The Art of High Tea

Most of my artful afternoons in London alternate between the Tate Modern with Rothko and Picasso and the Tate Britain with my all-time favorite Paul Klee. A few weeks ago I jumped aboard Eurostar, this time headed to the Rosewood London hotel to indulge in another form of art, the edible kind.

Was I entering the home of a nobleman, I wondered as I strode through the regal wrought iron gates into the lobby of this eclectic hotel where behind every detail was a story waiting to be told.

With my tea date in tow, we were led to the Mirror Room, elegantly clad in neutral tones with welcoming pops of orange and yellow. The ceiling and select walls boasted a patchwork of mirrors. The room itself, much like the rest of the hotel, exuded art.

Rosewood London’s ‘Art Afternoon Tea’ began just over a year ago and we eagerly awaited the second batch of creations by Executive Chef Mark Perkins. I scanned the menu for a look at the latest inspirations and was pleased to be familiar with most of the artists. The curated selection included Banksy, Jeff Koons, Jackson Pollock, Wassily Kandinsky and Hubert Le Gall.

Following a glass of one the finest French bubbles, I was pleased to discover that gourmet tea brand Mariage Frères (again, French) was their tea of choice. I settled for a chai with hints of vanilla and began the feast, finger sandwiches first. British High Tea had to of course include freshly baked scones, and these were paired with clotted cream and lemon curd. Heavenly!

And now for the petit fours. Each delicate creation was a masterpiece in itself, revealing a depth of flavors almost as intricate as the artworks they inspired. As we cut into these hand-crafted confections, I felt a little guilt at the destruction, but it passed with each sweet inhale. Anyway, isn’t art meant to be devoured? I’ll be back in April for the next curation featuring an artist yet to be revealed.

As for Paris, favorite high teas include The Four Seasons and Le Meurice, both an experience in indulgence!

high tea time

As the days turn shorter and winter begins to make its presence known, I turn towards the sweet side of life in Paris. Having sipped chai in nearly all of the five star tea salons, each one is an experience in itself. France does excel in its pastries after all, and having a sweet tooth, I’ll try any sugary concoction whipped up by a respected pâtissier. My most recent experience in l’heure du goûter, as the French call snack time, was by the skillful hand of Pastry Chef Cédric Grolet at Le Meurice, with world renowned Alain Ducasse at the helm.

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Joined by two gourmand friends, we sat in the elegant restaurant Le Dalí, and started our high tea with a glass of bubbly, French style. What I immediately noticed were Christophe Robin’s Little Indulgences, warm finger sandwiches prepared to order. How divine! And I hadn’t even brought my attention to the sweet portion yet.

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The trays were stacked high with homemade sweets and scones with cream, each more delicious than the next.

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As an unexpected bonus, the most delicious madeleines were served to us, fresh out of the oven. But what took the cake was the Hazelnut, a rich and chocolaty dessert that must be tasted to be truly understood.


The afternoon was long and luxurious! Leah Walker, fellow traveler, donned her new rive droite tote in high style. Along with writer Mary Winston Nicklin, we indulged in a tea time to remember. Until next time, ladies!

high tea for two

One reason I love when my mom comes to Paris to visit is that I get to spoil her. I spend months in preparation, planning all sorts of events, exhibitions, eating experiences, etc. This year I thought I’d surprise her with a mother/daughter high tea. Where better than at the Four Seasons George V?

IMG_1501Upon entering this ethereal setting, we were taken with Jeff Leatham’s stunning floral compositions.


My mom and I were in our element, both of us favoring sweet over savory.

IMG_1454We began our indulgent afternoon with one of Lucien Gautier’s fruitful masterpieces.

IMG_1462Is there anything better than French pastries with champagne to compliment?

IMG_1480How happy I was to spend such a memorable afternoon with my mom, and in such sweet splendor!