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When the heavens open in Paris and driving Spring rain pelts on even the most chic of umbrellas, the City of Light always has a bright side.
On the popular Rive Gauche (Left Bank), near the Sorbonne and Panthéon and just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of Boulevard de Saint Germain, I’ve recently discovered a new quiet haven on rue des Écoles: the Hôtel les Bulles de Paris.
This charming, modern hotel has a theme around bubbles. Happily we’re talking about my favorite bubbles: Champagne. Starting from when you walk into the lobby, the welcoming staff is bubbly. Led into the sparkling breakfast and tea-room on even the most gloomiest of days, the room is dappled in light with a very apt quotation from Louis Pasteur decorating the pastel walls:
Un repas sans Champagne est comme un jour sans soleil.
A meal without Champagne is like a day without sunshine.
Newly launched, this special Afternoon Tea brings back the sunshine. There’s no need for a menu since the choice is simple: tea or Champagne – or both – served with the hotel’s signature pâtisserie.
To accompany the pastry, two teas have been chosen by master of teas, Madame Tseng of La Maison des Trois Thés nearby in rue Saint-Médard. Either choose a rather subtle black tea from Nepal, Makalu SFTGFOP 2nd flush. Tasting it on its own before the pâtisserie, I was trying to pin down the floral, fruity Muscat and rose notes with an accent of honey. It wasn’t until I tried it with the pastry that the flavors came through, and could then see why it was a good match.
For those of you like myself who love a more fragrant floral tea, then go for Madame Tseng’s white Jasmine tea, Xiu Qiu, from the Chinese province of Fujian. Even the hand-rolled pearl-shaped tea-leaves evoke the idea of bubbles!
The signature pâtisserie’s design had been remodeled as an Easter egg nesting on strands of white chocolate, but the pastry remains the same: hidden inside the pearl-rose white chocolate shell is a Champagne jelly, topped with a raspberry sponge and delicate vanilla mousse.
The real honor of this new teatime goes to the Champagne, selected by the Hotel les Bulles de Paris by Bocquillon: a Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru with white floral notes, white fruits and a subtle hint of citrus, the perfect match with the decadent pastry.
If you do opt for the tea and Champagne, I would recommend tasting the tea first and finishing off with the bubbles.
Peeking inside the Champagne bar, I couldn’t help being drawn in to its quirky bubbly decor, and can just imagine finishing off my day after a chocolate and pastry walking tour nearby in Saint Germain with a glass of one of their wide choice of Champagnes. It’s not for nothing another wall recommends:
“Start the day with a smile and end it with Champagne”.
I can see the sun has come out.
The new Champagne Teatime is served Wednesday – Sunday, 2.30pm-5.30pm. Signature Pâtisserie with tea or a glass of House Champagne: 15€ (for all 3: €20)
Hôtel Les Bulles de Paris, 32 rue des Écoles, 75005 Paris
Lead photo credit : Hotel Les Bulles de Paris, photo by Jill Colonna