the perfect place to pass an afternoon. There were no scones, but the selection of pastries and macarons rivaled that of Ladurée (the macarons might have been better) while the environment was decidedly less crowded and friendlier. Oh, and wickedly good hot chocolate accompanied by whipped cream so delicious that I finally resorted to scraping the bowl with my spoon.
Les Trois Cerises (47 Avenue Suffren, 75007): Perhaps the most delightful new find, Les Trois Cerises is the perfect place for a ladies tea party. Instead of chairs many tables have ornate low couches with pillows, and you can eat in a little courtyard under wide umbrellas. Once again, no scones, but tiramisu that is supposedly exquisite, and the café (or hot chocolate) gourmand came with three little portions of cake that were surprisingly good. On the menu you can read how this tearoom is the incarnation of a dream, as it’s founder has wanted to have a tearoom since she was a little girl.
If you are reading this and are aware of other good salons de thé in Paris, please post them! I will need to start making a list for next time.
*All of the pictures on this post were taken at Carette, except for the one of the green awning, which is at les Deux Abeilles.