February 23, 2017

You may be able to tell from our name, Chateau Rouge, that we are big fans of both France and the UK. We couldn’t decide between the two, so started a company where we can enjoy the best of both! With Paris Fashion Week approaching, what better time to celebrate le Thé, le Café, la mode, et le joie de vivre Français?

La mode Français

Paris Fashion Week plays host to an eclectic mix of traditional and new designers, with a celebration of both the classic and the avant-garde. What a great setting for a leisurely cup of tea or coffee, in the stunning surroundings of the French Capital!

Like Italy, home of Milan Fashion Week, which is taking place just before Paris, you may associate France more with coffee, or le café, than you necessarily do with tea, but in actual fact, tea was introduced to France, via Holland, some 22 years before it became the UK’s favourite drink. Please note, mon cher, that tea is traditionally taken black in France.

France’s “affair de la Coeur” with Tea

Louis XIV enjoyed drinking both tea and coffee in France in his time, having spent time drinking coffee with the Turkish Ambassador and spreading the word, as well as drinking tea, then usually green tea imported from China, to help with his gout. Tea was renowned for its health-giving and medicinal properties in those days, just as it is again today. It was also fashionable, as was everything in France at that time. The expense of importing tea at that time meant that it was reserved for the upper classes, understandably, falling out of favour following the revolution. When England then took its turn to be en vogue, so returned the popularity of tea to France.

There is an art to tea in France, with careful presentation and a broad range of tastes and styles of tea. Teas are drunk from all over the world – green tea from China and Japan, black teas from Sri Lanka, India and Mauritius, and – in a similar way to the French love of winemaking – there has been serious interest in tea estates and different ways of growing popular and time-honoured teas, such as Assam and Darjeeling.

Salons de thé have grown in popularity in recent years, too, with quintessentially French tea blends on offer to taste; and a growing trend for tea-themed baking in the delightful cakes and sweet treats served to accompany the tea.

Our Top Parisian Tea Tips (and some tasty treats!)

  • No visit to Paris would be complete with a visit to Ladurée, where you can sit back and relax in a traditionally French, simply beautiful setting, enjoy a huge selection of teas or good quality coffees, and of course, the delightful macarons. There are now several branches in Paris, so you can get your macaron and hot drink fix on the go as you explore the Parisian fashion shows.
  • La Plaza Athenée is a stunningly fashionable and very famous hotel, as seen on screen in many guises. Fans of Sex and the City’s fashion forward Carrie Bradshaw will remember the iconic finale of the television show, where Carrie travels to Paris and spots La Tour Eiffel moments from her balcony garden. Enjoy the experience for yourself with a Parisian afternoon tea.
  • Another highly recommended afternoon tea comes courtesy of 2016 Best Pastry Chef of the Year, Cédric Grolet, at Le Dali in the Hôtel de MeuriceThink perfectly petite versions of award-winning desserts to accompany your tea or coffee. Delicieux!

Find out more about the history of tea – in France and the UK – on the Chateau Rouge gastronomic discoveries blog

Why not enjoy your own French-inspired afternoon tea at home, while taking in the highlights of the Paris Fashion Week shows online? We recommend the Chateau Rouge coffee, naturally, and how about a nice cup of our 100% Organic Classique Earl Grey or Queen of Darjeeling Très chic, et bon gout, naturellement! Discover more...

Bon appétit!

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You may have guessed, we LOVE (are obsessed) with fine foods and all things gourmet; other than sleeping and running a small artisan business, this is about all we do! We really appreciate you taking the time to read our blog today. Please leave your feedback and tell us which organic food recipes, health tips or gifts ideas you like to hear more about...

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